Damage to the spinal cord is one of the most serious injuries anyone could sustain. These types of personal injuries are all too common in automobile accidents. If a spinal cord injury is not treated in the proper way or in a timely manner, it can lead to long-term or even permanent damage and disability.
There are many different types of spinal cord injuries. Depending upon what part of the spinal cord is injured, the results can run the gamut from muscle control problems to complete paralysis wherein the victim cannot perform the most basic bodily functions such as breathing. A spinal cord injury can also cause a considerable amount of pain in the back, neck arms and legs.
The Bay Area personal injury attorneys at Hogan Injury can help ensure that you obtain the monetary compensation you need following a spinal cord injury so that you can cover your medical expenses and focus on what really matters which is getting better. Even if you require treatment in the future, our attorneys can assist you in obtaining compensation for that as well.
Most Common Causes of Spinal Cord Injuries
A spinal cord injury occurs when the vertebrae, ligaments or disks of the spine are damaged. This type of injury can result form a sudden, hard blow to the spine that compresses, crushes, dislocates or fractures one or more vertebrae. It also can result from a gunshot or from a knife that cuts deeply into the body wherein it penetrates or severs the spinal cord.
It is not unusual for a spinal cord injury victim to sustain more damage following the initial injury due to swelling, bleeding, inflammation and the accumulation of fluid around the spinal cord.
The most common causes of spinal cord injuries are:
Motor vehicle accidents – Automobile accidents including motorcycle accidents are the number one cause of spinal cord injuries as they account for more than 40 percent of new spinal cord injuries each year.
Falls – For victims over the age of 65, falls are the leading cause of spinal cord injuries.
Acts of Violence – Up to 15 percent of spinal cord injuries result from violent encounters which often involve gunshots and penetration wounds made by knives.
Sports and Recreational Injuries – About 8 percent of all spinal cord injuries are sustained when people are participating in sports and leisure-time activities such as boating. Many people injure their spinal cords when playing impact sports such as football or by diving into shallow water.
Many more men sustain spinal cord injuries than do women. (80% men, 20% women). People between the ages of 16 and 30 are the most likely to sustain spinal cord injuries than any other age group as are people who engage in risky behavior.
Insurance Companies and Their Tactics
Considering the fact that spinal cord injuries can be very serious and expensive to treat, insurance companies typically attempt to convince spinal cord injury victims to settle for less money than what their claims are actually worth. While it can be tempting to accept a settlement offered by an insurer, it is best not to because insurance companies almost always offer far less than what it needed to cover all the medical expenses.
Additionally, people with these often devastating injuries can be eligible to receive compensation for other losses they’ve suffered such as lost wages (past, current and future), pain & suffering and emotional distress. We strongly encourage spinal cord injury victims not to speak with insurers nor to sign any agreements until they’ve consulted with an experienced attorney so that a proper and thorough assessment can be made regarding a realistic settlement amount.
Another reason to avoid accepting an offer made by an insurance company is the fact that once you settle, you sacrifice your right to pursue full monetary compensation for any future medical treatment you may need down the road. It is possible for a small rupture in a disk or broken vertebrae to develop into a much more serious problem weeks or months later wherein excruciating pain and loss of mobility becomes a major problem.
If you’ve suffered a serious spinal cord injury in an accident that was caused by someone else, contact our San Francisco personal injury attorneys as soon as possible. We use an extensive network of medical professionals and other experts to build strong cases for our clients, ensuring that they receive ample and just compensation. Give us a call today at 866-205-4971 or contact us online to arrange a guaranteed no-cost consultation with a Bay Area spinal cord injury attorney.