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Spinal Cord Injury Lawyers in Long Beach

Compensation for Spinal Injuries

spine x-rayNearly 200,000 people suffer from a spinal cord injury (SCI) each year in the US. Most of these injuries are the result of an accident. Even though it is protected by the bony vertebrae of the spine, the spinal cord can suffer disastrous injury. Car accidents are the primary cause of all SCI's, but other causes include acts of violence, falls, and sports accidents. If you have suffered a spinal injury, please contact our firm immediately and discuss your case with one of our Long Beach injury lawyers.

What is Spinal Trauma?

The spinal cord consists of a bundle of nerves that runs from the base of the brain and down the back. The vertebrae surrounding the fragile spinal cord are commonly referred to as the backbone. If the spinal vertebrae are fractured or broken, the spinal cord itself is compromised. An example is when the spinal vertebrae are compressed in a car accident. Spinal cord injuries may occur following the crash when the backbone is unable to support the nerve bundle. The severity of the injury depends on the location of the fracture.

In general, the nerves above the injury site continue to function normally, and those nerves located at or below the injury do not. The higher the location of the injury, the more severe the effects. A person may suffer from a complete injury when there is no feeling or voluntary movement on either side of the body or an incomplete injury when some sensation or partial movement is intact.

Serious Effects of Spinal Injury

The precise effects of the SCI depend on the location and completeness of the injury. Usually, some swelling of the spinal cord immediately follows the injury and affects the entire body. Rarely does all functioning remain after a SCI, but as the swelling subsides, some function may be regained as the months go by. These functions include walking, blood pressure, body temperature, sexual function, bowel and bladder control, and pain levels.

Currently, there is no cure for the effects of spinal cord injuries. The main goal of treatment today is to prevent any further injury. Until science advances to a point where the damaged spinal cord nerves can be healed and regenerated, few options are available to those suffering from SCI's. Click here for information about spinal cord injuries from the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS).

Paraplegia (or Leg Paralysis)

Paraplegia refers to partial or complete paralysis of the legs and lower abdomen, though the arms and hands are generally unaffected. This usually occurs as a result of a traumatic injury to the spine at or below the “T1” region, which refers to particular bones in the spinal column. The lower the injury is to the spine, the more sensation and physical control a person will have over his or her abdomen and chest. High injuries can result in little control over the "trunk" of the body, while lower injuries may allow for more comfortable breathing and control over lower abdominal muscles.

Physical therapy and treatment is typically required to deal with lifestyle changes as a result of paraplegia. Since control of the arms and hands remain, many paraplegics can continue to function and live independently, though often with some special considerations. Depending on the location of the injury, and how much abdominal control a person retains, some walking over short distances may even be possible, though this requires extensive physical therapy and can be very difficult.

Quadriplegia (or Tetraplegia)

Quadriplegia, sometimes also referred to as tetraplegia or four-limb paralysis, indicates partial or complete paralysis of both the legs and the arms or hands. Depending on exactly what part of the upper spinal cord is injured, some arm movement and control may be possible, though hand control is almost always extremely limited. This type of paralysis is often very serious and requires extensive medical treatment and ongoing care.

When quadriplegia occurs due to an injury very high up on the spinal column, then the results are usually extremely serious. At this level, a person may need assistance breathing from a surgically implanted ventilator, as well as help with talking. Lower injuries allow a person to breathe and speak on their own, and some neck and shoulder movement and control may be possible. Even lower injuries that result in quadriplegia can still allow for some arm control, which gives a person much greater functionality and allows a person to remain fairly independent and mobile.

Any form of quadriplegia requires extensive medical treatment and physical therapy. While someone who suffers a lower injury may be able to become almost completely independent, the process is still long and difficult, with very high medical and ongoing costs. Total disability status can help with some of these costs, but if someone else is liable for the injury that caused the quadriplegia, then civil lawsuits and insurance claims can help with additional expenses.

Paralysis Treatment and Recovery

Any kind of paralysis, temporary or permanent, total or partial, requires a great deal of medical treatment and physical therapy for recovery. The degree to which a person can recover depends on the nature of the injury that caused the paralysis, as well as how hard that person is willing to work toward physical recovery. It is a long and difficult process that often involves a great deal of psychological assistance as well as physical and medical treatment.

Recovering from paralysis, or learning to live with it, often requires a great deal of financial expense. While insurance and government disability assistance can help with some of it, additional funds may be necessary. If someone else caused the injury that resulted in paralysis, through their negligence, then they may be liable for some of the costs involved with treatment and recovery. Do not suffer for someone else's mistake.

Call Long Beach Spinal Cord Injury Attorney Joseph Low at (888) 454-5569

An experienced Long Beach catastrophic injury attorney can help victims of SCI by employing the necessary experts to testify to the injuries claimed by the victim. If the damages are clearly articulated and losses are relentlessly defended to insurance companies and juries, your case has a much better shot at winning. An attorney who has previously represented a SCI victim knows the painful road he or she is on and will constantly be there for the victim throughout his or her lifetime rehabilitation. With offices throughout California, The Law Firm of Joseph H. Low IV will represent you in any spinal cord injury case.

Contact The Law Firm of Joseph H. Low IV for a free consultation today and get the representation you deserve.

100 Oceangate
12th Floor
Long Beach, CA 90802

Phone: (562) 901-0840
Toll-Free: (888) 454-5569

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Long Beach Spine Injury Attorney Disclaimer: The information presented on this site should not be construed to be formal legal advice nor the formation of a lawyer or attorney client relationship. Any results portrayed here were dependent on the facts of a particular legal matter and results vary from case to case. Please contact Joseph H. Low IV for a consultation on your particular case. This firm is licensed to practice law only in the State of California, but is affiliated with licensed attorneys in other states.

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