Sacramento Spinal Cord Injury Attorney

If you or a loved one has suffered from a spinal cord injury caused by another’s negligence, you may be entitled to significant compensation. The Sacramento spinal cord injury lawyers at Rosenthal Law are ready to help.

Spinal cord injuries are often devastating for victims and families. These severe injuries can completely alter a person’s ability to live a normal life, and they can lead to tremendous expenses. Our law firm has extensive experience handling catastrophic injury cases and is ready to investigate every aspect of your case in order to secure the compensation you need.

X-ray of spinal cord injury


Why Should I Hire an Attorney?

A Sacramento spinal cord injury lawyer is going to be your lifeline when it comes to recovering compensation for your losses. If your injury was caused by the actions of another party, you still have to prove the other party’s negligence before you can recover compensation through an insurance settlement or as a result of a personal injury lawsuit.

When you work with a Sacramento personal injury lawyer, you will have an advocate ready to use their resources to help you every step of the way. This begins with an investigation into the incident to uncover evidence to prove what happened. You need to show that the other party’s negligence caused the spinal cord injury. While this is going on, your attorney will make sure that you are evaluated by a medical professional who can help adequately assess your healthcare needs, along with helping determine how much compensation you will need to get through this.

Your spinal cord injury lawyer will also be responsible for handling all negotiations with other parties involved. Additionally, they will be the ones to file all paperwork for your lawsuit if one becomes necessary to recover the compensation you need. Finally, your lawyer will fully represent you in front of a jury trial if needed.

What Compensation Can I Recover for a Spinal Cord Injury?

It is important to examine a multitude of issues revolving around compensation for spinal cord injuries in Sacramento. These types of catastrophic injury claims are not as straightforward as typical personal injury cases. Spinal cord injury victims, particularly those who experience any level of paralysis, are likely to need compensation for extended periods of time, possibly for the remainder of their life. In other words, a settlement or jury verdict must take into account these long-term expenses.

Cost of a Spinal Cord Injury

Data from the National Spinal Cord Injury Statistical Center (NSCISC) shows us varying levels of spinal cord injury severity along with the costs associated with the first year of medical care (2019 dollar amounts):

  • High tetraplegia – $1,149,000
  • Low tetraplegia – $830,000
  • Paraplegia – $560,000
  • Motor functional at any level – $375,000

When examining these costs, as tremendous as they are, we have to consider this as the low end of any possible settlement. These are the first-year medical costs, and the NSCISC shows that each following year of medical care can range from around $40,000 to approximately $200,000, again depending on the severity of the injury.

Economic Damages

Medical costs aside, there are a variety of other expenses that must be taken into account for spinal cord injury victims in Sacramento. When our team works to secure a long-term settlement for individuals who have sustained spinal cord trauma, we also work to gather the following:

  • Complete compensation for lost wages caused by the injury and any disability
  • Payment for household service assistance such as cleaning and yard work
  • Coverage of any remodeling of a home that must occur to help with mobility
  • Payment for new vehicles that can incorporate mobility equipment such as wheelchairs
  • Coverage of transportation costs to and from spinal cord injury specialists
  • Payment for the expensive medical equipment needed for those who sustain paralysis
  • Coverage of prescription medications

These are just some of the economic damages associated with Sacramento spinal cord injuries.

Non-Economic Damages

Our team also takes into account the non-economic damages that spinal cord injury victims will inevitably experience. This type of compensation is just as important as coverage of the economic losses mentioned above. We strive to recover the following:

  • Physical pain and suffering damages
  • Emotional and psychological pain and suffering damages
  • Loss of quality of life damages
  • Loss of consortium for a spouse

There is no set amount of compensation paid to spinal cord injury victims if their claim is successful. Various factors must be examined when calculating what a “fair settlement” will actually look like. Each case is different. Factors such as the life expectancy of the individual, their education level and type of employment, their current standard of living, and the overall severity of the injury will be closely examined by medical professionals and economic experts.

Types of Spinal Cord Injuries

The vast majority of spinal cord injuries are trauma-based, and there are a wide variety of ways that these types of injuries occur. However, at the most basic level of classification, we can see that there are two types of spinal cord injuries – complete spinal cord injury and incomplete spinal cord injury.

  • Complete spinal cord injury. This refers to the injury causing permanent damage to the area of the spinal cord that was affected, and individuals typically experience paralysis from the injury site down. The spinal cord does not necessarily have to be severed in order for a person to experience a complete spinal cord injury.
  • Incomplete spinal cord injury. This type of injury refers to partial damage to the spinal cord in the injury area, and individuals may be able to experience various levels of feeling and movement below the area of the injury.

When we further examine the types of spinal cord injuries that can occur, we can see classifications as follows:

Cervical Spine Injury

This refers to the upper area of the spine that we typically think of as our neck region. Injuries to the cervical spinal cord can affect the head and neck area above the shoulders. This is the most severe level of spinal cord trauma and often leads to individuals experiencing complete paralysis (quadriplegia).

Thoracic Spine Injury

Right below the cervical spine is the thoracic spinal cord. The thoracic spinal cord area runs from the upper back to about halfway down the back. Thoracic spinal cord injuries will affect the upper chest, the abdominal muscles, and the mid back. Typically, we see individuals will retain arm and hand function if they experience paralysis as a result of a thoracic spine injury.

Lumbar Spine Injury

The lumbar spine is underneath the thoracic spine and runs towards the top of the buttocks area. Individuals who experience lumbar spinal cord injuries will see their hips and legs affected. Lumbar spine injury victims may need a wheelchair, or they may be able to walk with braces.

Sacral Spine Injury

The sacral spine is the lowest part of the spinal column and runs through our buttocks area. Sacral spinal cord injuries typically affect the hips, buttocks, back of the thighs, and pelvic organs. Individuals are most likely able to walk if they experience a sacral spinal cord injury.

Causes of Spinal Cord Injuries

Spinal cord injuries can occur in a wide variety of ways, and these injuries are usually the result of some type of traumatic incident. The NSCISC show this data over a five year. Ranging from 2015 to 2020. During that time frame, the most common causes of spinal cord injuries include the following:

Vehicle Accidents

Vehicle accidents were responsible for approximately 38% of all spinal cord injuries during that reporting period. This includes incidents involving traditional passenger vehicles, pedestrian or bicycle accidents, truck and bus accidents, ATV accidents, etc.

Falls from Any Level

Fall injuries often result in significant trauma to the spine, particularly for those who fall from one level to another. These types of falls can include falling from scaffolding, falling off of homes or buildings, falling into holes or trenches, etc.

Acts of Violence

The most common acts of violence responsible for spinal cord injuries are shootings. Bullets will tear through the spinal cord and leave a complete spinal cord injury, meaning individuals are often paralyzed from the site of the shooting down.

Sports Accidents

Incidents involving contact sports often lead to significant spinal cord injuries. This can include sports such as football, soccer, and rugby, as well as activities such as cheerleading and gymnastics.

Medical or Surgical Errors

Medical errors are a leading cause of death in the United States, but individuals are often left paralyzed due to the mistakes made by a medical professional.

Man in wheelchair after spinal cord injury

Proving Liability in a Sacramento Spinal Injury Case

Anytime a spinal injury is caused by the careless or negligent actions of another person, entity, or business, one of the most important things will be to establish liability. Spinal cord injuries will need to prove various elements in order to recover compensation in these cases. This includes showing that the at-fault party owed a duty of care to the victim. Victims must then show that there has been a breach of duty.

For example, vehicle drivers owe a duty of care to other drivers and passengers around them on the roadway. If they fail to operate a vehicle safely (i.e. drunk or distracted driving), then they have breached their duty to others around them. After showing that a duty of care existed and that the duty was breached, a victim will need to show that the breach of duty caused the accident that resulted in the spinal cord injury.

This is just one example of how these cases could arise and how liability could be proven. Every case is different. Other injury cases may involve employer negligence or medical malpractice. However, the basic fundamentals of each case will remain the same – duty, breach, injuries, and damage.

Is there a Time Limit for Spinal Cord Injury Claims in California?

Each state is responsible for setting a time limit on how long victims have to file lawsuits against alleged negligent parties to recover damages. In California, the statute of limitations for personal injury claims is typically two years from the date the injury occurred. The statute of limitations for injuries caused by medical negligence is three years from the date the injury occurred or from the date that the medical negligence was discovered.

It is vital to keep these statutes of limitation in mind when pursuing personal injury claims to secure compensation. An experienced Sacramento spinal cord injury lawyer will ensure that all claims are filed on time and that all court deadlines are met.

Contact Our Sacramento Spinal Cord Injury Attorney

If you or a loved one have sustained a spinal cord injury as a result of the negligent actions of another individual or entity in the Sacramento area, you need to reach out to a spinal injury attorney immediately. These claims can become incredibly complicated, but an attorney will help handle every aspect of the claim on your behalf.

A Sacramento spinal cord injury lawyer will work diligently to recover complete compensation for your losses, including medical bills, pain and suffering damages, lost income, and more. You can contact our law firm online for a free consultation of your case or call (916) 774-7200. Our Roseville spinal cord injury attorneys are passionate about helping our clients recover financial compensation for their serious injuries.