Spine injuries often result in serious, life-altering consequences. In the most severe cases, victims suffer permanent paralysis; in “milder” cases, they may be left with chronic pain, physical limitations, and significant impairments. The cost of treating such injuries can be exorbitant, ultimately leaving victims and their families facing immense physical, emotional, and financial challenges.
At Ayala, Morgan & Buzzard, we strive to hold negligent parties accountable when their careless or reckless conduct leads to devastating injuries. If you or someone you love suffered a spinal cord injury as a result of someone else’s negligence, turn to our San Francisco spine injury lawyers for the dedicated legal representation you need.
When you have been injured, you don't just need an attorney. You need an advocate.
Types of Spine Injuries
While there are many different types of spinal cord injuries, these injuries are classified into two categories:
- Complete Spinal Cord Injuries: A complete spinal cord injury is one in which all communication is cut off between the brain and the body below the point of injury.
- Incomplete Spinal Cord Injuries: With an incomplete spinal cord injury, some communication is typically retained between the brain and the body below the point of injury.
Complete spinal cord injuries often lead to temporary or permanent total paralysis; incomplete spinal cord injuries may result in temporary or permanent partial paralysis, as well as a host of complications, such as loss of motor function, loss of sensation, incontinence, sexual dysfunction, muscle spasms, exaggerated reflexes, chronic pain, and more.
Some examples of complete and incomplete spine injuries include:
- Compression injuries
- Slipped, herniated, or ruptured discs
- Sprains and strains
- Torn or stretched muscles, tendons, or ligaments
- Fractured vertebrae
- Nerve damage
The location of the injury, as well as its severity, plays a significant role in its effects. That being said, all spinal cord injuries are considered serious and require professional medical treatment.
What Are the Most Common Causes of Spinal Cord Injuries?
In the U.S., the most common causes of spinal cord injuries include:
- Car, motorcycle, truck, and other motor vehicle accidents
- Falls, including slip and falls
- Violence, including assault and attempted suicide
- Sports- and recreation-related accidents
Other common causes of serious spine injuries include pedestrian and bicycle accidents, Uber and Lyft collisions, workplace accidents, and other traumatic events.
According to the Mayo Clinic, you are more likely to suffer a spinal cord injury if you:
- Are male
- Are between the ages of 16 and 30 or over 64
- Have certain diseases or disorders
- Use alcohol
- Engage in risky behavior
At Ayala, Morgan & Buzzard, we recognize that anyone can suffer a serious spine injury. Often, these injuries result from factors outside of the victim’s control, such as the negligence of another motorist or the criminal activity of someone else. When this is the case, our San Francisco spine injury attorneys are prepared to fight for the justice you deserve.
Whiplash is often portrayed in media as a mild injury that is "played up" by someone looking for a good settlement. In reality, whiplash can actually be extremely painful, disabling, and have long-term consequences.
Whiplash happens most often when the abruptness of a car crash causes someone's head to abruptly move back and forth. However, it can also happen due to other incidents, such as a fall or high impact sports. More serious whiplash tends to occur in older people, but of course, a severe injury can happen to anyone.
It's very important to seek medical care after an accident if you think you may have whiplash, because fractures and dislocations may have occured.
Damages in Spine Injury Cases
Due to their severe nature, spinal cord injuries often require extensive medical attention and ongoing treatment. In some cases, victims will suffer lifelong challenges, requiring in-home assistance and around-the-clock care. They may be unable to return to their past employment or even work at all. In short, the full physical, mental, emotional, and financial cost of a spinal cord injury can be exorbitant.
Our lawyers work tirelessly to secure the maximum compensation our spine injury clients need to manage past, current, and future losses, including but not limited to:
- Ambulance and hospital costs
- Surgeries and other treatments
- Medications, including pain medications
- Medical equipment and devices
- Home modifications and other disability accommodations
- Lost income, wages, and employment benefits
- Future lost earnings
- Lost or diminished earning capacity
- Pain and suffering
- Emotional distress and trauma
- Therapy/counseling costs
In some cases, we may also be able to recover punitive damages. These are intended to punish the defendant for wrongdoing—i.e., negligent or unlawful conduct—and are generally available only in cases involving egregious negligence, wanton/willful misconduct, or intentional infliction of injury.
Why You Need a Spinal Cord Injury Lawyer
Although you are not required by law to hire a personal injury lawyer to file a spine injury claim, there are many reasons to work with a professional legal team. First, studies have shown that people who work with attorneys tend to receive significantly higher personal injury settlements than those who try to resolve their cases on their own. Working with an attorney can not only improve the overall outcome of your case, but it can also help resolve your claim faster, as insurance companies know that attorneys have the resources and experience to pursue maximum compensation.
When you work with an attorney, you also allow yourself the ability to focus on your physical recovery. You won’t have to worry about dealing with the insurance company, gathering evidence to support your claim, or fighting for a fair recovery. Instead, our team at Ayala, Morgan & Buzzard can take care of all the legal details of your case, allowing you to spend your time and energy on getting proper medical care and moving forward with your life.
When you turn to our firm for help with your claim, you can count on us to be there for you every step of the way. We offer free consultations with zero obligation to you. We also provide all our legal services on a contingency fee basis, meaning you do not owe anything unless we recover compensation for you.