A spinal cord injury is unquestionably one of the most debilitating, life-threatening injuries an accident victim can sustain. These injuries may result in partial or full paralysis, requiring a lifetime of personalized care.
Caring for a spinal cord injury comes at a high price. Some spinal cord injury victims require assistance from a nurse or aide 24 hours a day. For many, the only way they can afford this level of care is by filing a claim against responsible parties. But they can’t do it alone; the Ernst Law Group leverages 60 years of experience to help victims of severe injuries collect compensation.
Talk to a spinal cord injury lawyer in San Luis Obispo during a free, no-obligation case review. Call (805)-541-0300 or contact us online to schedule your appointment now.
Accidents That Lead to Spinal Cord Injuries:
Spinal cord injuries are usually caused by severe accidents. According to statistics from the National Spinal Cord Injury Statistical Center (NSCISC), the most common incidents that lead to a spinal cord injury include:
Motor Vehicle Accidents
Motor vehicle accidents are the leading cause of spinal cord injuries in the U.S. Since 2015, vehicle crashes have accounted for 38.6% of all spinal cord injury cases.
A spinal cord injury is more likely to happen in a serious car accident or one where the two vehicles involved have dramatic weight differences. During truck accidents, incidents like a rollover, jackknife, or carriage underride have a high likelihood of causing traumatic injuries.
Motorcycle accidents can also disproportionately cause spinal cord injuries. This risk increases exponentially for those struck while on a bicycle or on foot.
Falls (Including Slip and Falls)
Falls account for 32.2% of all spinal cord injury cases since 2015. Adults over 65 are at particularly high risk for a spinal cord injury due to a fall.
A fall can occur as a result of losing balance. However, they often happen under hazardous conditions or when a product is defective. Slip and fall accidents are relatively common in businesses who have failed to properly protect patrons. A defective ladder or roofing harness can similarly lead to a fall and a subsequent spinal cord injury.
Many falling accidents that lead to spinal cord injuries can happen in the workplace, too. OSHA lists falls as the most pernicious of the “fatal four” workplace hazards. In 2018, falls accounted for 33.5% of all construction deaths.
Acts of Violence
Acts of violence are surprisingly common causes of major injury trauma. NSCISC data shows that violent crime is the third-most-common cause of spinal cord injuries, accounting for 14% of known cases since 2015.
Sports injuries include more than just everyday bruises, scrapes, and sprains. Athletes can suffer damage to the spinal cord at the neck, upper back, or lumbar area. Nerve damage can lead to numbness, pain, or tingling in the extremities. Some sports injury victims will incur cognitive symptoms or even paralysis.
According to the NSCISC, sports injuries account for 4.2% of spinal cord injury causes.
Spinal cord injuries are especially common in rough contact sports, such as football, but they can occur as a result of catastrophic injuries in baseball, soccer, basketball, or hockey.
Who Is Responsible for My Spinal Cord Injury Costs in San Luis Obispo?
If a person, company, or product caused an accident that resulted in a spinal cord injury, the injured party can seek compensation for all of their damages. This can include your medical bills, future treatment costs, lost wages, and pain and suffering.
Not every incident leading to a spinal cord injury is grounds for a personal injury claim. The injury had to have occurred as a result of negligent, intentional, or reckless conduct on the part of another person, company, or entity.
If your injury was not inflicted as part of a clear and intentional violent act, then your personal injury case will hinge on whether or not you can prove that another party was negligent.
Legal negligence means that the actions of the perpetrator (the defendant) represented a breach in their duty of care to protect the victim (plaintiff) from harm. This breach directly caused the injury and subsequent damages.
For example, if a defective scaffold collapsed and resulted in a spinal cord injury, the scaffolding company and others that contributed to the design, manufacture, and distribution may each be liable.
Another common example is where a driver fails to yield to a red light, speeds, or drives drunk, causing an accident that leads to spinal cord injury.
Wrongful Acts (Intentional Injuries)
In the event of an intentional injury, such as one that would occur during a violent crime, the spinal cord injury victim can seek a civil claim at the same time as an ongoing criminal trial. Even if the perpetrator is found not guilty of the crime, they can still be held liable for all damages in the separate civil case.
California Statute of Limitations for Personal Injury Claims
It is essential that injury victims file within the statute of limitations, or the case cannot proceed. California statutes of limitations include:
- Personal injury – two years
- Product liability – two years
- Medical malpractice – for injury or death, must be filed within one year from the date of knowledge of the negligent act; the case must not be filed more than three years from the date of the injury.
Exceptions do exist for filing, but you are advised to check with your attorney.
Your San Luis Obispo personal injury and wrongful death attorney at the Ernst Law Group will immediately check the dates to make sure that your case falls within the allotted filing time.
Get a Free Consultation with a Respected, Experienced Law Firm
You can be certain that your lawyer at the Ernst Law Group will take your spinal injury case to heart and treat it with the attention, focus, and care it deserves. Ernst understands how your life is permanently affected by this injury, and responsible parties should be made accountable.
The Ernst Law Group consults with the best experts available, including accident reconstruction engineers, medical experts, rehabilitative long-term care experts, life planners, and more. These resources are key to getting you the compensation you deserve for your injury.
For a complimentary case evaluation with a spinal cord personal injury lawyer at the Ernst Law Group, call us at (805)-541-0300 or contact us online today. There are no upfront fees or costs; if we do not win your case, you don’t owe us a dime.
What Our Clients Say About Us
“I could not be more satisfied with Ernst Law Group. Over the course of my case they were nothing but kind and friendly. When you’re in a situation where you need a lawyer it can be a very stressful time…Samantha Spelman
“Enough cannot be said for the amazing job done for us by the Ernst Law Group. Their compassion and dedication to ‘doing what is right’ makes them go above and beyond in all that they do. After spending time and money on other local attorneys, Don, Taylor and Terry were a blessing to us. They never backed down even though our case was a very unusual case. Thank you Ernst Law Group.“Mary Barrett
“Best personal injury and wrongful death attorneys available! The whole team is friendly, works very hard, is knowledgeable, and will do their best to take care of their clients. The Ernst team is the best around!“Hannah W.