When you or someone you love suffer a spinal cord injury in San Diego your life will be changed forever. Extensive medical treatment, rehabilitation, limited mobility, and physical pain and suffering are all realities that you may have to face. If your spinal cord injury was caused by another person’s negligence you may be entitled to recover compensation from that person. Contact Injury Trial Lawyers, APC to learn how we can get you the money you need after your life-changing accident.
Our San Diego personal injury attorneys have over 35 years of combined legal experience and have seen the toll a spinal cord injury can take on a victim. We will fight to make sure that the negligent party is held accountable for their actions and that you are fairly compensated for your injuries. Call Injury Trial Lawyers, APC today to schedule a free consultation. We will review your case, determine liability, and answer any questions you have.
Spinal Cord Injuries in San Diego
Your spinal cord is a column of nerves that is responsible for major bodily functions, including movement, breathing, and feeling. A spinal cord injury occurs when your spinal cord becomes damaged and results in the loss of some of these functions. There is no requirement that you become fully paralyzed; any loss of movement or feeling is sufficient. Examples of other commonly reported spinal cord injuries include:
- Paralysis (loss of motor function in some or all of the body);
- Paraplegia (loss of motor function in the lower half of the body);
- Quadriplegia (loss of motor function in all of your limbs);
- Difficulty breathing;
- Inability to regulate body temperature;
- Loss of speech;
- Inability to control the bladder;
- Loss of fertility; and
- Chronic pain.
Causes of San Diego Spinal Cord Injuries
Spinal cord injuries are usually the result of traumatic accidents that cause sharp and sudden movement of the spine. Our San Diego personal injury attorneys have helped clients recover compensation for spinal cord injuries that have been caused by:
- Car accidents;
- Motorcycle accidents;
- Bicycle accidents;
- Pedestrian accidents;
- Medical malpractice;
- Boating accidents;
- Slip and falls;
- Defective products; and
- Construction accidents.
If you have suffered a spinal cord injury in a San Diego accident do not hesitate to call Injury Trial Lawyers, APC for a free consultation. We will explain the steps involved in filing a personal injury claim for damages and answer any questions you have.
Spinal Cord Injury Damages
Spinal cord injuries are some of the most serious injuries a person can sustain. If you have suffered a spinal cord injury you understand that your life may never be the same again. Whether your accident left you paralyzed, suffering from chronic and uncontrollable pain, or without the ability to speak you will likely be faced with a lifetime of costly medical care and treatment. Fortunately, San Diego accident victims can file a personal injury claim to recover damages from the person who is responsible for their injury. These damages can be invaluable as fight your way through your spinal cord injury recovery.
According to the Dana and Christopher Reeve Foundation, spinal cord injury victims can expect to spend between $347,000 and $1 Million in medical costs after an accident. Fortunately, you can recover damages for medical expenses you incur because of your spinal cord injury. These include costs for spinal surgery, trauma care, rehabilitation, medical equipment, prescription medication, and specialist consultations. If you are required to travel to certain specialists to receive medical care, you can also recover the cost of your trips.
Many spinal cord injury victims will require some form nursing or long-term care for the rest of their lives. Economic damages can be awarded to pay for the long-term care costs that you incur because of your accident. Costs that you may have include those for in-home nursing care, assisted living facilities, and modifications to the home.
Reduced Earning Capacity
If your spinal cord injury limits your ability to work – or prevents you from working, at all – you can recover compensation to make up for your reduced earning capacity. Using a vocational expert, you will have to determine the lifetime earnings that you will lose because of your injury.
Pain and Suffering
Spinal cord injury victims are often plagued with chronic pain. It can be difficult to move on with your life when you are suffering from significant pain. Non-economic damages can be awarded to compensate you for pain and suffering and other hard-to-value injuries.
Statute of Limitations for Spinal Cord Injury Cases
In California, an invisible clock begins to run the moment you suffer a spinal cord injury. This clock, which is known as the statute of limitations, will run for a period of two years. If you do not file a personal injury claim for damages before the statute of limitations expires you generally be prohibited from recovering the money you need. However, the statute of limitations can be extended in certain situations. If there is a reasonable delay in the discovery of your injury you will have one year from the date of that discovery to file a claim. If you are a minor at the time of your injury or if the at-fault party is unavailable, the statute of limitations will be paused until you are 18 or the at-fault party is available.
In some cases, the government may be responsible for your spinal cord injury. If you were injured because of a government entity or employee’s negligence you can request to be compensated by the government. However, a different set of rules apply when you file a claim against the government. Instead of two years, you will have six months from the date of your accident to file a special administrative claim.
Liability for Spinal Cord Injuries
When someone else’s actions cause you to suffer an injury they may be financially liable for your harm. This includes private citizens, companies, employers, merchants, hospitality groups, and even the government. In California, if more than one person is responsible for an injury, each can be held responsible to the degree they caused your harm.
For example, let’s say you were driving and struck by another car when they sped through a traffic signal. As a result, you suffered a serious spinal cord injury and $1 Million in damages. There were two contributing factors to the accident that cause your injury. The first is that the driver of the car that struck you was speeding at the time of the accident. The second is that the traffic signal was malfunctioning. Both the driver of the other car and the government responsible for keeping the traffic signals working properly could be liable for your injury. Each would be responsible for damages to the degree they contributed to the accident. So, if each party is determined to be 50% at fault for the accident, each would be responsible for 50% of your damages.
Comparative Fault of the Victim
If you contribute to the accident that causes your injury you will not be disallowed from recovering compensation, but the amount you can recover will be limited. For example, let’s say that in the above example you were texting at the time of the accident, and it is determined that you were 30% responsible for the accident. As a result, the other driver and the local government would only be 70% at-fault and responsible for 70% of your damages. In other words, your damages will be reduced by the degree of your own contributory fault.
Experienced San Diego Personal Injury Attorneys
Have you suffered a spinal cord injury in a San Diego accident? Contact Injury Trial Lawyers, APC to learn about how we can maximize the compensation you receive from a personal injury claim for damages. Our San Diego personal injury lawyers have more than three decades of combined legal experience. During this time, we have handled thousands of complex personal injury matters, including those for spinal cord injury cases. We know that the award you receive is essential to your future, so we will fight to make sure that you are properly compensated for your spinal cord injury.
You have a limited amount of time to act, so do not hesitate to call us today. We will review your case, explain your rights, and answer any questions you have.