Santa Barbara Spinal Cord Injury Lawyers
Each year, approximately 10,000 people in the United States suffer a spinal cord injury. In some cases, individuals may be paralyzed completely from the neck down (quadriplegia and tetraplegia). Other spinal cord injury victims may suffer paralysis solely in the lower half of their bodies (paraplegia). More "fortunate" victims may be able to achieve some level of functional independence afterward (paraparesis and hemiplegia).
The economic costs of these injuries are staggering. The non-economic costs even more so. If you or someone you love has suffered any type of spinal cord injury because of the negligence of someone else, don't suffer in silence.
Our experience since 1989 includes cases involving car accidents, truck accidents, bicycle accidents, motorcycle wrecks, pedestrian accidents, defective products, construction site falls, dangerous properties, and various other causes. Our understanding of the medical issues and ability to explain those issues in a clear and compelling way has been demonstrated time and again.
Let us fight for you now.
Spinal cord injuries tend to happen in some kind of violent accident or attack. Some of the most common ways in which these injuries occur include:
- Slips and Falls: A slip-and-fall can have life-altering consequences, including spinal injuries. These are especially common when someone falls backwards on stairs or on a sidewalk. Landing backwards on stairs or other objects can do tremendous damage to a person's back or neck. When a person lands on his or her back, there is typically some type of spinal injury, even if it is only minor.
- Workplace Accidents: Injuries at the workplace, especially dangerous work locations like construction sites, can often result in spinal damage. Falls from ladders and scaffolding can be particularly dangerous for a person's neck, shoulders, and back, all of which can impact the spinal cord.
- Auto Accidents: Vehicle accidents often involve high speeds. Even inside a car, someone in a crash can suffer injuries to the neck and spinal cord. Someone struck by a car, either as a pedestrian or on a bicycle, will likely suffer even more serious consequences, since they lack the protection of a vehicle.
- Swimming Pool Accidents: Serious swimming pool accidents, such as diving into a pool that is too shallow, commonly result in damage to the spinal cord. The compression from these accidents can cause life-long paralysis. Swimmers who have divers land on top of them can also suffer catastrophic injuries that can result in paralysis or even death.
- Sports Injuries: Athletes can also suffer serious injuries to the neck and back, resulting in spinal cord damage. Football players often have back problems from slamming into each other, and falls or other accidents on a basketball court can result in spine injuries. While the head and knees of athletes are often protected, it is difficult to fully protect a person's spine.
- Criminal Violence: Violent acts during a crime can also result in serious spinal cord injuries. Gun violence, in particular, can cause spine damage as bullets may strike a person's spinal cord. When this happens, paralysis is quite common and many advocates for gun control are former victims of gun violence whose lives changed after being shot.
Depending on the vertebrae injured, spinal cord damage can result in the complete or "incomplete" paralysis of different areas of the body. Brief descriptions of these various types are provided below.
- Paraplegia: This type of paralysis generally affects only the lower half of the body but may also affect part of the torso as well, including the stomach and chest areas. In most cases, victims retain sensory feeling and functional use of their arms and hands.
- Quadriplegia (Tetraplegia): Quadriplegia and tetraplegia are two different words used to refer to the same medical condition - paralysis of all four limbs. In the most severe cases, there is a complete loss of motor and sensory function from the neck down.
- Incomplete types of paralysis: Hemiplegia (paralysis affecting one side of the body), hemiparesis (weakness affecting one side of the body) and paraparesis (weakness of the lower extremities) are the least severe types of paralysis.
While paralysis is the most serious consequence of a spinal cord injury, there are other issues and situations that can arise. Financial costs can be quite extensive after a spine injury - getting immediate medical treatment that can include surgery, long-term medical care, medication, and purchasing equipment needed for recovery. Additional costs can come from lost time at work, missed opportunities for future employment or advancement, and even potential loss of employment.
Changes in lifestyle are also a major issue after a spinal cord injury, especially if paralysis is involved. This can include simple things like needing railings in a bathroom and other modifications to make a house more accessible. Coping with any traumatic injury is emotionally difficult and may require professional therapy to help with issues like depression and anger. Relationships can also suffer after a serious spinal cord injury. All of these consequences can be difficult to fully quantify, but you deserve to be compensated for them.
Experience with major injury cases has made us well aware of the fact that each person and family is affected by these injuries in different ways. Our Santa Barbara personal injury attorneys maintain close contact with clients and their family members so that when and if the time comes at trial, they can clearly and fully convey the extent of our clients' injuries and damages.
Twenty years of success has also enabled us to develop the financial resources, professional relationships with top experts, familiarity with the courts and judges in this area and the technology assets that are required to obtain optimal results in these cases.
We will spare no effort or resource in our attempt to do the same for you.
Attorneys at NordstrandBlack PC handle spinal cord injury cases in the Santa Barbara area of Southern California. To schedule an appointment, call our offices at (805) 962-2022 or contact us online.
- Spinal Cord Injury Information Page - NIH
- Spinal Cord Injury - Mayo Clinic
- Spinal Cord Injury - MedlinePlus