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Spinal Cord Injury Complications | What To Do In California


How Having a Spinal Cord Injury Can Change Your Life -- Insight From the Best Spinal Cord Personal Injury Lawyers


When an individual suffers from a spinal cord injury, there are several complications that may emerge. This includes having problems with:

  • Bladder control. Since the message carrier has been damaged, your brain will not be capable of controlling your bladder properly. This could increase the chances of you getting a urinary tract infection. You may also experience a kidney infection or kidney stones. However, if you are in rehabilitation, you will learn certain tactics that will help you empty your bladder. 
  • Bowel movement. Your stomach and intestines will still work similarly to how they did before your spinal cord injury. However, there could be some damage done. This is why it is important to have a high-fiber diet to maintain your bowel movements. You may also get additional help if you go under rehabilitation. The therapist(s) will help you learn new techniques that will improve your bowel movements. 
  • Blood clot. Strokes may result in a blood clot blocking the arteries that are supplying the spinal cord. A blood clot could take place in these arteries or may also be formed in a blood vessel in other parts of the body. It could then travel in the bloodstream and head directly to the spinal cord. 
  • Pneumonia. Injuring your spinal cord will increase the chances of you suffering from a respiratory tract infection. The chest and abdominal muscles may become weakened after enduring this injury. These body parts are vital for deep breathing and coughing, so having them injured will increase chances of getting pneumonia.
  • Chronic pain. This is common after an individual sustains a spinal cord injury.
  • Depression. Due to the intense pain and treatment procedures, individuals may develop depression. They could experience a variety of emotions because of their spinal cord injury. Symptoms may include:
    • Frustration,
    • Anger,
    • Anxiety,
    • Lack of motivation,
    • Fatigue, 
    • Suicidal thoughts,
    • Insomnia
    • Hopelessness, 
    • Emptiness, or
    • Irritability. 
  • Sexual health. After a spinal cord injury, an individual’s sexuality, fertility, and sexual function will be impacted. Men will become more aware of changes made to their erection or ejaculation. Women will start to notice changes with their lubrication. It is recommended to see a doctor that primarily specializes in urology or fertility to help with this sexual health problem. 
  • Osteoporosis or osteopenia. This is a prior complication to a spinal cord injury. When an individual develops either disease, they will be more prone to having a spinal cord injury after enduring a fall. This happens primarily because the individual’s bones are thinned and weakened from these two chronic bone diseases. Impact to the bones will result in a fracture due to its fragile nature.  
  • Autonomic dysreflexia. This is common with spinal cord injuries. Autonomic dysreflexia occurs when there is an excessive amount of high blood pressure. Symptoms of this problem include:
    • Nausea,
    • Headache,
    • Red blotches on the skin that is above the level of spinal cord injury,
    • Slow heart rate,
    • Goose bumps that are below the level of spinal cord injury,
    • Cold skin below the level of spinal injury, or
    • Sweating that is above the level of spinal cord injury.
  • No feeling in the skin. You may lose skin sensation below the level of your spinal cord injury. This makes it difficult for your skin to send a message to your brain when it gets injured by specific things, such as heat or cold. If you are undergoing rehabilitation, you will be taught proper skin care routines that will help you avoid your sensation-related problems.
  • Fitness and health. Once you suffer a spinal cord injury, it will be difficult or nearly impossible to move your body the same way you did prior to your injury. You may experience either weight loss or gain, depending on your body type. Additionally, you could be at risk of cardiovascular diseases along with diabetes.

Available Damages


Accidents happen. If you were injured as a result of someone else’s negligence, you may be entitled to compensation for your losses. Below is a brief explanation of damages. Damages are a type of monetary award that is determined by a court of law to help compensate an aggrieved individual for any losses or injuries sustained as a result of someone’s negligence.

Economic Damages

Economic damages are intended to compensate a plaintiff for losses that a dollar amount can readily be attached to. Economic damages are calculated by determining the amount of out of pocket losses an aggrieved individual has or will expect to incur as a result of their injuries. 

A few examples of economic losses include:

  • Loss of Earning Capacity
  • Medical Bills
  • Lost Wages

Non-Economic Damages

Non-economic damages are essentially intended to cover losses that are thought of as subjective and will not necessarily cover out of pocket losses. Non-economic damages may include compensation for:

  • Emotional Distress
  • Pain and Suffering
  • Loss  of Enjoyment of Life
  • Other Non-Economic Damanges

Punitive Damages

The third type of damages a California court may award are known as punitive damages. Punitive damages are intended as punishment and are only awarded when a defendant’s behavior is especially harmful. Punitive damages are relatively rare and in fact are only incorporated in 5% of all verdicts.

Furthermore, there is no real set standard for calculating and awarding punitive damages. Punitive damages are awarded at the court’s discretion and will vary depending on the specific circumstances of a case.

Limitations For Damages In California

For the most part, there is no real cap on compensatory damages following a personal injury claim. This means that courts are able to award any amount they feel is appropriate and reasonable.

However, the only exception is regarding medical malpractice cases. In these cases, the limit for pain and suffering and other non economic losses is $250,000.

West Coast Trial Lawyers Is Here To Help


If you have suffered a spinal cord injury due to the negligent actions done by another individual, West Coast Trial Lawyers has spinal cord injury attorneys that have extensive experience in handling personal injury cases. Our attorneys will help you recover maximum financial and emotional compensation from the damages you have suffered from your spinal cord injury. This includes medical expenses, lost wages, property damage, emotional distress, and pain and suffering. There are no financial risks involved when you use our services. We offer a free, no-obligation consultation with the attorneys at our firm. No fees are charged until your case has been settled. Reach out to our friendly legal team 24/7 by calling (213) 927-3700 or emailing [email protected]

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If you have been injured in an accident, you can count on the legal team at West Coast Trial Lawyers to fight for your rights every step of the way. Contact us today to schedule your free case evaluation with a personal injury attorney.
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