San Bernardino Spinal Cord Injury Attorney

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Spinal cord injuries can inflict permanent damage on a victim, severely limiting their quality of life and their ability to function normally. Spinal cord injuries can take a physical, emotional, and financial toll on the victim and their families. If you have suffered a spinal cord injury as a result of the negligence of another person or entity, you may be entitled to compensation for your injuries. You should speak with a spinal cord injury attorney as soon as possible to understand your rights and your legal options. If you’re looking for a San Bernardino spinal cord injury attorney, contact Hanson & Mouri Personal Injury Lawyers at (951) 688-0006 for a free consultation with one of our experienced spinal cord injury attorneys.

  • Since 1999, our San Bernardino Personal Injury Lawyers have devoted our professional career to helping our clients receive all the benefits they are entitled to under the law.
  • Our passion, talent, ambition, and dedication separate us from the thousands of ordinary lawyers out there. We know that getting results for our clients requires a lot more than legal knowledge.
  • We combine aggressive advocacy with honest and practical legal advice to lessen the physical, emotional, financial and personal stresses that are inherent in the litigation process.
  • Our promise to our clients includes transparency, frequent and open communication about their case, and prompt and professional service delivery. We want our clients to be informed with a clear understanding of the legal options available to them.

If you or a family member have suffered a spinal cord injury as a result of another person’s negligence or wrongful actions, let the spinal cord injury attorneys at Hanson & Mouri can help you fight your legal battle. Call us today at (951) 419-3199 to schedule your free consultation with one of our expert attorneys.

san bernardino spinal cord injury lawyer

San Bernardino Spinal Cord Injury Resources & FAQ’s

Common Causes of Spinal Cord Injuries in San Bernardino

According to the Mayo Clinic, common causes of spinal cord injuries are:

  • Car accidents, Truck accidents, Pedestrian accidentsBicycle accidents: The number one cause of back and spinal cord injuries is accidents involving motor vehicles. They account for nearly half of all spine injuries each year.
  • Falls: Falls are responsible for over 15 percent of back and spinal injuries. People over the age of 65 are at a higher risk of suffering a spinal cord injury from a fall. Other fall accidents commonly occur at places of work, such as construction sites, sidewalks, and unsafe properties.
  • Acts of violence: Intentional violence is the cause of approximately 12 percent of all back and spine injuries. These incidents often involve a stab or gunshot wound.
  • Sports and recreation injuries: Impact sports, such as football or hockey, cause around 10 percent of back and spinal injuries. 
  • Diseases such as cancer, osteoporosis, and inflammation of the spinal cord.

Physical Effects of Spinal Cord Injuries

Spinal cord injuries can be classified as “complete” or “incomplete.”

Complete Spinal Cord Injury

A spinal cord injury is complete if the victim loses all feeling and the ability to control and move the parts of their body below the injury. 

Common types of complete SCIs include: 

  • Paraplegia—Thoracic or Lumbar Vertebrae Injury: Upper extremity function is typically normal, but the victim is impaired below the waist. Where the impairment begins depends on how low the injury is on the spine. It may be possible to walk short distances with braces or a walker.
  • High Tetraplegia— C1-C4 Vertebrae Injury: Total body paralysis from the neck down. Incontinence may occur, and victims may require assistance for breathing. The severity of this injury can cause dependence on others for basic needs.
  • Low Tetraplegia—C5-C8 Vertebrae Injury: Can lead to limited mobility of the shoulder, elbow, and hand. Victims may be unable to walk and need assistance with self-care. Breathing is typically unaffected. 

Incomplete Spinal Cord Injury 

A spinal cord injury is incomplete if the victim still has some feeling and can control movement in the parts of their body below the injury. Victims may be able to regain some functioning back as late as 18 months after the injury occurred. 

Symptoms

Spinal cord injuries can cause the following physical symptoms, depending on the severity of the injury:

  • Paralysis (loss of movement)
  • Nerve damage (loss of or tingling sensation, including the inability to feel heat, cold, and touch)
  • Spasms or exaggerated muscle movements
  • Intense pain or intense stinging sensation 
  • Loss of bowel or bladder control
  • Changes in sexual function, sexual sensitivity, and fertility
  • Stiff neck, headache, or back pain 
  • Balance issues

Signs that a spinal cord injury may be life-threatening include: 

  • Difficulty with respiratory functions        
  • Difficulty balancing or walking
  • Lack of alertness (semi-consciousness or unconsciousness)
  • Oddly positioned or twisted neck or back
  • Shock (pale skin, bluish lips, and fingernails)

A spinal cord injury will undoubtedly change the life of the victim for a significant period of time, and sometimes permanently. Even minor spinal cord injuries can cause chronic, debilitating pain. The loss of the ability to carry on with life as a person has been accustomed to often leads to depression. A victim’s losses might include lost wages, loss of occupation, loss of enjoyment of life, and costs associated with their medical care. 

How Can a Spinal Cord Injury Attorney in San Bernardino Help You?

If you have suffered a spinal cord injury as a result of the negligence or wrongful actions of another person, the responsible party may try to quickly offer you a settlement. While you may be tempted to accept their settlement, it may not be in your best interest to do so without consulting with a spinal cord injury attorney. You need an experienced spinal cord injury attorney who has the knowledge and resources to assess your injury and the value of the losses you have suffered as a result. They can also help you identify all parties responsible for your injury and ensure that you get the full value of compensation that you are entitled to.

Types of Compensation Available in a Spinal Cord Injury Claim

A spinal cord injury often has a devastating financial impact on a victim’s life in addition to the physical. Therefore, you might be entitled to significant compensation if your spinal cord injury was caused by another person’s careless or negligent actions. This could include:

  • Current and Future Medical Expenses: Hospital bills, rehabilitation costs, prescription medications, extended or live-in care, specialized medical equipment, etc.
  • Home modifications: If necessary for a permanent disability.
  • Lost wages and benefits: While you are recovering.
  • Diminished earning capacity: If you cannot earn the same level of income as before the accident.
  • Pain and Suffering: For the physical pain you have had and will continue to endure. 
  • Loss of Enjoyment of Life: If you are unable to participate in activities you used to enjoy doing before the accident. 
  • Wrongful Death: If a loved one is killed due to the spinal cord injury they suffered, surviving family members can file a wrongful death claim to recover compensation for funeral and burial expenses, lost income, loss of services, companionship, and more. 
  • Punitive Damages: In cases involving a defendant (at-fault party) who acted egregiously or exhibited gross forms of negligence, the court may award punitive damages as punishment and to deter others from similar behavior. 

California follows a “pure comparative fault” system which can impact how much compensation you recover. Under this law, each party involved is assigned a percentage of fault. As a result, a victim’s compensation can be reduced if they contributed to causing the accident that resulted in their spinal cord injury. For example, if you are awarded $100,000, but you are found 40 percent responsible, you will only receive 60 percent of your compensation, or $60,000. 

Long-Term Financial Impact of a Spinal Cord Injury

The average yearly and lifetime costs associated with a spinal cord injury can be significant. The table below shows the average expenses according to the National Spinal Cord Injury Statistical Center (NSCISC). 

Injury Severity Average Yearly Expenses 

First Year

Average Yearly Expenses

Each Subsequent Year

Lifetime Costs

25 Years Old

Lifetime Costs

50 Years Old

High Tetraplegia (C1-C4) AIS ABC $1,218,106 $211,528 $5,404,744 $2,970,372
Low Tetraplegia (C5-C8) $880,188 $129,763 $3,949,065 $2,429,028
Paraplegia AIS ABC $593,660 $78,642 $2,642,911 $1,734,463
Motor functional at Any Level AIS D $397,544 $48,287 $1,805,650 $1,274,478

These figures reflect the costs of healthcare and living expenses but do not include indirect costs, such as lost wages, fringe benefits, and productivity. NSCISC reports that these indirect costs, on average, cost victims over $80,000 per year. 

Contact Our Spinal Cord Injury Lawyers in San Bernardino

How Long Do I Have to File a Spinal Cord Injury Claim?

Spinal cord injury victims in San Bernardino have limited time to file a claim due to California’s statute of limitations. Typically how your injury occurred will dictate the length of time you have. For example: 

  • Personal Injury Claims: Victims have two years to pursue compensation. 
  • Medical Malpractice: For spinal cord injuries arising from medical malpractice, victims have three years from the date the injury occurred or within one year of discovering the injury, whichever comes first. 
  • Claims Against a Government Entity: Before you can file a lawsuit, you must file a claim with the government agency within six months of the day you were injured. 

There are a limited number of exceptions that may extend the statute of limitations. In most cases, if you fail to file within these time limits, your claim will likely be dismissed, and the courts will bar you from pursuing compensation. The purpose of the statute of limitations is to ensure that lawsuits are dealt with in a timely manner so that evidence remains available and before peoples’ memories begin to fade. An attorney can help you identify the correct statute of limitations that applies to your case and assist you with taking the necessary steps to ensure that you are able to bring your claim.

Contact a San Bernardino Spinal Cord Injury Attorney

If you or a family member has suffered a spinal cord injury as a result of the negligence of another person, do not delay contacting an attorney. To speak with an expert San Bernardino spinal cord injury attorney, call Hanson & Mouri Personal Injury Lawyers at (951) 419-3199. Your initial consultation is free, so contact us online or call us and schedule your appointment today.

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