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Several types of accidents can cause a spinal cord injury, especially if a motor vehicle is involved. It has been reported that motor vehicle accidents have been the leading cause of spinal cord injuries in the United States. Victims may either suffer from an incomplete or complete spinal cord injury. It is encouraged for victims to make appointments with a doctor and/or physical therapist to treat the injured area. They will both implement beneficial practices that will help improve the condition of the spine.

Medical bills will likely start to rack up as a patient continues to seek assistance from a doctor and/or therapist. If the victim was involved in an accident that was caused by the negligence of another party, the victim will be qualified to file a personal injury lawsuit. To ensure the best outcome of a settlement, it is recommended for spinal cord injury victims to acquire legal assistance from an experienced personal injury attorney.

At West Coast Trial Lawyers, our San Francisco spinal cord injury attorneys have won more than 5,000 personal injury cases and recovered over $1 billion in settlements for our clients. Due to our achievements, we have been acknowledged as one of the top personal injury law firms in San Francisco. 

To schedule a free, no-obligation consultation at our San Francisco personal injury law firm, reach out to our 24/7 legal team by calling (415) 326-8794 or emailing [email protected]

The Impact of a Spinal Cord Injury

A spinal cord injury can dramatically impact the way a person lives their life, both physically and mentally. Victims may either face an incomplete or complete spinal cord injury.

An incomplete spinal cord injury, also known as partial paralysis, is when a person may have some motor or sensory function below the injured area. This indicates that the spinal cord can still function to a certain degree and send receptors to the brain. Common symptoms of an incomplete spinal cord injury include the inability to walk, difficulty breathing, loss of coordination, numbness, tingling, loss of bladder or bowel control, or pain in the head, back, or neck area.

A complete spinal cord injury, also known as a complete paralysis, is when a person has lost all sensory and motor function below the injured area. This means that the spine is no longer functioning at a capacity to which it can send receptors to the brain. Common symptoms of a complete spinal cord injury include a loss of sensation in the arms or legs, loss of bladder or bowel control, difficulty breathing, pain in the neck or back area, or unusual lumps on the spine.

Whether the spinal cord injury is incomplete or complete, one thing for certain is that with these physical changes, it can really take a toll on a person’s mental and physical health.

How to Prevent a Spinal Cord Injury

Hitting Someone With a Car on Purpose

There are several ways a person can prevent themselves from sustaining a spinal cord injury. This includes the following:

  • Drive with caution. Since motor vehicle accidents are the leading cause of a spinal cord injury, it is extremely important for drivers to think about their safety. Wear a seat belt and always keep your eyes on the road. If you are planning on making any lane changes or turns, make sure to observe the road carefully before doing so.
  • Do not drink and drive. As previously mentioned, you should always keep your eyes on the road. If you choose to drink and drive, you will not have a sense of where you are going or what you are doing. Not only will you be risking your life, but you will also risk the lives of others nearby.
  • Wear safety gear when performing sports-related activities. High-impact sports, such as football and hockey, require players to tackle one another to acquire the ball or puck. In moments like this, it is important to have on a fitted helmet to protect the head from sustaining a violent blow. Furthermore, players should avoid leading with their head. This will prevent the head from encountering a powerful attack.
  • Place fall resistant equipment throughout the house. Install handrails to the stairs to prevent falling down. If you have toddlers roaming around the house, it is highly urged to have safety guards placed on the top and bottom of the stairs. This will prevent toddlers from accessing the stairs, especially when there is no one around to supervise them. Lastly, you should place non-slip mats next to the tub or shower. This will reduce the likelihood of a slip and fall accident.
  • Always make sure to check the depth of the water before diving in. According to the American Red Cross, you may safely dive into a minimum of 9 feet of water depth for head first dives.

Available Damages for a Spinal Cord Injury 

Those who successfully prove negligence in a spinal cord injury case will be awarded economic and non-economic damages.

Economic damages refer to the compensation that a victim is entitled to due to the financial losses they experienced as a result of the burn injury and accident. Available economic damages for a burn injury victim include medical bills, lost wages, and loss of earning capacity.

Non-economic damages refer to the compensation that a victim is entitled to due to the emotional losses that came with their accident and burn injury. Available non-economic damages for a burn injury victim include scarring, loss of enjoyment of life, and pain and suffering.

It is likely for a plaintiff to acquire punitive damages, as well, however, it is rarely granted. Punitive damages are intended as punishment and are only awarded when a defendant’s behavior is especially harmful. It has only been incorporated in 5 percent 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.

West Coast Trial Lawyers Is Always Here to Help

If you are suffering from a spinal cord injury due to the negligence of another individual, you may be eligible to file a lawsuit against them. At West Coast Trial Lawyers, our San Francisco spinal cord injury attorneys have over 60 years of collective legal experience in handling personal injury cases. We are confident that we will deliver a good outcome to your settlement.

Contact our 24/7 legal team today by calling (415) 326-8794 or emailing [email protected] to schedule a free consultation at our San Francisco personal injury law firm.

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