Frequently Asked Questions about Spinal Cord Injuries

Our San Diego Personal Injury Attorney Provides Solutions

San Diego personal injury attorney for spinal cord injury casesIf you or a loved one is suffering from a spinal cord injury, you might be overwhelmed with important decisions to make about the future. Personal injury lawyer Frederick M. Dudek has litigated many cases on behalf of people with spinal cord injuries. He is happy to answer any questions you might have in a free attorney consultation. Below are some of the questions we receive most often at our office.

Frequently Asked Questions about Spinal Cord Injuries

How severe are spinal cord injuries?
Spinal cord injuries can cause permanent damage. Your spine is made of many small bones called vertebrae. An injury can cause a vertebra to press into and damage nerves that carry signals along the body. These damaged nerves can result in paraplegia (loss of movement below the waist) or quadriplegia (loss of movement in all four limbs). Some spinal cord injuries heal over time if the patient receives immediate treatment and rehabilitation therapy. Other injuries cause lifelong disability, and complications from severe spinal cord injuries can lead to infection and death.

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Who is responsible for spinal cord injuries?
According to the Centers for Disease Control, auto accidents such as car accidents and motorcycle accidents are the number one cause of spinal cord injuries. Each year, between 12,000 and 20,000 spinal cord injuries occur in America. Auto accidents cause 46 percent of these injuries. Other leading causes include:

The CDC says that alcohol plays a role in 25 percent of spine injuries. Responsible parties might include:

  • A drunk, negligent or distracted driver
  • Manufacturers of defective equipment, either vehicle components or sports equipment like ropes or harnesses
  • A bartender who served a minor too much alcohol
  • A friend who allowed a visibly intoxicated person to drive
  • A property owner who failed to keep his or her property safe and secure
  • Municipal parties that failed to properly maintain roads or sidewalks, leading to an accident

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How can a lawyer help?
An experienced San Diego spinal cord injury attorney can help you reclaim damages for your injury. A criminal trial might punish a wrongdoer, but it does not help the victim recover. Our attorney can listen to your story and help you figure out what to do next. We can investigate the scene, collect your medical records and determine who is responsible for causing your catastrophic injury. We can answer questions about how the accident affects your health insurance and figure out what you need to do to recover from your injuries.

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What damages do I qualify for?
Depending on the injury, victims can qualify for many damages, including:

  • Lost wages, both for yourself and a family member/spouse that takes time off to help you recover
  • Medical costs, including surgery and rehabilitation therapy
  • Loss of enjoyment of life for the victim and family members. Spinal cord injuries can limit the number of activities and functions that you used to enjoy
  • Pain and suffering, both mental and physical

We could also secure punitive damages that the negligent party has to pay. This punishes them for causing your injury and deters them from injuring others.

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What are my treatment options?
In most cases, treatment begins immediately after the accident that causes the injury. Most injuries require surgery immediately after the accident, sometimes at facilities that specialize in spine injuries. Doctors might administer methylprednisolone, a drug that helps reduce nerve damage. Surgeons can remove bones that are pressing into or severing nerves in your spinal cord that control movement in your limbs.

Victims may stay in the hospital for weeks as doctors attempt to prevent inflammation, infections, ulcers or blood clots. Doctors may then transfer you to a rehabilitation center where you might have to re-learn how to walk and use your limbs.

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What are the medical costs associated with spinal cord injuries?
Treatments for spinal cord injuries can be very expensive. The CDC says that the average victim of a spinal cord injury pays $15,000 to $30,000 a year to maintain treatment and therapy. A victim could pay between $500,000 and over $3 million over the course of their life to cover the spinal cord injury costs.

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How to Contact a Spinal Cord Injury Lawyer Near Me

If you have a question about spinal cord injuries that we did not answer here, please contact our office at (858) 530-4800. You can also fill out the contact form on the side of this page and we will get in touch with you. There is no charge for the consultation, so you can explore your options at no obligation.