Long Beach Spinal Cord Injury lawyer
For over thirty years, our personal and work injury law firm has been there for our clients and their families throughout the legal process. We want to continue that and we especially want to help people who have suffered a spinal cord injury on the job, in a car accident, at home, while slipping or falling or anywhere else. We know how potentially serious and life changing it is to have a spinal cord injury (regardless of the severity). We know what you want most is help putting the pieces of your life back together. The Long Beach California spinal cord injury lawyers at DiMarco | Araujo | Montevideo will work very hard to help victims of a spinal cord injury and their family throughout this hard time.
Trust Our Firm
We want you to have the time and energy to be able to relax and focus on your top priority: getting yourself to Maximum Medical Improvement as quickly as possible. We will guard your legal rights, take over the majority of the paperwork and represent you in court using every day of our thirty plus years of experience. Our firm’s first priority will be to get for you and your family the fair compensation that you are due under the law for having suffered your spinal cord injuries and all the related expenses. Our Long Beach California spinal cord injury attorneys will put together an experienced and knowledgeable team of quality attorneys, staff, physicians, economists, vocational experts, and accident reconstructionists who will work side-by-side to fight on your behalf and maximize the total recovery awarded to you by the insurance company, jury, or judge.
Our Reputation: Winning
For over three decades, we have built a foundation of respect from the insurance and legal communities. Our firm consistently gives to the community and handles itself in a professional, generous and ethical manner in all dealings. That community and professional development along with our legal experience, successful track record and firm name recognition are unique benefits you will receive as our client. Our top-notch reputation as spinal cord injury lawyers throughout Long Beach, California, Riverside, Orange County, San Diego, San Bernardino, Los Angeles, and Central California speaks for itself: We provide our clients with extraordinary personal service and strategic representation. This is true whether the case is a work injury, workers’ compensation, or personal injury claim. Our Long Beach work injury attorneys will investigate all of the injury cases we represent to look for ways of maximizing the scope of your case. This includes investigating the details for the potential of adding a Third Party injury claim.
Spinal Cord Injury Defined
Even with the natural protection that our bodies give our spinal cord, plenty of injuries happen there that cause injuries. A Spinal Cord Injury (SCI) is when harm has happened to the spinal cord that causes a loss of one or more functions. The possible functions that might be partially or completely lost because of the injury to the spinal cord include the following: balance, trunk stability, feeling and mobility. The spinal cord carries information, commands, feedback and signals between your brain and your body. Someone has what is called an incomplete injury if they have a spinal cord injury but still have partial use of the affected body part. If someone totally loses the ability to use an area of the body because of a spinal cord injury it is referred to as a complete injury. The spinal cord is actually the soft nerve bundle that extends from the lower back up to the brain. It can be found within the spinal canal.
Spinal Cord Injuries: Causes
The causes for injuries to the spinal cord vary immensely but they can be listed within two general categories: external and internal causes. Our firm has had ample experience with the majority of the causes since we have been working for spinal cord injury patients since the late 1970s. The most common external causes for damage to the spinal cord are from:
- Gun shots;
- War Injuries;
- Vehicle, SUV and Trucking or Truck accidents;
- Crosswalk/Pedestrian accidents;
- Bicycle or Skateboard accidents;
- Motorcycle accidents;
- Slip and Fall accidents;
- Defective Hip Replacement
- Work injury;
- Sports; and
- On The Job Accident.
The most common internal causes for spinal cord injuries are as follows: transverse myelitis (resulting from a stroke or inflammation), neurodegenerative diseases, vascular malformations, tumors, ischemia from the occlusion of spinal blood vessels (including emboli, dissecting aortic aneurysms, arteriosclerosis) and developmental disorders.
Three syndromes can cause a spinal cord injury. Anterior cord syndrome, central cord syndrome, and Brown-Sequard syndroome all might decrease the patient’s body functions. Central cord syndrome is linked to hemorrhage, necrosis and ischemia. It should spare the patient’s lower body as it usually impairs upper body functions. It is sometimes also called inverse paraplegia because of the way it may not affect the lower body.
The list of tumors that could go on to injure the spinal cord includes meningiomas, ependymomas, astrocytomas, and metastatic cancer. Neurodegenerative diseases can also affect the spinal cord. Examples are Friedreich’s ataxia and spinocerebellar ataxia. The developmental diseases that can cause an injury to the spinal cord include meningomyolcoele, spina bifida, and mentakengithupthtehbatty. The list of vascular malformations that could play a part in causing harm to the spinal cord include spinal hemangioma, arteriovenous malformation (AVM), dural arteriovenous fistula (AVF), cavernous angioma and aneurysm.
The Spinal Cord Injury Resource Center state that just about half a million US citizens spinal cord injuries. Annually, there are still about 10,000 new SCI’s. The super majority of these spinal cord injuries have external causes to blame that fall within three categories: motorized vehicle accidents (36%), violence (28.9%), and slipping and falling (21.2%). Many of these types of accidents happen at work. If you’ve suffered a spinal cord injury while on the job, contact our Long Beach workers compensation attorneys for a free initial consultation.
Spinal Cord: Segments
Our spinal cord is what allows us to use our body and be a fully functioning person. Injuries to the spinal cord vary greatly as the location of your injury is very important. Each segment of the spinal cord generally controls a different area of our body. The next few paragraphs will discuss, in general terms, what might happen to a person when damage happens at each specific part of the spinal cord.
Sacral Vertebra – S1, S2, S3, S4 and S5 – Injuries that damage this segment may result in the partial or complete loss of the functions of the leg and hip. In addition, the functions of the urinary system and anus could be decreased. This segment of the spinal cord starts at the pelvis and runs to the end of the spine.
S1 and S2 combine to work the flexion of the toes and the plantar flexion of the foot. They also help work the legs movements that extend from the hips and the flexion from the knee. S3 and S4 combine to work the urinary bladder and the urinary system. S5’s main job is to work the coccygeus muscle, which is part of the pelvic wall.
Lumbar Vertebra – L1, L2, L3, L4 and L5 – Damage or harm to the Lumbar section of the spinal cord could cause the decreasing control of the legs and hips. This region is above the pelvis but below the chest area. It is between the sacral and the thoracic segments. L1 is crucial as it helps to control the abdominal muscles and thigh flexion. L2 and L3 work the thigh flexion, thigh adduction, and the extension of the legs (at the knees). L4 also assists in controlling control thigh adduction, thigh flexion, and the leg extension at the knee. The overlapping duties of many of the vertebra can allow injuries to not be as severe as that would be. L4 teams with L5 to be in charge of thigh abduction, hamstring movements, extension of toes and the dorsiflexion of the foot. L5 is also important for the plantar flexion of the foot, the extension of the leg at the hip, and the flexion of the toes. Combined, the Lumbar Vertebra control much of what allows us to walk, run, lean over and stand.
Thoracic Vertebra includes T1 down to T12 – Paraplegia is a possible outcome for spinal cord injuries that occur throughout the thoracic segment of the spine and below (the Lumbar and Sacral segments). The functions of the diaphragm (for breathing) hands, neck, and arms are not usually decreased or lost by injuries sustained here. With that said, injuries here are still very serious as the mobility, balance, and stability functions can be lessened, lost or disrupted.
Spinal cord injuries at T1, T2, T3, T4, T5, T6, T7, and T8 can all cause the patient to have less control over their abdominal set of muscles. The lower the injury occurs within the Thoracic segment may result in a less severe outcome. Abdominal muscles do correlate with trunk stability. This means that spinal cord injuries to this area may severely hurt or decrease a victim’s trunk stability. Spinal cord injuries that happen to thoracic vertebra lower than T8 (consisting of T9, T10, T11 and T12) also can result in the full or partial loss of function for the abdominal muscles. The thoracic vertebrae are located behind the chest region.
Cervical Vertebra – C1, C2, C3, C4, C5, C6, C7 and C8 – Generally, cervical spinal cord injuries could cause the loss of leg, hand and arm function for an injured patient. The cervical segment is located in the neck area of the body. They are the uppermost vertebra. A severe enough injury has the chance of resulting in quadriplegia.
- C1, C2, & C3: Injuries could cause the injury victim to need a ventilator for assistance with breathing as injuries here can cause a loss of the diaphragm function.
- C4: The shoulder and bicep functions may be fully or partially decreased.
- C5: Spinal injuries that occur at C5 potentially may result in complete loss for writs and hand function. Injuries here may also affect the shoulders and biceps (especially if C4 has also been injured).
- C6: Damage at C6 may cause the partial or total loss of hand function and it could additionally limit wrist control.
- C7: Injuries here could cause limited use of the arms. They might also create a lack of dexterity for the fingers and hands.
Other Issues Caused by SCI
Spinal cord injuries can create issues that go above what was just discussed.The following is a summarized list of the problems: atrophying of the muscles, spasticity, osteoporosis, trouble breathing, Sympathetic and Parasympathetic Nervous Systems, Lower Motor Neurons (LMNs), Upper Motor Neurons (UMNs), Peripheral Nervous System, Central Nervous System (including the brain), neuropathic pain, chronic pain, bone degeneration, dysfunction of the bowel and bladder, autonomic dysreflexia (abnormal increases in automatic body functions like sweating and blood pressure), and problems with sexual function and fertility.
Spinal Cord Injuries: Treatments
Treatments for the various types and severities of spinal cord injuries range from medication and traction to surgery and therapy. Occupational therapists may be called on to help you attempt to regain control of your impaired body parts (rates of failure versus success vary widely). The first round of treatment will solely be about not causing further injury and stabilizing you. This includes preventing shock, immobilizing the back and neck, keeping you breathing, and working to prevent stool, urine, respiratory, and cardiovascular problems.
Contact Our Firm – Free Consultation
The Law Offices of DiMarco | Araujo | Montevideo
Long Beach, California
Call us any time at: (562) 372-3960
For over three decades, we have seen how difficult and traumatic spinal cord injuries can be on the patient, their friends, their career and their family. We hope you and your family will eventually see better days and we want to help get you there. We believe in protecting our clients’ rights. The initial case consultations are free. You and your family will speak and meet with an attorney who will answer your questions, listen to your story and give you a general idea as to what options you have and where you case could go from here. You will not incur any legal fees or expenses for our assistance or time unless and until we win your case. The Long Beach spinal cord injury attorneys at DiMarco | Araujo | Montevideo are ready to give you the free case consultation at our law firm’s office, your home or your hospital room throughout the regular work week of Monday through Friday between 8:30am and 5:30pm. Our work injury attorneys and staff will also meet you, by appointment, all other times throughout the week and weekend, including Saturdays, Sundays and evenings. Call the lawyers who care at (562) 372-3960.