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spine injury lawyerSpinal injuries are some of the most tragic things we have seen at Law Offices of Samer Habbas & Associates, PC. The spinal cord plays a critical role in movement and balance. Any damage to the cord itself can disrupt the path of neurological signals through the body. As a result, victims can be paralyzed below the point of impact or otherwise suffer impaired movement and sensation.

Spinal cord injuries can result in huge settlements because patients have massive costs. Contact a California spinal injury attorney to review your legal rights.

What Medical Care Does A Spinal Cord Injury Require?

It depends on the injury, but many people need:

  • Surgery to stabilize the spine.
  • Surgery to remove bone fragments, which can cut the spinal cord or compress nerves.
  • Prevention of shock.
  • Prevention or treatment of common complications, such as respiratory problems or the formation of blood clots.
  • Monitoring in the intensive care unit.

Once a patient is stabilized, medical care will focus on preventing long-term complications, such as:

  • Muscle contracture
  • Bowel or bladder issues
  • Infections
  • Blood clots
  • Pressure ulcers

Do Spinal Cord Injury Victims Receive Rehabilitation?

Usually. According to the Mayo Clinic, your team will likely consist of:

  • Physical therapist
  • Occupational therapist
  • Rehabilitation psychologist
  • Dietitian
  • Recreational therapist
  • Social worker
  • Specialists in spinal cord injuries

Physical therapy helps some spinal cord victims regain lost functioning and regain a measure of independence. A lot depends on the seriousness of your spinal cord injury. You are more likely to recover from a bruise on your spinal cord than a major cut.

How Much Does This Medical Care Cost?

Spinal cord injuries are some of the most expensive you could suffer. The location of the injury, as well as its severity, will impact the cost of care.

The University of Alabama at Birmingham published statistics on the cost of spinal cord injuries. They found the following average medical costs:

  • High tetraplegia injury: $1,149,629 in the first year and $199,637 for each subsequent year
  • Low tetraplegia injury: $830,708 in the first year and $122,468 each subsequent year
  • Paraplegia: $560,287 in the first year and $74,221 each subsequent year
  • Motor function impairment: $375,196 in the first year and $45,572 each subsequent year

Lifetime costs will depend, of course, on your age when you were injured. However, someone injured in their 20s could see over $5,000,000 in medical expenses throughout their life. Even a relatively minor incomplete injury could cost over $1,000,000 for a person’s life.

These numbers were calculated as of 2019. Medical care inflation is real, so the numbers can only go up.

What Other Expenses Do People Incur For A California Spinal Cord Injury?

The above numbers only cover the cost of medical care to the patient. Other expenses include remodeling a home for a wheelchair. You might need to add a ramp, put a bedroom on the first floor, and make other expensive changes. Depending on where you live, you might need to move. For example, your home might be a second-floor walkup apartment. You will need to move to a ground-level home or a place with an elevator.

Remember to factor in transportation costs. You might need a van to transport a disabled spouse, which can be much more expensive.

How Much Do Victims Lose In Income?

That will depend on the patient. The University of Alabama numbers don’t consider lost income or earning capacity. Someone with a spinal cord injury will undoubtedly miss some work.

If the injury is serious, you could miss months or years. Even if your health stabilizes, you might never be able to return to your job. Many people with spinal cord injuries are permanently disabled. Others can return to lower-paying jobs, possibly part-time. Either way, they lose out on income.

Can You Receive Compensation For A Spinal Cord Injury?

Yes. It depends on who or what caused your injury. Let’s say an 18-wheeler crashes into your car on the freeway because the driver was intoxicated. You can sue the trucker and probably the employer, too. If you establish fault, you can request compensation for:

  • Current and future medical care, including future surgeries, rehab, and at-home help
  • Lost income and lost earning capacity
  • Damage to your property (such as car damage)
  • Pain and suffering
  • Disability
  • Disfigurement

As with any other accident, you need to establish fault. You can’t be 100% responsible for your accident. 

What Challenges Do I Face Receiving Compensation?

Because spinal cord victims have significant losses, there is always a question of whether the defendant can pay. Let’s say you are hit by a driver who only carries minimum insurance. The driver has no other assets. In this example, you are limited to the amount of the insurance policy (which might only be $15,000). This means many insurance victims will have uncompensated losses.

However, if you were hurt by a business, then they should have a sizeable insurance policy. Your odds of receiving meaningful compensation go up considerably.

Other challenges include getting the evidence you need. Medical care can exhaust a family’s limited amount of time and energy. But you can only obtain compensation if you establish fault.

How Can A California Personal Injury Lawyer Help?

We will get to work immediately handling your claim if you hire us. You can focus entirely on what matters most—focusing on your injuries. Your family can also help without worrying about insurance calls, forms to fill out, and other hassles. We will do all the legal legwork for you.

We will also search for all available sources of compensation. Sometimes more than one person is responsible for an accident. For example, a car accident might be caused by a negligent motorist and a road defect. Or a defect on your car contributed to a crash. By adding defendants, we try to increase the odds of financial recovery.

Spinal Cord Attorneys Protecting Your Legal Rights

Law Offices of Samer Habbas & Associates, PC can represent you in a spinal cord injury case. We are working on a contingency fee agreement. You will never have to pay attorneys’ fees unless we win your case. Contact a California personal injury attorney today to learn more.

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