Los Angeles Spinal Cord Injury Lawyers
Our Highly Skilled Attorneys Can Help After a Spinal Injury
The average person doesn’t realize just how fragile the spinal cord really is until they’re involved in an accident that damages it. About 17,700 people sustain spinal cord injuries each year in the United States, and the results can range from devastating complete paralysis to partial paralysis, depending on what part of the spine or neck the accident damages.
Accidents that involve the spinal cord can happen to anyone—they occur during slips and falls, motor vehicle crashes, and even in the workplace. If a spinal cord injury occurred because of the negligence or wrongful acts of others, the law may entitle victims to compensation to recover damages and compensation for current and future medical expenses.
Greene, Broillet & Wheeler, LLP, is a highly recognized and respected team of attorneys who commit ourselves to handle the toughest injury cases. Our clients have suffered catastrophic injuries and often faced millions of dollars in losses. We, in turn, have recovered more settlements and verdicts in the millions than any other firm in California. Our goal is always to recover the full amount our clients deserve and need to recuperate from their injuries and live their lives as independently as possible.
Severe injury cases do not intimidate our lawyers. We have the resources needed to help our clients, and we fully dedicate ourselves to every single case we take. When we succeed, we have more resources to devote to future cases. This cycle breeds success, and our firm maintains a stellar reputation for continued success in complicated cases.
Spinal cord injuries are some of the most devastating injuries anyone can sustain—and some of the hardest cases to take on. After a spinal cord injury, you cannot simply trust any personal injury attorney you find online or that a friend recommends. Instead, you need to hire a law firm with the necessary skill and experience to handle high-value and complex claims. There is too much at stake to put your future in less capable hands. Call the knowledgeable spinal cord injury attorneys at Greene, Broillet & Wheeler, LLP, at (866) 224-8353 for a free consultation to discuss your potential case as soon as possible and see if we can help you.
Proven Results Obtaining Millions of Dollars for Spinal Cord Injury Victims
Not every law firm is up to the task of handling complex litigation stemming from catastrophic spinal cord injuries. At Greene Broillet & Wheeler, LLP, we represent victims who have sustained injuries because of someone else’s negligence or wrongful actions. Our firm has won many seven- and eight-figure verdicts for catastrophically injured clients and their survivors—more than any other firm in California.
Greene Broillet & Wheeler, LLP, has proven time and again that we have what it takes to get results for clients who have suffered extremely serious, life-altering events such as spinal cord injuries.
Don’t just trust us that we regularly succeed for our clients with spinal cord injuries. The following are some of our proven results:
- We prevailed in a case involving a defective child car seat that failed to protect a two-and-a-half-year-old boy. He will have to live with the results of the manufacturer’s negligence for the rest of his life. The toddler was in a Cosco Grand Explorer shield booster seat when a crash occurred. We proved that the booster seat and the car seat of the Jeep Cherokee were improperly designed, leading to the spinal cord injury and paralysis of the young child. We reached a confidential settlement for our client.
- Our client was a former Los Angeles Police Department officer who sustained a spinal cord injury when his General Motors Suburban crashed. The officer was ejected from the vehicle, and is now permanently paraplegic. Our attorneys proved the tread on his Goodyear tire separated due to a defect, causing the crash. We reached a confidential settlement for our client. Our successful representation also led the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) to investigate the defect and to the ultimate recall of many tires manufactured by Goodyear.
- We represented a bicyclist who stopped to rest for a moment, only to fall over an unguarded curb and a retaining wall. He suffered a spinal cord injury that resulted in paraplegia. We successfully brought a premises liability claim and obtained a $6.7 million settlement during trial.
- A highway had an inadequate guard around the drop-off area of a center median. Our client crashed as a result and suffered a severe spinal cord injury. Our legal team reached a settlement of $9 million.
Some of our other results include:
- $17.9 million settlement in a tire defect case, where a defective tire design caused an accident resulting in paraplegia.
- $13.82 million award, where a bus passenger suffered a head injury in an accident that resulted in brain damage and left-side hemiplegia.
- $7.675 million award, after a reckless police pursuit in Los Angeles caused an accident that resulted in paraplegia.
Other cases may not result in such compensation, because every case is different. The above, however, provide only some of many examples of how we zealously represent our injured clients and regularly obtain settlements and awards worth millions of dollars in spinal cord injury cases. Not only do we care about our clients, but our work also routinely leads to investigations and legislative proposals that increase safety for others in California and throughout the United States. We pride ourselves in helping our clients and in making the world a safer place.
If you or a loved one sustained a spinal cord injury that caused paralysis, please contact the injury lawyers of Greene Broillet & Wheeler, LLP, to discuss a potential case. We represent clients in the Los Angeles area and throughout Southern California and the entire state. We also consult with attorneys and clients nationwide. Do not hesitate to contact our office if you or a family member is struggling with a life-altering spinal cord injury.
The Greene, Broillet & Wheeler, LLP, Difference
After a catastrophic spinal cord injury, you may not know where to turn for help. Many law firms may promise they know how to handle complex injury cases, but how can you tell whether they truly know how to protect your rights and interests?
Spinal cord injury cases are complicated, and there is too much at stake to risk by hiring an attorney who is in over his head. Always ensure you have the highest quality of representation, because spinal cord injuries can produce millions of dollars in medical, home assistance, and rehabilitation expenses that keep mounting long after the precipitating accident. At Greene, Broillet & Wheeler, LLP, we are confident in our ability to represent clients with devastating and costly injuries for many reasons.
- Experience – When it comes to complex personal injury litigation, experience is key. However, simply handling a large number of cases for years is not enough when it comes to spinal cord injury claims. While an attorney may settle many claims involving minor injuries, doing so does not provide the experience needed to take on cases involving disabling and life-altering injuries. Spinal cord injury cases are unique, and we devote our law practice to representing clients with such severe injuries. We know how to seek compensation for our clients’ past losses, as well as a lifetime of future losses due to permanent impairments. After a catastrophic injury, you do not just need a lawyer with experience, you need a lawyer with the right experience, and our firm has that.
- Resources – Because spinal cord injury victims incur such devastating losses, defendants will try to limit their liability and pay out as little as possible whenever they can. Your attorney needs the resources to take on formidable opponents and prove your claim. Because we regularly and successfully handle such high-dollar cases at Greene, Broillet & Wheeler, LLP, we have the resources needed to prevail in a spinal injury claim, and we dedicate all necessary resources to each case. We employ investigators who work to gather evidence of negligence to prove liability. When necessary, we have hired a range of experts to testify on behalf of our clients. We do not hold anything back when it comes to devoting resources to our cases.
- Reputation – When opponents learn that Greene, Broillet & Wheeler, LLP, is representing a spinal cord injury victim, they take the claim seriously. As the firm with the most million-dollar verdicts for injury clients in California, our reputation is impeccable. Opponents know we seek the maximum compensation for our severely injured clients, and that we have the ability to obtain high-dollar settlements and verdicts. Large corporations, insurance companies, and injury defense attorneys know we have the skill, experience, and resources to get the best possible results. This reputation helps our attorneys continue to succeed.
If you or a loved one suffered a catastrophic spinal cord injury, call our law firm as soon as possible to discuss whether we may help you.
Experienced in Spinal Cord Injury Litigation
Just as spinal cord injuries are extremely complex, so is litigating them. Spinal cord injuries can affect one victim much differently than another, so no two spinal cord injury cases are the same. Each case will present its own unique legal issues, damages, and liability challenges. Our attorneys are ready to handle even the most complicated claims involving the most catastrophic spinal cord injuries.
Representing people who have sustained injuries to the spine and spinal cord is a significant practice area for our firm. We have extensive experience handling all facets of spinal injury claims, including:
- Causes of spinal cord injuries – There are many different causes of spinal cord injuries, and identifying what happened and who was responsible is critical to recovering compensation in any personal injury claim. We handle spinal cord injury cases arising from car accidents, truck accidents, motorcycle accidents, pedestrian accidents, dangerous products or vehicles, nursing home abuse, and more.
- Paralysis – Many spinal cord injuries leave victims with permanent loss of movement and sensation in the body below the point of the spinal cord injury. This often confines victims to wheelchairs and may even leave them bedridden. Many paralyzed spinal cord injury victims also lose organ functioning, including the bowels, bladder, sexual organs, or even the lungs. They may require breathing assistance and around-the-clock care. Many paralyzed individuals may never work again, and they must instead rely on disability benefits.
- Spinal cord rehabilitation – Spinal cord injury victims often require an extensive period of rehabilitation, and may need rehabilitative therapy for the rest of their lives. Often, victims undergo regular occupational therapy, which helps teach them how to complete tasks and self-care independently within the confines of their condition while making use of available medical equipment and tools.
- Lifecare planning – An effective lifecare plan is essential for many paralyzed spinal cord injury victims. This helps ensure they receive the care they need while preserving as many of their resources as possible. A life care plan can help estimate the long-term costs of a spinal cord injury, so we know how much compensation to seek for our clients.
- Vocational rehabilitation – Spinal cord injuries can prevent people from returning to their previous jobs, especially jobs that involved physical activity. However, most spinal cord injury victims do not want to spend the rest of their lives unemployed. Vocational training helps some paralyzed individuals overcome obstacles to employment and develop new skills that allow them to earn a living.
If you suffered a spinal cord injury, hire a law firm with the resources and capability to investigate your case, properly evaluate the lifetime costs of the injury, and obtain the maximum amount of compensation for those damages. The lifetime cost of a spinal cord injury can easily add up to tens of millions of dollars or more. You need an attorney who can calculate and effectively prove both your past and future damages to ensure you receive enough to cover all of your future expenses for the rest of your life.
This is more complicated than you may imagine, and doing so requires a thorough understanding of spinal cord injuries and their long-term effects on nearly every aspect of a victim’s life. Greene Broillet & Wheeler, LLP, also regularly employ medical, occupational, and vocational experts who can testify to the costs and lasting challenges of a spinal cord injury. These witnesses are necessary for most catastrophic injury claims, since insurance companies and their lawyers will almost certainly try to challenge the amount of damages claimed.
Understanding Your Current and Future Needs After a Disabling Spinal Cord Injury
Because we have handled many spinal cord and other serious injury claims, we are familiar with medical and rehabilitation specialists in the area and can find respected experts. In spinal cord injury cases, we can consult with life care planners and economists to project the needs and costs of accident-related care and services. We also understand how best to present the nature and extent of our clients’ damages to a judge and jury.
Part of our process is to get to know each client personally, including their specific needs after such a devastating injury. Each person’s different limitations and impairments will affect them in different ways. For example, a professional athlete who suffers from quadriplegia (paralysis from the neck down) will have different losses than an accountant who suffers from paraplegia (paralysis from the waist down). We make sure to closely examine how a spinal cord injury affects our clients in every possible way to ensure we can best present a case for the maximum value of a claim.
To learn more about spinal cord injuries and how we hold those responsible for an injury accountable for their negligence or wrongful acts, read through some of the questions that are most frequently asked about paralysis.
What Causes Paralysis?
Paralysis occurs when the spinal cord sustains enough damage to prevent messages from moving between the brain and the other parts of the body. Patients with paralysis may experience a loss of muscle function and movement as well as a loss of feeling in the affected areas of their bodies.
Many people with paralysis experience day-to-day changes in their degree of functioning. A person with some feeling or movement can still suffer from paralysis. Overall health and activity level can play roles in how much a patient can feel and move.
The extent of paralysis usually depends on where on the spinal cord the injury occurs. Injuries to the neck, sometimes called the cervical spine, can result in the entire body’s inability to function. If injuries occur to the lower back, it’s possible that both legs will lose mobility or sensation.
What Types of Paralysis Occur From Spinal Cord Injuries?
The five main types of paralysis that can occur when the spinal cord sustains an injury include:
- Quadriplegia, sometimes called tetraplegia, paralyzes the body below the neck. Both arms and legs and the torso lose mobility.
- Paraplegia usually paralyzes the hips and legs. Typically, the injury that causes paraplegia happens in the mid- to lower back.
- Hemiplegia paralyzes an arm and a leg on the same side of the body. It’s less common, but possible, with spinal cord injuries.
- Diplegia paralyzes the same area on both sides of the body, such as both arms or both legs.
- Monoplegia paralyzes a single limb.
Most patients with one of these forms of paralysis will continue to undergo physical therapy to improve function as much as possible.
Other Medical Issues That Spinal Cord Injury-Induced Paralysis Can Cause
In addition to lack of movement and feeling, a spinal cord injury may produce other medical issues, including:
- Reduced blood flow and heart rate
- Blood clots
- Respiratory difficulties
- Partial loss of function to organs
- Skin injuries and sores
- Loss of muscle tissue
- Reduced bone density
- Loss of sexual function
- Loss of bladder and bowel control
- Issues with speaking or swallowing food
- Mood and behavior changes
This is not a comprehensive list of medical issues that victims of spinal cord injuries may experience. A skilled medical team can help patients understand what issues they may face, now and in the future.
Legal Liability for Spinal Cord Injuries
Because spinal cord injuries can have many different causes, it’s impossible to predict all of the parties potentially responsible for an accident that leaves a victim paralyzed. Suffice it to say that when a spinal cord injury occurs because of an accident that is not entirely the fault of the victim, some other party may also bear legal liability.
For example, in the case of motor vehicle accidents, vehicle drivers, vehicle owners, vehicle manufacturers, even municipalities that maintain roads may bear legal responsibility for causing an accident. When someone takes a fall that injures the spine, the property owner where the fall occurred, or the maintenance company responsible for fixing unsafe conditions, may face a liability claim. If a car accident paralyzes somebody, then the other driver, the car or part manufacturer, or road design or maintenance entity or contractor could bear responsibility.
Each case, in other words, is different. Catastrophic accidents, however, tend to result from the negligent or wrongful actions of individuals or companies. An experienced personal injury lawyer understands how to identify the parties whom an injured party might hold accountable.
Is Recovery From Paralysis Possible?
In very rare instances, patients recover completely from paralysis, thanks to early and aggressive medical treatment. Unfortunately, however, a complete recovery is not the norm.
Patients with some forms of paralysis can hope to regain some function through physical therapy, which helps the brain and body learn different ways of working together. Physical therapy and other rehabilitation therapies can also strengthen muscles and help the body relearn some movements or adapt to its condition.
Today, various mobility devices can help spinal cord injury victims recover some degree of independence. Current and future treatments and mobility devices, however, can range into the millions of dollars during the course of a spinal cord accident victim’s lifetime. Victims often require significant compensation from liable parties to access the help and care they need.
Do Spinal Cord Injuries Decrease Life Expectancy?
The impact of a spinal cord injury is not felt only when the victim incurs the injury, even if the patient is able to recover some function and return to life with his or her family.
Mortality rates are higher for patients with paralysis in the first year after injury. Even when patients make it through the first year of paralysis, they still often face reduced life expectancies. For a healthy adult, at age 40, the average life expectancy is 80.7 years. However, with paraplegia, average life expectancy drops to 69.7 years.
The degree of neurological impairment usually dictates the average lifespan of a paralyzed patient. Patients who must use a ventilator for assistance with breathing, for example, typically have dramatically lower life expectancies. Patients with spinal cord injuries and limited mobility are more likely to develop pneumonia, septicemia, or a pulmonary embolism—all of which can lead to premature death.
What Are the Lifetime Costs of Paralysis?
Healthcare costs and living expenses for a patient with full paralysis can easily soar into the millions of dollars. According to the National Spinal Cord Injury Statistical Center (NSCISC), a patient with high quadriplegia—meaning very little movement below the neck—could incur an average of $1,102,403 in costs during the first year after the injury. If that person is paralyzed at age 25, the expected lifetime costs for care could run into many millions of dollars.
The cost for a patient with paraplegia averages $537,217 in the first year, and could reach millions more during the course of a lifetime of medical care and living costs.
These estimates don’t take into account the loss of income a victim of paralysis suffers from losing a job and related benefits, nor any costs that family members must bear to provide adequate at-home care. Nor do they cover housing and vehicle modifications or the cost of moving to an accessible home.
When you look at the expenses related to paralysis, seven-figure legal settlements may just barely cover the patient’s needs for a lifetime of specialized care.
Presenting a Compelling Case for Spinal Cord Injury Victims
A key to our success in spinal cord injury lawsuits is our ability to thoroughly investigate a case and identify all possible sources of financial compensation. We have in-house investigators as well as staff who often assist our consultants in reconstructing accidents, building models, creating computer simulations, and focusing on the effective presentation of that evidence at trial. Whether the liable party is an individual, a corporation, or both, we know how to prove negligence and hold parties responsible for the extreme harm they caused.
We have achieved impressive results in spinal cord injury cases involving negligent corporations that produce defective products and governmental entities that fail to correct dangerous conditions on public property and roads. These parties will generally not agree to a settlement without a fight—and we are ready to stand up and demand the full amount our clients deserve. Whether we aggressively negotiate to reach a just settlement or we zealously advocate for our clients at trial, we will not stop fighting for the settlement or verdict that spinal cord injury victims need to cover their massive losses.
Representing People With Spinal Cord Injuries in Los Angeles
Did you sustain a spinal cord injury in a vehicle crash, fall, or another type of accident? If so, the attorneys at Greene, Broillet & Wheeler, LLP, know the struggles you face—both now and possibly for the rest of your life. The good news is that we are here to help clients in your situation. Because we represent individuals with such severe injuries, we understand the wide array of losses spinal cord injury victims experience. Our attorneys regularly seek compensation for the following damages, among others:
- Medical expenses – These can reach into the millions of dollars during the lifetime of a patient, especially if the patient was younger at the time of the accident. A spinal cord injury requires emergency trauma care, including an ambulance or medevac ride. Costs continue for hospitalization, time in the intensive care unit (ICU), surgery, rehabilitation, medical equipment (including wheelchairs), home health care, assisted living, and much more. Many spinal cord injury victims require ongoing treatment for their lifetimes.
- Lost earnings – Paralysis may limit a victim’s ability to continue or advance in a career, resulting in a significant decline in current earnings and future earning capacity. This may cause spinal cord injury victims to change jobs or prevent them from working altogether. Victims deserve to recover for all income already lost, as well as the amount they would have earned during their life if they had not sustained an injury.
- Intangible losses – Many losses are not directly tied to finances and can include permanent disabilities, lost enjoyment of life, and punitive damages in some cases. Examples of intangible losses include:
- Physical pain and suffering – Ongoing physical pain, as well as other problems, such as the loss of sexual function or the need for a wheelchair.
- Mental suffering – Many patients with paralysis must leave behind careers and hobbies and can no longer interact the same way in their relationships with family and friends. Many people develop mental trauma as a result of their physical suffering.
- Loss of companionship – Family members may attempt to recover damages based on the patient’s changed role in the household.
Contact Our Los Angeles Spinal Cord Injury Lawyers to Discuss Your Possible Case
In personal injury lawsuits like those for a spinal cord injury, attorneys often work on a contingent fee basis in which clients pay little or no fees or expenses up front, and the law firm’s compensation consists of a percentage of any monies recovered for the client. At Greene Broillet & Wheeler, LLP, we offer a free consultation to potential clients, at which we typically discuss the facts of their injury and, if we agree to represent you, the appropriate fee arrangement.
If you suffered a catastrophic injury and resulting disabilities after a spinal cord injury in Los Angeles, or anywhere in California, the law firm to call is Greene, Broillet & Wheeler, LLP. The knowledgeable spinal cord injury attorneys at Greene Broillet & Wheeler, LLP, have successfully represented many people who have sustained spinal cord injuries due to someone else’s negligence or wrongful actions. We take on cases throughout the Los Angeles area and Southern California.
Email Greene Broillet & Wheeler, LLP, today, or call us at (310) 576-1200 for a free consultation about your spinal cord injury. The law may entitle you to recover damages that can help you pay medical bills and living costs related to your injury. Our compassionate and skilled personal injury attorneys will honestly assess your case and help you determine whether we can assist you in finding the best path to move forward.