Los Angeles Spinal Cord Injury Lawyer

Los Angeles Spinal Cord Injury Lawyer
Douglas D. Shaffer - Personal Injury Lawyer - Manhattan Beach, CA

Los Angeles Spinal Cord Injury Attorney

Few things can be as detrimental to your health as a spinal cord injury. The spinal cord’s primary function is to send and receive signals between the brain and the rest of your body. If that signal is compromised, it can cause multiple health problems that could last the rest of your life. If your spinal cord has been injured in an accident, it is important that you take steps to protect yourself by speaking to a Los Angeles spinal cord injury lawyer. You may be able to seek damages.

Los Angeles Spinal Cord Injury Lawyer

Why Hire a Spinal Cord Lawyer?

Personal injury lawyers deal in unexpected, sudden injuries. Often, these injuries are the result of someone else’s negligent actions, and the victim may be due some form of compensation. In that event, representation is key to succeeding in gaining that compensation.

Spinal cord injuries fall under the category of personal injury, and these injuries are often catastrophic and bring long-term medical complications into your life that you may not have ever bothered to prepare for. After all, you did not expect to be injured so severely.

Any situation that results in you becoming injured, whether a minor accident or a serious injury, has the potential to become a personal injury case. If you feel that someone’s actions were the direct or indirect cause of your injury, you may want to speak to a personal injury lawyer and see what your options are.

In the case of a spinal cord injury, an experienced spinal cord lawyer will look over the evidence of how your injury occurred, launch their own independent investigation into the accident, and determine the most effective way to help you get justice. Here are some of the important qualities that an experienced spinal cord injury lawyer can bring to your case:

  • Negotiation Experience: Negotiating is a very useful skill that is indispensable in a good lawyer’s arsenal. Lawyers deal with conflict all day, every day. Whether it’s conflict with opposing counsel, insurance companies, belligerent employers, or obstinate colleagues, a lawyer has to employ their negotiation skills nearly every day.
    In your case, those skills will certainly come in handy when dealing with the negligent party on the other side of the aisle, as well as the insurance company, who may be unwilling to pay you an appropriate amount in compensatory damages. You will want someone who is a tough, fair, and effective negotiator. Otherwise, you may not succeed.
  • A Wealth of Knowledge: Lawyers have a vast mental encyclopedia of the country’s laws. It comes with the territory and is crucial to developing the cases that they take on. A good lawyer will bring this wealth of knowledge to your case, providing you with case histories similar to yours, applicable state and federal laws, and multiple ways to emerge victorious. Knowledge is paramount to being a talented, experienced lawyer.
  • Vast Resources: An experienced lawyer will have built up an impressive network of resources that are invaluable to their success in and out of the courtroom. They will be able to apply these resources to your case and use them to help you gather evidence, talk to witnesses, and further develop the plan for what comes next. These resources may include medical professionals, private investigators, witnesses, and fellow legal aides.
  • Deadlines: Pursuing legal action is no easy task. Aside from the mental stress and uncertainty, there is a great deal of paperwork that must be filed by a certain deadline. Otherwise, depending on the missed deadline at hand, you could risk capsizing your entire case.

A good lawyer will stay on top of any deadline and make sure you file the proper paperwork at the appropriate time. That way, you can worry solely about your recovery and the outcome of your case. Your lawyer will take care of the finer details.

Symptoms of a Spinal Cord Injury

Spinal cord injuries can be very serious. They often result in lifetime complications and can lead to other conditions. The spinal cord itself is a bundle of nerves that sends signals to the brain and receives signals from the brain. It is one of the most sensitive and easily injured parts of the human body. Here are some of the more common ways that the spinal cord can be injured:

  • Car Accidents: One of the most common causes of a spinal cord injury is a bad car accident. While driving or riding in a car, never forget to wear your seat belt. If the car does crash and you are not wearing one, the results could be catastrophic. You could suffer a serious injury or even die.
  • Sports Injuries: Contact sports can be fun and rewarding, but if you aren’t careful, you could be seriously injured. Spinal cord injuries occur in football quite frequently, with injuries reportedly being seen in 10% to 15% of injured players. This includes high school, college, and professional football players.
  • Spinal Tumors: Regrettably, tumors can develop on the spine at any given time. If it develops near the spinal cord, it could put severe pressure on the vertebrae and cause additional pain, nerve damage, or even paralysis. If you believe you have a spinal tumor, contact your doctor as soon as you can to find out. The sooner you are able to uncover it, the better the chances are that it can be removed.
  • Bad Falls: One of the most common injuries that causes spinal damage is a bad fall. It can happen to anybody at any time. A slippery floor, debris on the street, tripping on your own feet. All of it can be the start of a lifelong chronic condition. Be wary of where you step. Wear sensible shoes when venturing outside or walking in areas you know to be somewhat dangerous.

There could be cases where you have developed a spinal cord injury but may not be aware of it. Paralysis does not just happen overnight all the time. It can be a gradual process that gets increasingly worse as you go about your day, totally unaware that your spinal cord is compromised. If you start to feel any of the following symptoms and cannot seem to figure out what is causing them, you may want to see a doctor and have them check your spinal cord:

  • Numbness or tingling in your hands and feet.
  • A total loss of feeling in your hands and feet.
  • A feeling of partial or total paralysis.
  • Random feelings of pain and/or pressure in your head, neck, and/or back.
  • An overwhelming sense of inexplicable physical weakness.
  • Loss of bladder and bowel control.
  • A sudden difficulty walking or moving around.
  • Problems with your breathing.
  • Erectile dysfunction or a loss of sexual libido.

Complete vs. Incomplete

There are two main forms of spinal cord injury. Your treatment will depend on which one you are dealing with:

  • Incomplete Injury: If your spinal cord injury is incomplete, that means that it is retaining some semblance of function, and some messages are still being received from and sent to the brain. If you have an incomplete injury, you may still have a bit of feeling in your body below the injured area.
  • Complete Injury: If your spinal cord injury is complete, then the function is absolutely lost. Your injury has caused messages to no longer be sent from or to the brain, and you have no feeling anywhere in your body below the injured area.

Proving Negligence

It is not always easy to prove negligence in a personal injury case. Negligence is a legal term that describes actions taken by someone that directly or indirectly caused someone else to be injured or killed. When you seek compensatory damages in a legal case, you have to prove that someone acted negligently in order to succeed in receiving compensation for your injuries.

The burden of proof falls upon the plaintiff in a spinal cord injury case, which means it is up to you and your lawyer to prove that the defendant participated in negligent behavior. You will need to prove the following in order to prove negligence then:

  • There was a duty of care owed to the plaintiff by the defendant.
  • The defendant breached that duty of care.
  • The breach in question is what led to the spinal cord injury.
  • The victim suffered damages and is owed compensation.

Your lawyer will help you develop your case and gather the necessary evidence to prove all of those statements. When you do receive compensation, here are some of the different things you can be compensated for:

  • Medical Expenses
  • Physical Therapy/Rehabilitation
  • Lost Wages
  • Lost Earning Capacity
  • Property Damage
  • Pain and Suffering
  • Emotional Distress
  • Punitive Damages

A spinal cord injury causes lasting damage to your entire body, and your compensation package should reflect the amount of care, rehabilitation, and psychological effort it will take to recover.


Q: How Much Can You Get for a Spinal Cord Injury?

A: There is no official set amount that you can receive as compensation for a spinal cord injury. Every case is different and carries with it a different set of circumstances. The amount you will receive in compensation is dependent on multiple factors, including the severity of your injuries, the amount you have spent on medical expenses, the willingness of the insurance company to compromise, and how compromised your future earning potential may be, among other factors.

Q: Has Anyone Ever Fully Recovered From a Spinal Cord Injury?

A: A full recovery from a spinal cord injury is exceedingly rare, according to the National Library of Medicine. The rare case in question was a patient who suffered a complete spinal cord injury and lost all function below their injured area for 6 weeks. Over the next 17 years, they made an astonishing gradual recovery that resulted in an almost total revival of their motor functions. However, this kind of recovery is not the norm. Full recovery is very rare.

Q: Is a Spinal Cord Injury Considered a Disability?

A: Yes, a spinal cord injury is considered a disability. Those who suffer spinal cord injuries deal with serious afflictions that impact their ability to hold gainful employment. Thus, they must pursue disability benefits in the place of holding a full-time job. Not every spinal cord injury victim will lose the ability to find work. However, the affliction itself does count as a disability if the right criteria are met, which includes medical proof of the severity of your injury.

Q: Which Doctor Is Right for a Spinal Cord Injury?

A: When you suffer a spinal cord injury, the doctor you will most likely want to take care of your immediate recovery is a neurologist. A neurologist focuses on spinal cord injuries and other injuries or conditions that affect the nervous system. You will likely be dealing with a team of medical specialists who all focus on different areas of the body that are being affected by your spinal cord injury. Overall, you will want a doctor who knows the most effective way to treat your injury.

Reach Out to a Spinal Cord Injury Lawyer Today

Dealing with the fallout of a spinal cord injury can be some of the hardest times of your entire life. If your injury is particularly severe, you may be dealing with paralysis and having to adjust to a new quality of life you were likely not prepared to be living. You may be feeling betrayed by the world, depressed, angry, and despondent. It’s understandable to feel like that.

However, your injury does not have to be the end of your life. Seeking compensation can be a way to seek closure and begin life anew. The legal team at Shaffer Law understands what you are going through and is prepared to offer you the help you need to fight for what you deserve. We can help you build your case, gather the necessary evidence, and advocate on your behalf in court if it comes to that. Contact us to schedule a consultation as soon as you can.

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