Spinal cord injuries are one of the most devastating consequences of serious car accidents. In fact, according to the Mayo Clinic, car accidents are the leading cause of spinal cord injuries in the United States, accounting for nearly half of all new spinal cord injuries diagnosed each year.
Victims who've sustained spinal cord injuries in car accidents caused by drunk, drugged, distracted, drowsy, reckless or otherwise negligent drivers may be entitled to compensation for injuries and other accident-related losses. Are you living with the effects of a car accident spinal cord injury? Here's what you need to know.
Types of Spinal Cord Injuries
Spinal cord injuries are often categorized by their location and severity or “completeness.” A “complete” spinal cord injury is one that results in a total loss of feeling and motor function below the injury, while an “incomplete” injury is one in which the victim retains at least some sensory and motor function below the injured area.
Just as car accidents are a leading cause of spinal cord injuries, spinal cord injuries are a leading cause of paralysis. Depending on the circumstances of the spinal cord injury, the resulting paralysis may be partial, total, temporary, or permanent. Quadriplegia, also known as tetraplegia, is one of the most serious types of paralysis, affecting the hands, arms, torso, legs, and pelvis. Car accident spinal cord injuries can also cause paraplegia, a paralysis affecting part or all of the torso, pelvis, and legs.
Living With Spinal Cord Injuries
Unfortunately, spinal cord injuries and resulting paralysis can affect nearly every aspect of an accident victim's life and lead to issues with:
- Bladder and bowel control
- Tactile sensation loss
- Muscle tone
- Respiratory control
- Chronic pain
- Sexual health
- Mental health
- Weight loss
- Muscle atrophy
Most, if not all, victims of car accident-related spinal cord injuries require long-term or even lifelong medical treatment. Also, depending on the extent of the injuries, victims may be unable to hold a job or even care for themselves. They may require assistive devices such as wheelchairs, in-home health care, or round-the-clock care in a residential facility.
Potential Damages for Spinal Cord Car Accident Injuries
After a car accident spinal cord injury, the cost of necessary treatments and care can add up quickly and, before they know it, victims can find themselves buried under an ever-growing mountain of unexpected debt. Money is the last thing car accident victims should have to worry about at a time when they should be able to focus on feeling better physically.
Fortunately, California car accident victims are not without legal recourse. The law gives victims injured in accidents caused by someone else's negligence the right to sue the at-fault party for a wide range of economic and non-economic damages, such as:
- Accident-related medical expenses—including doctor visits, hospital stays, surgical procedures, rehabilitative therapies, assistive devices, and medical-related travel
- Lost wages
- Loss of earning capacity
- Pain and suffering
- Mental anguish
- Loss of quality of life
- Loss of enjoyment of life
- Life care needs
- And more
A knowledgeable personal injury attorney with experience handling car accident cases can advise clients about the types of damages to which they might be entitled.
Do You Need an Experienced Car Accident Attorney?
If you suffered a spinal cord injury in a car accident, you may be worried that your life will never be as it was before the crash. While the Inland Empire Law Group's skilled attorneys cannot turn back time and prevent your accident or assist with your medical recovery, we can help you understand your legal rights and options after an accident, and help you fight for the compensation you deserve and all compensation that may be available.
Our personal injury professionals, including our attorneys and paralegals, are happy to answer your questions and address any concerns you may have about taking legal action. Contact us today at (888) 694-3529 to schedule an appointment for a free, no-obligation initial consultation to discuss the details of your car accident case.