Sacramento Spinal Cord Injury Lawyers
We Have Recovered Over $1 BILLION for our clients
Spinal cord injury occurs when there is severe damage to the spine or spinal cord. Trauma can be sustained from an auto accident, major fall, gunshot, or other high-impact accident. If you sustained a spinal cord injury due to someone else’s negligence, you may be entitled to compensation for:
- Hospital bills
- Loss of income
- Pain and suffering
- Medical expenses (physical therapy, doctor’s visits)
- Loss of companionship with a spouse (if applicable)
- Cost of disability
Contact our Sacramento spinal cord injury attorneys at (916) 520-6639.
What is a Spinal cord injury?
The spine, or vertebral column, is a skeletal structure consisting of individual bones (vertebrae). The vertebral column is comprised of 33 vertebrae arranged in specific regions.
There are seven cervical vertebrae (C1 to C7) of the neck, twelve thoracic vertebrae (T1 to T12) of the chest, five lumbar vertebrae (L1 to L5) of the lower back and pelvic area. The cervical, thoracic and lumbar vertebrae are separated by gel-like discs.
The discs serve as a cushion absorbing pressure and protecting the bones against rubbing. Whereas the other nine vertebrae are fused: the sacrum (five fused shield-shaped vertebrae connected to the pelvis) and coccyx, also known as the tailbone(four fused vertebrae).
The vertebrae form a spinal canal which houses the spinal cord, a long bundle of nerves and cells extending from the brain to the lower back. The vertebrae are held together via ligaments connecting the bones, and tendons connecting the bones to the back muscles. The bones, ligaments, tendons and muscles serve as protective mechanisms surrounding and protecting the spinal cord.
If the protective mechanisms are damaged, it can cause chronic and persistent pain. Spinal cord injury often results in long-term deficits such as paralysis and other permanent changes in strength, sensory and motor function, and other body functions below the site of the injury.
Common symptoms of a spinal cord injury include:
- Loss of sensation
- Partial paralysis
- Chronic pain
- Loss of bladder or bowel control
- Lack of coordination or loss of balance
- Difficulty breathing
Types of Spinal Cord Injuries
There are different types of spinal cord injuries, which depend on the location of the damage.
Cervical Spinal Cord Injuries
Cervical spinal cord injuries result from damages to the seven vertebrae in your neck. This section includes the C1 through C7 vertebrae. As this section of the spine is closer to your brain, a cervical spinal cord injury can result in quadriplegia. You may suffer from paralysis, limiting or disabling your use of all limbs below your shoulders and neck.
Thoracic Spinal Cord Injuries
The thoracic section is beneath the cervical section and consists of 12 total vertebrae. This section of the spine focuses on your balance and posture. A thoracic spinal cord injury often leads to paraplegia, meaning your lower limbs and hips lose functionality, but above the location of the damage remains the same.
Lumbar Spinal Cord Injuries
The five vertebrae (L1 to L5) of the lumbar section carry a significant amount of weight—more than any other part of your spine. A lumbar spinal cord injury typically causes disability to your hips and legs, but you retain full function of your upper body. The lumbar section is just below the thoracic section.
Sacral Spinal Cord Injuries
The sacral vertebrae reside just above the tailbone. This section consists of the S1 to S4 vertebrae and helps with bowel and bladder control. Significant injury to the sacral spinal cord leads to loss of some function in your hips and legs, as well as your ability to control bladder and bowel organs.
The Average Cost of a Spinal Cord Injury
If you are suffering from a spine injury, you can expect to spend a significant amount on your care. The estimates put together by the National Spinal Cord Injury Statistical Center do not factor in lost wages and other benefits; instead, they consider the costs of living and health care expenses.
The average yearly costs of a spinal cord injury can include:
- For a high cervical spinal cord injury between the C1 and C4 vertebrae, you may spend over $1 million in the first year alone. Each subsequent year costs upwards of $180,000.
- For a low cervical spinal cord injury between the C5 and C8 vertebrae, first-year costs exceed $760,000, and each year after that is more than $113,000.
- For paraplegia, the first year can cost more than $518,000, while each subsequent year costs over $68,000.
- For an injury involving incomplete motor function of any level, you may spend more than $347,000 in the first year, and over $42,000 each subsequent year.
Over your lifetime, the total cost of care will depend on the age at which your injury occurred. For instance, if you suffer a high cervical spinal cord injury (quadriplegia impacting functionality in all four of your limbs) at the age of 25, your lifetime costs can exceed $5 million.
It’s easy to see why you would need compensation if your spinal cord injury results from someone else’s negligence. At Kershaw, Cook & Talley, it is our priority to help you get the outcome you deserve. Our Sacramento spine injury attorneys are here to help you every step of the way.
Don't Wait to Get Help Today
The Sacramento spinal cord injury lawyers of Kershaw, Cook & Talley serve thousands of individuals with serious injuries. Healing is your main priority- handling your case is ours.