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Solana Beach Spinal Cord Injury Lawyers

Spinal cord injuries can be devastating and have life-long repercussions on the victim and their family. Our Solana Beach spinal cord injury lawyers at Gomez Trial Attorneys know that by taking legal action against the wrongful parties that caused your injuries, we could help you recover the compensation you need to adjust to your new way of life.

No matter if your spinal cord injury resulted from a motor vehicle accident, a product liability accident, or a medical malpractice accident, our Solana beach personal injury lawyers at Gomez Trial Attorneys are here to help you. We could go after the parties responsible for your injuries and fight for the compensation you deserve.

Gomez Trial Attorneys’ Track Record

With over $750,000,000 won in settlements and verdicts, we know how to fight for our clients. Handling some significant cases in California, our attorneys and legal staff have the resources and track record to take on prominent cases. Founded by John Gomez, a former federal prosecutor, our firm focuses exclusively on representing families, people, and small businesses that have been involved in an accident or suffered some sort of harm.

Understanding a Spinal Cord Injury

A spinal cord injury is any damage to any part of the nerves at the end of the spinal canal or the actual spinal cord. These injuries often result in permanent changes in an individual’s sensations, strength, and other body functions below the injury site. Sometimes the injury occurs because of a forceful blow or a penetration of the spinal cord. When this happens, the spinal cord may be wholly or partially severed or result in a herniated disc.

So what happens when your spinal cord is injured? There is an interference with the transmission of vital signs from your brain to the parts of your body that are affected—such as those organs or limbs controlled by those nerves that were damaged. Consequently, paralysis, weakness, pain, and numbness result.

Primary Causes of a Spinal Cord Injury

Spinal cord injuries usually result from a traumatic blow to the spine that dislocates, compresses, or crushes one or more of the vertebrae. However, these injuries can also result from a knife wound, gunshot wound, or any other penetration that cuts the spinal cord.

Yet, even though various accidents can result in a spinal cord injury, the primary causes include:

  • Motor vehicle accidents: These accidents are the leading cause of spinal cord injury, accounting for almost half of all new spinal cord injuries every year.
  • Falls: Generally, falls result in about 31 percent of all spinal cord injuries. However, for those over the age of 65, falls are the most common reason for a spinal cord injury.
  • Violent assaults: Typically, 13 percent of all spinal cord injuries are the result of some violent encounters, often involving knife or gunshot wounds.
  • Sporting accidents: Impact sports or diving in shallow water, usually result in about 10 percent of all spinal cord injuries.
  • Alcohol: Alcohol can play a significant factor in these injuries, often being the leading factor in one out of every four spinal cord injuries.

Even though there is no cure for spinal cord injuries, rehabilitation, and specific treatments allow people with a spinal cord injury to lead independent and productive lives. Besides, many scientists remain optimistic that research advances will eventually produce the cure to make spinal cord injury repair possible.

Living with a Solana Beach Spinal Cord Injury—The Costs

Unfortunately, as there is no cure, rehabilitative services can only improve functionality and comfort to an extent. Regardless of how far these victims come with their injuries, they often have to make significant changes to their life, home, and accommodations to take into account their new disabilities resulting from these spinal cord injuries.

These accommodations usually involve making their home and motor vehicle handicap-accessible. And even though these changes are required if these victims want to live the best quality of life as they can, it still is immensely expensive.

The National Spinal Cord Injury Statistical Center (NSCISC) has estimated that an individual who suffers a spinal cord injury, can expect to spend the following amounts in the first year after their accident:

  • High tetraplegia (C1 to C4 vertebrae): $1,102,403
  • Low tetraplegia (C5 to C8 vertebrae): $796,583
  • Paraplegia: $537,271
  • Incomplete motor function at any vertebra: $359,783

Spinal Cord Injury Emergency Sign and Symptoms

After an accident, it is critical to watch out for the following emergency symptoms and signs that can signify a spinal cord injury:

  • Extreme back pain or pressure in the head, back, or the neck
  • Incoordination, weakness, or paralysis any part of the body
  • Numbness or a loss of sensation in your fingers, feet, hands or toes
  • Bladder Loss or bowel control loss
  • Balance difficulties
  • Walking difficulties
  • Breathing that is impaired after an injury
  • Oddly positioned neck or back

Spinal Cord Injury Effects on Your Body

The ability to control your body and limbs after a spinal cord injury depends on two elements: the severity of the injury, and the location of the injury on your spinal cord.

The severity of the injury is usually referred to as the completeness and is classified by the following:

  • Incomplete: After the accident, if you have some sensory or motor function below the affected area, the spinal cord injury is incomplete.
  • Complete: If all your control movement abilities (motor functions) and all feelings (sensory) are lost below the injury, your spinal cord injury is referred to as complete.

In addition, if your spinal cord injury results in paralysis, it is also referred to as:

  • Tetraplegia. (also called quadriplegia). When this occurs, your arms, hands, trunk, legs, and pelvic organs are all affected.
  • Paraplegia. This paralysis will usually affect part or all of the legs, pelvic organs, and trunk.

After a spinal cord injury, your symptoms may occur right away or progress with time, and include:

  • The loss of movement
  • The loss of bladder or bowel control
  • Spasms or exaggerated reflexes
  • Altered sensation, including how you can feel cold and heat
  • Sexual function changes, including fertility and sexual sensitivity
  • Intense stinging sensations or pain caused by nerve fiber damage in your spinal cord
  • Breathing difficulty, clearing or coughing secretions from the lungs

Types of Lawsuits You Could Pursue In Solana Beach For Your Spinal Cord Injury

Medical Malpractice

If your spinal cord injury resulted from a medical professional error, or a doctor/ surgeon directly caused your damage, you may file a negligence claim against them. However, to succeed in this claim, you need to prove that the medical doctor had a duty of care, this duty was breached, you suffered a spinal cord injury, and the breach was the cause of the injury. What makes these cases so complex is proving that the doctor’s actions directly caused your injury.

That is why it is crucial to contact an experienced Solana Beach spinal cord injury lawyer at Gomez Trial Attorneys as soon as possible. Our attorneys have proven medical malpractice causation by reviewing procedure notes, interviewing witnesses, looking over medical documents, investigating a doctor’s background, and discussing with experts that can help prove liability. Allow us to investigate your case and see if we can help you.

Car Accidents

If the spinal cord injury resulted from a negligent accident such as a car crash, and the accident was the fault of another individual, you may recover compensation for your losses. Most of these cases are brought under the theory of negligence, and you would need to prove four elements to collect your damages. These elements include: the wrongful party or the defendant owed you a duty of care, this duty was breached, you suffered a spinal cord injury, and the breach directly caused this injury.

Product Liability

Negligence suits can also encompass product liability cases. For example, if you believe that the car accident resulted from a faulty car part, you may recover compensation from the manufacturer.

However, you would need to prove the following:

  • The manufacturer had a duty to sell you a safe product,
  • The manufacturer breached this duty, by knowing or should have known of the defect, and
  • This defect caused your spinal cord injury.

When preparing any of these claims, you will need to gather substantial relevant evidence to prove fault and damages. That is why talking to an experienced Solana Beach spinal cord injury attorney as soon as possible can allow them to get started on this investigation process quickly. This could help lead to the discovery of critical evidence needed to prove your claim. Contact Gomez Trial Attorneys today to see if we are right for you and your claim.

Types of Compensation for Your Solana Beach Spinal Cord Injuries

Spinal cords cannot be replaced, and the damage is often irreversible. Depending on the injury’s location and the severity, you may face a lifetime of rehabilitation or specialized care. For these reasons, our legal team understands that when we fight for the compensation you deserve, we need to look at your long-term care requirements and anticipated expenses as well as your short-term care.

If you have been injured in an accident by another negligent party, and this accident resulted in your spinal cord injuries, California laws allow you the opportunity to pursue the following damages:

Economic damages: These are quantifiable damages that are meant to compensate the victim for their losses, and include:

  • Medical bills (including past and future expenses)
  • Lost wages (including past and future wages)
  • Lost earning capacity
  • Rehabilitative services
  • Domestic or household care services
  • Personal property expenses
  • Prescription medicine expenses
  • Other out-of-pocket expenses

Non-economic damages: These damages tend to be subjective losses that are not easily quantifiable, and include:

  • Pain and suffering
  • Emotional anguish
  • Loss of reputation
  • Loss of companionship
  • Loss of consortium
  • Loss of enjoyment of activities and life
  • Disfigurement

Punitive damages: In cases where the defendant’s actions were so egregious, the court may award punitive damages, which are damages meant to punish the defendant for their actions and prevent them (and others) from committing the same conduct.

Spinal Cord Statistics

Spinal cord injuries are severe traumas that often result in dire consequences.

According to the National SCI Statistical Center (NSCISC), the SCI Data Sheet has indicated that:

  • On average, 17,730 new spinal cord injuries take place every year in the United States.
  • Approximately 249,000 to 363,000 individuals are living with a spinal cord injury in the United States.
  • The length of stay in the hospital acute care unit is about 11 days.
  • The length of stay in rehabilitation, on average, is 31 days.

Solana Beach Spinal Cord Injury FAQ

Spinal cord injuries are considered one of the most horrific injuries that anyone can experience. The spinal column contains all the nerve pathways that facilitate communication with the brain. Once the spinal cord is damaged, it can result in partial or total paralysis, ultimately changing the individual’s life forever.

After suffering a spinal cord injury, most victims have numerous questions about their trauma and their future. Some frequently asked questions and answers are provided below. Contact Gomez Trial Attorneys for more information about how our legal team could help you pursue the compensation that you deserve.

1. What exactly happens in a spinal cord injury?

A spinal cord injury usually occurs when there is damage to the spinal cord or nerves at the end of a spinal canal. When this happens, the spinal cord damage can result in a loss of mobility, feeling, or a decline in function. It could also lead to permanent changes in sensation, strength, and other body functions.

Often, the backbone is responsible for protecting the spinal cord. However, in severe accidents, external trauma can overpower the backbone and cause the spinal cord to fracture or break. Numerous other factors could increase pressure to the cord, including infections and even surgeon mistakes.

In most cases, the spinal cord is bruised, pinched, or the blood supply is compromised. When this happens, there is a disruption of sensory messages and transmissions of command from the brain through the nerves and muscles. As a result, the injured individual can no longer move the affected muscles or control specific organs.

2. What are the different spinal cord injuries?

Even though many people have heard of spinal cord injuries, they may not realize that there can be different parts of the spinal cord that can get injured.

As the spine is divided into four parts, the injury’s location will dictate which part of the body is affected.

  • Cervical Injuries: These injuries can weaken both the legs and arms or result in paralysis and even quadriplegia. All the areas of the body at or below the level of the injury can be affected. Some symptoms that accompany cervical injuries include breathing problems, bladder, bowel, sexual dysfunction, and numbness.
  • Sacral Injuries: These injuries often result in loss of bladder, bowel functions, and sexual dysfunction. Usually, the shoulders, hand function, and arms are unaffected.
  • Thoracic Injuries: These injuries are less common because the rib cage helps provide this portion of the spine with some protection. However, when these injuries result, they can cause paralysis in the legs, numbness, bladder, bowel, and sexual dysfunction. The arms and hand functions are usually not affected.
  • Lumbar Injuries: Lumbar injuries can result in paralysis of the legs, as well as bowel, bladder, and sexual dysfunction and numbness. The arms, hand functions, and shoulders are often left unaffected.

3. What are the most common symptoms of a spinal cord injury?

Understanding what symptoms you are experiencing after a spinal cord injury can provide you with valuable information that could help the doctor diagnose your injury and provide you with a better chance of recovery. Additionally, this information could help your attorney figure out the full extent of your injuries, which can provide you with more significant money damages.

Some common symptoms of a spinal cord injury include:

  • Lack of coordination
  • Lack of strength
  • Extreme back pain or pressure on the head, neck, back, or spine
  • Loss of sensation in any part of the body
  • Loss of function in any part of the body
  • Tingling or numbness in the feet and hands
  • Loss of bowel control
  • Loss of bladder control
  • Difficulty balancing while you are standing
  • Difficulty walking
  • Hard time breathing
  • Severe muscle spasms
  • Stinging in the spinal cord
  • Sexual dysfunction
  • Inability to clear secretions from the lungs or throat.

4. How do Solana Beach spinal cord injuries occur?

Spinal cord injuries can occur from many different types of accidents, including:

  • Motor Vehicle Accidents
  • Workplace Accidents
  • Violence
  • Slips and Falls
  • Diseases such as Spina Bifida
  • Medical Negligence

Whatever the reason, the accident needs to be examined thoroughly. This could help ensure that your attorney goes after all the at-fault parties responsible for your injuries. Talk to an attorney at Gomez Trial Attorneys for more information.

5. Who is at fault for your Solana Beach spinal cord injuries?

If a person’s intentional actions or negligent misconduct caused an accident that resulted in your spinal cord injury, they may be held liable.

Potential defendants include:

  • Motor vehicle drivers
  • Construction businesses
  • Property owners of dangerous private or public properties
  • Product Manufacturers
  • Doctors, Surgeons, Hospitals

With your Solana Beach spinal cord injury attorney’s help, you could identify all the liable parties, establish fault, and go after the maximum amount of damages possible for your claim.

6. Do I have to show negligence in a Solana Beach spinal cord injury accident?

Yes. To pursue compensation for your injuries, you would need to prove negligence in a spinal cord injury case.

Under California law, this requires you to show the following elements exist in your case:

  • Duty: The individual(s) who injured you (the defendant) owed you a duty of care.
  • Breach: The defendant breached this duty
  • Causation: This breach, commission, or omission caused the resulting accident and spinal cord injury.
  • Damages: You suffered losses—such as medical costs or lost wages—as a result.

7. Why do you need to investigate a Solana Beach spinal cord injury accident quickly?

Following a spinal cord injury, you need to investigate the accident scene thoroughly and quickly. This includes determining what happened, what instrumentality was involved in the accident, taking down witness statements, and collecting police and medical reports. Starting this investigation as soon as possible could help you establish liability and figure out the at-fault parties. This could put you in a better position to collect full compensation.

8. What damages are available from a Solana Beach spinal cord injury accident?

Spinal cord injuries are devastating injuries that require extreme amounts of medical intervention and treatments. If this injury occurred at the hands of a negligent party, you may be entitled to specific compensation. In California, these damages include economic, non-economic, and punitive damages.

Economic damages. Economic damages are easily quantifiable damages intended to compensate the victim for the losses they have suffered.

Some examples include:

  • Medical bills (past and future)
  • Lost wages (past and future)
  • Lost earning capacity
  • Home attendant care
  • Home modifications
  • Vehicle modifications
  • Vocational training
  • Home medical equipment
  • Prescription medications
  • Counseling
  • Other out-of-pocket expenses

Non-economic damages. Non-economic damages are usually hard to quantify.

They are intended to cover subjective losses, such as:

  • Pain and Suffering
  • Mental Anguish
  • Loss of Enjoyment of Life and Activities
  • Physical Impairment
  • Disfiguration
  • Loss of Reputation
  • Loss of Consortium
  • Loss of Companionship
  • Other Non-economic Damages

Punitive damages. California courts also allow for punitive damages in rare circumstances. These damages are intended to punish the defendant for especially harmful behavior, and to deter them and others from committing the same act in the future. These damages vary depending on the circumstances of the case and are awarded at the court’s discretion.

Limitations for damages in Solana Beach. There is no real cap on damages following a Solana Beach spinal cord injury claim. Usually, the court will award whatever amount they find reasonable. An exception applies to medical malpractice lawsuits, which limits non-economic losses at $250,000.

9. How can the severity of my Solana Beach spinal cord injury determine my losses?

The injury level of a spinal cord injury is critical because the injury’s location can determine what functions a person can lose or retain. These spinal cord injuries affect not only an individual’s control, movement, and sensation but could lead to bladder and bowel issues. And, the higher the injuries are on the spinal cord, the more devastating the impairment.

The resulting losses may be complete or partial. Taking the severity of this injury into account can help dictate the type of medical treatments needed, the amount of independence you can have, and ultimately how much compensation you could pursue.

10. If my Solana Beach spinal cord injury is obvious, do I still need to retain experts to prove liability and damages?

Spinal cord injuries are extremely serious, and because of this, the fault must be established soon after the accident. Experts, including medical experts, engineers, economists, and accident reconstruction experts, could help you prove this fault.

Plus, even if your injury is apparent, the consequences may not be clear. The defendants and the insurance company could dispute the severity of your injury. However, with the help of experts and their testimony, they could show what rehabilitation care you need, what your loss of earning capacity actually is, what your future treatments will look like, and the amount of compensation necessary to cover all of your losses.

11. How much time do I have to bring a Solana Beach spinal cord injury claim?

In California, you have two years from the accident’s date to file a lawsuit. However, it is critical to understand that in certain circumstances, this time may be extended; or if your suit is against a governmental entity, the claim needs to be brought within six months. Your attorney could help you determine precisely how much time you have to file.

Yet, even though you may have some time to file, it is generally best not to delay this filing.

Why? Because:

  • Evidence disappears: Waiting too long to file a claim can result in valuable evidence disappearing quickly, memories of the accident fading, and witnesses no longer being available to testify.
  • Strong legal foundation: When you have a severe injury, it is essential to start building your case as soon as possible—ensuring you lay down a strong legal and medical foundation.

12. How long will it take to resolve my Solana Beach spinal cord injury claim?

No two spinal cord injuries are alike. As a result, it is hard to determine how long your specific claim will take. Settling a case before all your injuries, or the extent of your treatments, are known can cost you financial security. For these reasons, speaking with a knowledgeable Solana Beach spinal cord injury attorney can help ensure that fair compensation is sought.

13. Why will you need the help of a Solana Beach spinal cord injury attorney?

Spinal cord injury accidents are complex, stressful, and difficult for not only the victim but their families as well. Not only are the injuries devastating, but the medical bills that result are never-ending. What makes this process even more challenging is if you do receive a settlement offer, they are often inadequate and do not provide for the long-term costs and treatments that you will most likely have to face.

However, with the help of an experienced Solana Beach spinal cord injury attorney, you could get the legal assistance that you need to go after those much-needed damages.

  • Investigate: When you hire a qualified Solana Beach spinal cord injury attorney, they could get to work right away on your case—making sure to examine the accident as quickly as possible, finding relevant evidence and testimonies that could strengthen your case and prove the defendant’s liability.
  • Communicate: These attorneys and their legal team can handle all the communication with the insurance companies and the other attorneys. This could help prevent you from saying something that you may regret later, or that can hurt your case while ensuring your claim is treated with the fairness it deserves.
  • Filings: These lawyers can process the claim for you, ensuring that everything filed is correct and timely.
  • Trial: If settlement negotiations are not going how you want them to, these attorneys can proceed with a trial. It is always your decision whether or not to proceed to trial.

If you or a loved one was injured in an accident that resulted in a spinal cord injury, do not wait any longer. Contact a Solana Beach spinal cord injury attorney today. Schedule a consultation at Gomez Trial Attorneys as soon as possible to discuss your matter in more detail.

Why Do You Need Gomez Trial Attorneys Fighting for Your Solana Beach Spinal Cord Injury Case?

Attorney John Gomez

Personal Injury Lawyer, John Gomez

Spinal cord injury accidents not only leave victims with debilitating damages, but the skyrocketing medical expenses seem never to slow down. Even though we cannot promise you that we can help you get things back to how they were, we can tell you that we are here to speak to you. We fight for our clients and pursue the compensation they need to start getting back to living life.

Our knowledgeable and experienced attorneys can:

  • Investigate: We can collect evidence and information that may be vital to your claim. Our thorough investigation can include interviewing witnesses, evaluating the crime scene, reviewing footage of the evidence, and consulting the experts who can help recreate the accident.
  • Negotiations: We know that the insurance company may try to provide you with the lowest settlement they can. We also know that we could stop them. We could take over the whole negotiations process, ensuring that your case is treated fairly.
  • Trial: If the other side decides they do not want to provide you with just compensation, we could take your case to trial and fight for your rightful damages.

If you have suffered a spinal cord injury due to someone else’s fault, do not try to handle all this pain, hurt, and confusion by yourself.

Contact Gomez Trial Attorneys today at (619) 237-3490. Let us provide you with the legal help that you need.

Gomez Trial Attorneys
603 N. Highway 101
Solana Beach, CA 92075
Phone: (858) 400-4333

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