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Spinal cord injuries can leave victims with serious injuries. In the United States, there are about 17,810 new spinal cord injury cases each year. Depending on the severity and location of the injury, victims may suffer from partial to complete paralysis. Some spinal cord injury victims lose some movement and mobility in their hands, arms, or legs while other victims may lose complete control of their bodies.
Unfortunately, spinal cord injuries can happen to anyone, at any time. Victims have been injured during slip and fall accidents, motor vehicle accidents, and even workplace accidents. If you or a loved one suffered a spinal cord injury due to the wrongdoing or negligence of someone else, you may be entitled to compensation for your injuries, current, and future medical treatment.
Mesriani Law Group is a highly recognized and respected team of Los Angeles spinal cord injury attorneys committed to handling the toughest personal injury cases. Our clients have suffered catastrophic injuries and many times suffered millions of dollars in losses. We have successfully recovered over $100 million in total recovery for our clients and always provide exceptional legal service, regardless of the case value. We take pride in helping clients recover the full compensation they deserve so they can have the necessary medical treatment and equipment as they move forward with their lives.
Here are shortcuts to the specific topics:
- Los Angeles Spinal Cord Injury Lawyers
- How Can a Spinal Cord Injury Lawyer in Los Angeles Help?
- Why Choose Mesriani Law Group
- What is a Spinal Cord Injury?
- How To Prove Liability in a Spinal Cord Accident
- Common Causes of Spinal Cord Injuries
- How to Identify Spinal Cord Injury
- Dealing With the Outcome of Spinal Cord Injuries
- What Causes Paralysis?
- Types of Spinal Cord Injury
- Is Recovery from Paralysis Possible?
- What are the Lifetime Costs Related to Paralysis?
- Compensation Awarded in Spinal Cord Injury Claims
- Schedule a Free Consultation with a Spinal Cord Injury Lawyer Today!
- Spinal Cord Injury Lawyer FAQs
How Can a Spinal Cord Injury Lawyer in Los Angeles Help?
Spinal cord injuries can leave victims with long-term or permanent damage. Even seemingly minor spinal injuries can cause temporary disabilities and chronic pain. Victims may have lost wages because they must miss work and seek medical treatment. Serious personal injury claims deserve professional legal representation. Insurance companies are notoriously known for trying to convince clients to settle for much less than their personal injury claim is worth. Protect your rights by hiring an experienced Los Angeles spinal cord injury lawyer. Our law office accepts clients on a contingency basis and does not charge any fees unless we have successfully obtained a fair settlement award.
Why Choose Mesriani Law Group
While there may be numerous legal counsel options for spinal cord injury claims, choosing the right representation for your specific situation is essential to obtaining successful results. At Mesriani Law Group, we provide our clients with the following:
No Win No Fee Policy
At Mesriani Law Group, we have a No Win No Fee guarantee. You don’t pay us anything if we don’t win your case.
Proven Track Record
Mesriani Law Group was founded in 1996 and since then, it has maintained its outstanding reputation of recovering hundreds of millions of dollars for its clients.
Experienced Spinal Cord Injury Attorneys in Los Angeles
Rodney Mesriani and his team of highly skilled and accomplished lawyers have over two decades of experience among them and are thoroughly dedicated to fighting for victims of spinal cord injuries.
Mesriani Law Group represents clients all over Southern California and have been given the highest ratings as seen in Yelp, AVVO, Google, and alike. Direct communication and superior customer service is what our firm is known for.
The firm’s multilingual team also speaks Farsi, Spanish, and Tagalog. Our professional and gracious staff are pleased to answer any queries you may have.
We are available 24/7 to give consultation over the phone and if our clients are unable to meet at our office, we are amenable to meet you at your convenience.
Contact our law office today for a free consultation.
What is a Spinal Cord Injury?
The spinal cord is an organ that’s approximately 18 inches long. It extends from the base of the brain down to the waist and holds bundles of nerve fibers that deliver signals that control and perceive information and sensation. According to the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS), a spinal cord injury (SCI) is damage to the bundle of nerves that receives and sends signals from the brain to the entire body and vice versa. Spinal cord injury can be the result of direct injury to the central nerve bundle in your spine or from indirect damage caused by trauma to the bones and tissues that surround the spine.
The spinal cord is an essential pathway that carries messages from the brain to the rest of the body, enabling it to perform necessary functions. In most cases of spinal cord injuries, the spinal cord isn’t severed, it is just pinched, compressed, bruised, or has had the blood flow cut off. This can all cause damage that can result in temporary or permanent changes in movement, sensation, strength, and body functions below the injury site. Certain injuries that cause little or no cell damage may heal completely. More serious injuries that occur higher on the spinal cord can leave the victim paralyzed in most parts of the body and may even cause death.
How To Prove Liability in a Spinal Cord Accident
Spinal cord accidents can leave victims with serious injuries that require extensive medical care. For victims requiring long-term or lifelong care, medical treatment, therapy, and equipment costs can easily add up to more than a million dollars. Considering the extensive costs, insurance companies and the negligent party will typically try to downplay the victim’s injuries so they can pay out as little as possible. Seeking professional legal help is highly advisable because before you can obtain compensation for your injuries, you will have to prove liability. As the individual filing the personal injury claim, you will have to prove the following elements:
- Facts demonstrate that the spinal cord injury accident happened.
- The negligent party provided their level of diligence.
- Proof that your spinal cord injury was the result of the negligence or carelessness of another party.
- The accident caused physical injuries and damages which resulted in causing trauma to your spinal cord.
Personal injury claims can be extremely stressful and difficult to understand. You have to deal with tricky and dishonest insurance companies that will do whatever it takes to deny you of your rightful settlement. Do not allow them to take advantage of you after you have already lost so much. Let our experienced spinal cord injury attorneys fight them instead. Our attorneys have extensive knowledge of spinal cord injury laws and have successfully won numerous spinal cord injury cases throughout California. Mesriani Law Group not only provides the confidence and legal strategy to get you the compensation you deserve, but we also give you the full support and care you need as you move forward.
Common Causes of Spinal Cord Injuries
The National Spinal Cord Injury Statistical Center estimated that in 2020:
- There were approximately 54 cases of spinal cord injury per one million people in the United States. This equals approximately 17,900 new spinal cord injury cases annually.
- There are approximately 296,000 people living with spinal cord injury in the U.S.
Their data also shows that vehicle crashes are the leading cause of spinal cord injuries and accounted for 38.2% of spinal cord injuries since 2015. Fall injuries are the second most common cause of spinal cord injury accounting for 32.3% of the injuries.
Some of the most common causes of spinal cord injuries include:
- Bicycle accidents
- Bus accidents
- Car accidents
- Motorcycle accidents
- Pedestrian accidents
- Rideshare accidents (Uber and Lyft accidents)
- Truck accidents
- Construction accidents
- Industrial accidents
- Workplace safety standards violations
Other Common Causes of Spinal Cord Injuries:
- Acts of violence
- Birth injury
- Chiropractor malpractice
- Crushing injuries
- Defective products
- Diving into shallow water
- Epidural use
- Genetic malformations
- Medical malpractice (such as an incorrectly prescribed medication or negligently performed surgery)
- Physical labor
- Slip and fall accidents (including unsafe premises accidents)
- Undiagnosed infections
Spinal cord injuries can disrupt sensation, strength, and motor functions below the point of injury. One of the first things spinal cord injury victims should do to obtain justice and compensation is to identify the cause of the injury. If you are unsure, an experienced Los Angeles spinal cord injury lawyer from Mesriani Law Group can be of assistance. We can thoroughly review your case and investigate the person who may be responsible for your injuries. A spinal cord lawyer can help guide you through each part of the personal injury process as you focus on recovering and moving forward.
How to Identify Spinal Cord Injury
After an accident, some common symptoms and signs of spinal cord injury include:
- Impaired breathing
- Impaired balance and ability to walk
- Twisted back or neck
- Severe pain or pressure in the back, neck, or head
- Digestive problems
- Loss of bladder control
- Muscle spasticity
- Sexual dysfunction
- Paralysis or weakness of any body part, especially extremities
- Trouble with fine motor skills (such as grasping a pen or pencil)
- Numbness, tingling, or complete loss of sensation in the extremities (e.g., hands, feet, fingers, toes)
In addition to the symptoms listed above, many spinal cord injury victims suffer from secondary conditions or diseases that occur because of spinal cord injury symptoms. Among the symptoms, respiratory disease is the leading cause of death among spinal cord injury victims, followed by infections and heart disease. Spinal cord injury victims are also more likely to develop problems stemming from immobility including bedsores and deep vein thrombosis (a medical condition that happens when a blood clot forms in a deep vein).
Long-Term Effects of Spinal Cord Injuries
Spinal cord injury victims may suffer long-term consequences after an accident. Some long-term effects of spinal cord injuries include:
- Paralysis (partial or complete loss of the ability to move)
- Direct or radiating extreme pain (caused by damaged nerves along the spinal cord)
- Sexual dysfunction and infertility
- Spasms and increased reflex activities
- Respiratory impairment (including difficulty breathing or coughing)
- Loss of control over bowel and bladder functions
- Partial or complete sensory loss, including the ability to feel heat or cold)
In addition to the ones listed above, spinal cord injury victims may suffer from numerous other types of long-term effects. Many victims end up needing specialized, full-time medical care and equipment (including a hospital bed, lift, and other types of home modifications). The cost of long-term care is extremely expensive, and victims should not have to suffer financially from an accident caused by someone else. Our spinal cord injury attorneys at Mesriani Law Group understand the difficulties victims must endure and have successfully obtained maximum compensation for our clients. If you suffered from a spinal cord injury due to the negligence of someone else, contact our law firm today to explore your legal options.
Dealing With the Outcome of Spinal Cord Injuries
Unfortunately, damages to the spinal cord cannot be reversed. However, with rehabilitation, victims can focus on preventing further injury and learn how to return to a normal, active lifestyle.
A rehabilitation team can help you with:
- Paralysis – Spinal cord injuries often leave victims with the loss of some or all muscle functions. Many times, victims are restricted to wheelchairs or are bedridden. Paralyzed victims may need around-the-clock care for things like eating, bathing, changing, and other daily activities.
- Life care planning – Life care planning is the assessment of a spinal cord injury victim’s current needs and needs over their lifetime. With spinal cord and other catastrophic injuries, a life care plan helps ensure victims will be provided with the possible quality of life considering their condition.
- Spinal cord rehabilitation – Many spinal cord victims many times require extensive rehabilitation while some require rehabilitation therapy for the rest of their lives. Many victims will require occupational therapy sessions to relearn how to complete tasks within the limits of their condition with the help of medical tools and equipment.
- Vocational rehabilitation – Spinal cord injuries can prevent victims from returning to their previous jobs due to their condition. Vocational training helps paralyzed individuals overcome certain employment obstacles and develop new skills that can help them return to work.
Depending on the severity of the injury, the rehabilitation team for a spinal cord injury victim may include:
- A doctor, often a physiatrist, a doctor who specialized in rehabilitation and physical medicine, will oversee your medical care.
- A nurse who specializes in nursing care for patients with disabilities.
- A physical therapist who evaluates and treats patients that have problems with balance, movement, or coordination.
- An occupational therapist to help with daily tasks including eating, cooking, dressing, bathing, or writing.
- A speech-language therapist to help you relearn how to chew and swallow food. If your spinal cord injury affected the muscles that control your mouth, throat, or neck, a speech-language therapist can also help you relearn language skills and learn alternative ways to communicate.
- A social worker to help you make decisions about rehabilitation. They can also help you develop a plan to return home or a new living situation.
What Causes Paralysis?
Paralysis occurs when there is damage to the spinal cord and prevents messages to move between the brain and other parts of the body. In addition to a loss of feeling in the affected area of their body, victims suffering from paralysis may experience a loss of muscle movement or function.
The extent of paralysis depends on the location where the spinal injury occurred. Many victims suffering from paralysis experience daily changes in terms of the degree of functioning. Victims suffering from paralysis can still have some feeling or movement. Cervical spine injuries, or injuries to the neck, can cause immobility throughout the entire body. However, it’s possible that injuries to the lower back can only cause immobility or sensation in the legs and lower body.
Types of Spinal Cord Injury
Spinal cord injuries are classified according to the extent of never damaged as either a partial or complete injury.
- Partial injury – There’s still some feeling and function ability below the point of injury. Victims may have more sensation on one side of the body than the other and are still able to move one limb more than the other.
- Complete injury – There’s no voluntary movement or sensation at all below the point of injury. Both sides of the victim’s body are affected.
The outcome of an injury may depend on whether the spinal cord injury is partial or complete. Many victims with partial spinal cord injury may recover significantly while a person who suffers a complete spinal cord injury may suffer from disabilities for the rest of their lives.
Classification of Spinal Cord Injury
Depending on the injury, spinal cord injuries victims can suffer from different types of paralysis. The five main types of paralysis include:
- Paraplegia – Paralysis of the lower body and legs. Most of these injuries occur in the mid to lower back.
- Quadriplegia – Also known as tetraplegia, this is paralysis below the neck and affects all four limbs including the torso.
- Monoplegia – Paralysis of a single limb
- Diplegia – Paralysis of the same area of both sides of the body. For example, both legs or both arms.
- Hemiplegia – Paralysis of one side of the body such as the arm and leg. It’s not very common but possible with victims of spinal cord injuries.
Location of Spinal Cord Injury
The spinal cord is divided into four parts: the top (cervical), middle (thoracic), lower-middle (lumbar), and bottom (sacral). The location of the spinal cord injury determines the part of the body that will be affected.
- Cervical injuries – Injuries to the top part of the spinal cord can cause quadriplegia, which is weakness or paralysis in both arms and legs. All areas of the body at the site of injury and below may be affected. Some conditions associated with cervical injuries include breathing problems, numbness, bladder, bowel, and sexual dysfunction.
- Thoracic injuries – Injuries to the middle part of the spinal cord are less common since the rib cage acts as protection. Thoracic spinal injuries can cause paralysis in the legs or paraplegia. The arms and hands are typically unaffected. Victims can experience numbness as well as bladder, bowel, and sexual dysfunction.
- Lumbar injuries – Injuries to the lower-middle part of the spinal cord may result in paraplegia. Numbness, bladder, bowel, and sexual dysfunction may occur. Hand, arms, and shoulder functions are typically unaffected.
- Sacral injuries – Injuries to the bottom part of the spinal cord generally cause loss of bladder and bowel movements along with sexual dysfunction. Sacral injuries can cause paralysis or weakness in the hips and legs.
- Tailbone (coccygeal vertebrae) injuries – Injuries to the tailbone can cause everything from tender bruising to extreme pain. Damage done to the spinal cord here impacts the sensation in the lower back.
Sadly, many spinal cord injury victims are confined to a wheelchair for the rest of their lives. Many victims need in-home and vehicle modifications to accommodate their condition after the accident. While some victims who suffer from partial paralysis may be self-sufficient, those suffering from complete paralysis may require around-the-clock care. Home modifications and caretaking can cost a significant amount of money. Even if a family member helps take care of the victims, they are entitled to get paid for their time. Spinal cord injury victims shouldn’t have to worry about financial expenses after a tragic accident caused by someone else. If you or a loved one has been injured in a spinal cord injury, contact an experienced Los Angeles spinal cord injury attorney for assistance. An attorney can help you determine the types of compensation you may be entitled to and get you the justice you deserve.
Levels of Spinal Cord Injuries
Injuries to cervical nerves or top part of the spinal cord:
- Level C1-3: Total paralysis of the arms, legs, and trunk. Victims may require around-the-clock assistance with daily activities such as eating, dressing, grooming, bathing, transfers, transportation, bed mobility, and management of bowel and bladder. Also referred to as high quads, victims with injuries at the top of the spinal cord may require mechanical ventilation and the assistance of powered wheelchairs with specialized controls.
- Level C4: Full body paralysis with some movement in the neck and shoulder. Victims are typically able to breathe without the help of a ventilator. Like those in the high quad group, victims injured at the C4 level typically require a wheelchair with a power recline or tilt. Complete assistance is required for daily tasks, but victims are generally able to communicate their needs.
- Level C5: Victims injured at C5 level can raise their arms and bend their elbows, but generally have partial or total paralysis of the hands, wrists, legs, and trunk. Many C5 victims use hand splints. Victims can speak but may have trouble breathing and coughing. Needs assistance with most daily activities but once in a wheelchair, they can move rather independently. Can eat independently once meals are prepared and set up. Daily personal care assistance is needed, especially for dressing, grooming, and bed transfers. Some can drive with the proper training and specialized gear.
- Level C6: C6 victims are typically paralyzed in the hands, legs, and trunk. Breathing is weakened but they’re able to speak and use a diaphragm. Little to no voluntary control over bowel or bladder movement. May need adaptive gear since hand and wrist movements are impaired. Victims can usually move in and out of the wheelchair or bed with assistive equipment. Some can drive if the vehicle is properly adapted to their needs. Personal care is typically required for assistance with daily activities.
- Level C7-C8: Paralysis of the legs and trunk but arms and shoulder are not typically affected. C7 victims should still have some basic hand function and finger extension ability. Victims may lose bladder and bowel control. Able to manage without specialized equipment but personal care assistance will be helpful.
Injuries to the thoracic vertebrae or mid-back part of the spinal cord:
- Level T1-5: Injury impacts the legs, trunk, and torso muscles. Severity depends on the injury. T1-5 victims will typically require the use of a wheelchair but will still have normal hand and arm function.
- Level T6-T12: Victims still have normal upper body function abilities. Some can stand or walk with the assistance of crutch braces. Bladder and bowel control may still be impacted.
Injuries to the lumbar nerves or lower-middle part of the spinal cord:
- Level L1-L5: Impacts the legs and hips. May also impact bladder and bowel control. Some L1-L5 victims may need a wheelchair while others can walk with braces.
Injuries to the sacral nerves or bottom part of the spinal cord:
- Level S1-S5: S1-S5 victims may have little to no voluntary control over their bowel or bladder. May impact legs and hips.
Is Recovery from Paralysis Possible?
In extremely rare instances, spinal cord injury patients completely recover from paralysis with early and intensive medical treatment. Unfortunately, a complete recovery is abnormal. However, through physical therapy, most victims with paralysis can hope to regain some functionality that helps the brain and body learn alternative ways of working together.
Today, there are several mobility devices that can help spinal cord injury victims recover and regain some degree of independence. However, treatments and mobility devices can be very expensive, adding up to millions of dollars during the entire course of a victim’s life. Spinal cord injury victims need and should be entitled to significant compensation from the responsible party to help pay for necessary costs associated with their injuries.
Medical Problems That Can Be Caused by Spinal Cord Injuries
In addition to lack of feeling and movement, spinal cord injuries may also cause other medical problems including:
- Blood clots
- Behavior or mood changes
- Partial loss of organ functions
- Loss of muscle tissue
- Loss of sexual function
- Loss of bowel and bladder control
- Problems with speaking
- Problems with swallowing food
- Reduced bone dentistry
- Reduced blood flow and heart rate
- Respiratory difficulties
- Skin injuries and sores
Each person’s medical problems vary, and the above is not an exhaustive list of medical issues suffered by spinal cord injury victims. An experienced medical team can help patients understand the type of medical issues they may currently face and possible future issues.
What are the Lifetime Costs Related to Paralysis?
Medical treatment costs and living expenses for spinal injury victims with paralysis can easily add up to millions of dollars. The National Spinal Cord Injury Statistic Center (NSCISC) provides the average yearly costs and expenses for various spinal cord injuries. Although these amounts can vary, below is a general idea of the average lifetime financial costs for each type of injury:
- High tetraplegia (C1-C4): Also referred to as full-body paralysis. Between $2,803,391 and $5,100,941.
- Low Tetraplegia (C5-C8): Patients may have some arm movement but are still unable to walk. May breathe on their own but need help with daily activities. Between $2,292,479 and $3,727,066.
- Paraplegia: Results from injury to the thoracic or lumbar vertebrae. Typically, the upper extremities are unaffected but there is major impairment below the waist. Some patients can walk with the help of an assistive device or wheelchair. Between $1,636,959 and $2,494,338.
If you or a loved one have suffered a spinal cord injury, you may be entitled to damages. Speak with an experienced Los Angeles spinal cord injury from Mesriani Law Group today to learn more about your legal rights.
Compensation Awarded in Spinal Cord Injury Claims
If you sustained a spinal cord injury from a fall, vehicle crash, or any other type of accident, our legal team at Mesriani Law Group understands the difficulties you currently face and possibly for the rest of your life. We’ve helped numerous personal injury victim clients who have suffered from spinal cord injuries and can help you with your situation. Our compassionate and knowledgeable personal injury lawyers have extensive experience representing victims and understand the wide range of losses that result from a spinal cord injury.
Spinal cord injury victims are entitled to compensation if they are injured due to the negligence or wrongdoing of someone else. Compensation may include economic and non-economic damages. Economic damages are easily quantifiable since they include specific figures and can be verified by receipts. Non-economic damages are intangible losses that affect a victim’s quality of life. They are typically more difficult to calculate but necessary when assessing the full scope of a spinal cord injury case.
Examples of economic and non-economic damages you may be entitled to include:
- Medical expenses
- Lost earnings
- Physical pain and suffering
- Intangible losses
- Loss of companionship
- Loss of enjoyment
- Mental suffering
- Emotional distress
Many spinal cord injury victims wrongly believe that they are only entitled to compensation for medical costs and lost income, but it’s important to consider all types of losses. While nothing can take away your tragic experience or difficulties, a fair compensation settlement can help you and your family move forward.
Schedule a Free Consultation with a Spinal Cord Injury Lawyer Today!
When you’re injured, it may be extremely difficult to deal with legal paperwork, insurance companies, and medical providers. Spinal cord injury victims should be able to focus on their recovery instead of dealing with any additional stress. At Mesriani Law Group, our experienced and compassionate spinal cord injury lawyers have helped clients across Los Angeles obtain the best possible results for their claims. While financial compensation may not take away the accident, it can help ease the financial burden so you can focus on moving forward. We are confident that we can help you achieve the best possible outcome and accepts clients on a contingency basis. This means that if we don’t win your case, you don’t pay us anything. Contact our law firm today for your free consultation with a spinal cord injury lawyer.
Spinal Cord Injury Lawyer FAQs
How much is a spinal cord injury settlement?
Spinal cord settlements are typically very large due to the nature of spinal cord injuries and the lifelong treatment that some injuries require. These types of cases consistently recover the highest amounts in personal injury cases with plaintiffs recovering over a million dollars on average.
Can you recover from a spinal cord injury?
While recovery from a spinal cord injury is not impossible, the likelihood of it really depends on the severity of the injury and the available treatments and therapy. Recovery from a spinal cord injury is a long and difficult process. Some people recover and regain function and mobility, but not completely. And in some cases, some experience complete paralysis after an injury.
What is the most serious spinal cord injury?
Tetraplegia cause paralysis in all four limbs and is known to be the most severe outcome of a spinal cord injury. The worst cases of tetraplegia result in no body movement and no control of body function. These cases cannot survive without the support day to day care.
What type of disability is caused by a spinal cord injury?
Spinal cord injuries result in temporary or permanent dysfunction of the bodies central nervous system. This impacts a body’s motor, sensory, and autonomic functions which results in paralysis and lack of sensation.