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Los Angeles Spinal Cord Injury Lawyer At Greene Broillet & Wheeler, our seasoned team of professionals have over 100 years of combined legal experience handling complex legal matters.

Los Angeles Spinal Cord Injury Attorneys

Our Highly Skilled Attorneys Can Help After a Spinal Injury

The average person doesn’t realize just how fragile the spinal cord 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 Los Angeles attorneys who are committed to handling 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.

Call our Los Angeles spinal cord injury attorneys at Greene, Broillet & Wheeler, LLP, at (866) 634-4525 for a free consultation to discuss your potential case as soon as possible. 

What is a Spinal Cord Injury?

A spinal cord injury (SCI) refers to damage to the spinal cord that results in a loss of function, sensation, or mobility. The spinal cord is a bundle of nerves that carries messages between the brain and the rest of the body. When it gets injured, it can lead to a variety of physical and neurological impairments.

A spinal cord injury (SCI) refers to damage to the spinal cord that results in a loss of function, sensation, or mobility. The spinal cord is a bundle of nerves that carries messages between the brain and the rest of the body. When it gets injured, it can lead to a variety of physical and neurological impairments.

Common types of spinal cord injuries include:

  • Incomplete SCI: This type of injury means that the spinal cord is partially damaged. It can result in varying degrees of impairment, depending on the extent and location of the injury. Incomplete SCIs often leave some sensation or motor function below the level of injury.
  • Complete SCI: A complete SCI involves a total severance of the spinal cord, resulting in a complete loss of sensation and motor function below the level of injury. This can lead to paralysis, affecting both sensation and voluntary movement.
  • Spinal Fractures: These occur when the bones of the spine (vertebrae) break or dislocate due to trauma. A spinal fracture can sometimes lead to spinal cord injury if bone fragments damage the spinal cord.
  • Spinal Contusion: A spinal contusion is a bruise on the spinal cord, often caused by trauma. While it may not sever the spinal cord, it can still result in significant neurological deficits.
  • Spinal Cord Compression: Compression of the spinal cord can occur due to various factors, such as herniated discs, tumors, or degenerative conditions like spinal stenosis. This compression can lead to neurological symptoms and impairments.

Long-Term Effects of Spinal Cord Injury

The long-term effects of a spinal cord injury (SCI) can vary significantly depending on the severity, level, and extent of the injury, as well as individual factors such as age, overall health, and access to medical care.

Some common long-term effects include:

  • Paralysis: One of the most significant long-term effects of SCI is paralysis, which can affect various parts of the body depending on the level of injury. Paralysis may result in loss of sensation, muscle weakness, and impaired motor function, impacting mobility and independence.
  • Loss of Sensation: SCI often leads to partial or complete loss of sensation below the level of injury. This can include loss of touch, temperature sensation, and proprioception (awareness of body position). Loss of sensation can increase the risk of injuries and complications, such as pressure sores or burns, due to decreased ability to feel pain or discomfort.
  • Bowel and Bladder Dysfunction: Damage to the spinal cord can disrupt nerve signals responsible for controlling bowel and bladder function. Long-term effects may include urinary or fecal incontinence, urinary retention, or difficulty emptying the bladder or bowels, which can impact daily life and require management strategies such as catheterization or bowel programs.
  • Muscle Spasticity and Spasms: Many individuals with SCI experience muscle spasticity, involuntary muscle contractions, or spasms. These can be painful and interfere with activities of daily living, mobility, and sleep quality.
  • Respiratory Complications: SCI affecting the cervical or thoracic regions may impair respiratory function, leading to difficulties with breathing, coughing, and clearing secretions. Long-term effects can include decreased lung capacity, increased susceptibility to respiratory infections, and respiratory insufficiency.
  • Chronic Pain: Chronic pain is a common long-term complication of SCI, affecting both the injured area and other parts of the body due to changes in nerve function and sensation. Pain management strategies may include medications, physical therapy, and alternative therapies.
  • Cardiovascular Issues: SCI can disrupt the autonomic nervous system, leading to cardiovascular complications such as low blood pressure, orthostatic hypotension (a drop in blood pressure upon standing), and an increased risk of blood clots and cardiovascular disease.
  • Skin Problems: Reduced mobility and sensation increase the risk of skin problems such as pressure sores (bedsores), skin infections, and dermatological issues. Proper skin care, pressure relief techniques, and regular skin assessments are essential for preventing complications.
  • Psychological and Emotional Impact: SCI can have profound psychological and emotional effects, including depression, anxiety, grief, anger, and adjustment difficulties. Mental health support and counseling are crucial for coping with the emotional challenges of living with SCI.
  • Social and Vocational Challenges: SCI can significantly impact an individual's social life, relationships, and employment opportunities. Barriers to accessibility, transportation, and participation in activities may require adaptations and support to maintain social connections and pursue meaningful work or education.

Common Causes of Spinal Cord Injuries

Traumatic spinal cord injuries can occur due to various accidents or incidents involving sudden impact or force to the spine. Some common causes include:

  • Motor vehicle accidents: Collisions involving cars, motorcycles, bicycles, or pedestrians can lead to spinal cord injuries, especially if there's a rapid deceleration or impact.
  • Falls: Falls from heights, such as ladders, stairs, or elevated surfaces, can result in spinal cord injuries, particularly among older adults.
  • Sports injuries: Participation in contact sports like football, rugby, hockey, and gymnastics can lead to spinal cord injuries due to tackles, collisions, or falls during play.
  • Acts of violence: Stabbings, gunshot wounds, or physical assaults that involve trauma to the spinal cord can result in serious injuries.
  • Recreational activities: Activities such as diving into shallow water, skiing, snowboarding, or trampolining can cause spinal cord injuries if accidents occur or if proper precautions are not taken.
  • Work-related accidents: Jobs involving heavy machinery, construction, or working at heights pose risks for spinal cord injuries if accidents happen on the job site.
  • Medical procedures: Complications during surgeries, particularly those involving the spine or nearby structures, can sometimes lead to spinal cord injuries.
  • Diseases or conditions: Conditions such as osteoporosis, spinal tumors, or infections like spinal abscesses can weaken the spine and make it more susceptible to injury from minor trauma.
  • Birth injuries: Trauma during childbirth, particularly if forceps or vacuum extraction is used, can sometimes result in spinal cord injuries in newborns.
  • Acts of nature: Rarely, natural disasters like earthquakes or severe storms can cause traumatic spinal cord injuries due to collapsing structures or flying debris.

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. The extent of paralysis also 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.

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.

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 millions of dollars during a spinal cord accident victim’s lifetime. Victims often require significant compensation from liable parties to access the help and care they need.

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:

  1. Quadriplegia, sometimes called tetraplegia, paralyzes the body below the neck. Both arms and legs and the torso lose mobility.
  2. Paraplegia usually paralyzes the hips and legs. Typically, the injury that causes paraplegia happens in the mid- to lower back.
  3. Hemiplegia paralyzes an arm and a leg on the same side of the body. It’s less common, but possible, with spinal cord injuries.
  4. Diplegia paralyzes the same area on both sides of the body, such as both arms or both legs.
  5. Monoplegia paralyzes a single limb.

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.

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.

Seeking Damages for Spinal Cord Injuries in CA

Did you sustain a spinal cord injury in a vehicle crash, fall, or another type of accident? If so, our team at Greene, Broillet & Wheeler, LLP, understands 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 focus on representing individuals with severe injuries, we understand the wide array of losses that stem from a spinal cord injury.

Our Los Angeles spinal cord injury lawyers regularly seek compensation for the following damages, among others:

  • Medical expenses
  • Lost earnings
  • Intangible losses
  • Physical pain and suffering
  • Mental suffering
  • Loss of companionship

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.

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.

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 a law firm that can’t handle your case. At Greene, Broillet & Wheeler, LLP, we are confident in our ability to represent clients with devastating and costly injuries for many reasons. Combining decades of experience with vast resources and a reputation for success, our Los Angeles spinal cord injury team will carefully review your case and help you determine who, if anyone, is liable for your losses.

If you or a loved one suffered a catastrophic spinal cord injury, call our law firm at (866) 634-4525 or contact us online as soon as possible to discuss whether we may help you.

Helping Our Clients Tell Their Story & Get the Compensation They Deserve

Awards & Associations

  • Best Law Firms by US News
    Named in U.S. News - Best Lawyers® "Best Law Firms,” Greene Broillet & Wheeler, LLP ranks as Tier 1 Personal Injury firm in Los Angeles.
  • The Inner Circle of Advocates
    Founding partners Browne Greene and Bruce A. Broillet are both members of the exclusive invite-only Inner Circle of Advocates, as two of the top 100 plaintiff trial lawyers in America.
  • LACBA
    All of our attorneys are proud to be active members of the Los Angeles County Bar Association or LACBA.
  • Consumer Attorneys of California
    Many firm members have been honored by the Consumer Attorneys of California, including Browne Greene, Christine Spagnoli, and Bruce Broillet, recipients of the Marvin E. Lewis Award. In addition, attorneys Bruce Broillet, Scott Carr, Molly McKibben, and Tobin Lanzetta has been honored with the Consumer Attorney of the Year Award.
  • Best Lawyers
    All 15 of our attorneys have been selected to Best Lawyers® after an extensive peer review process.
  • Top 10 Wrongful Death Verdicts in California in 2019
    Our attorneys were featured in TopVerdict for having one of the Top 10 Wrongful Death Verdicts in California in 2019, with $15 million won for the plaintiff in Keck v. Bel-Air Bay Club.
  • Super Lawyers®
    Our firm has more attorneys on the Super Lawyers® and Rising Stars lists than any other law firm in Southern California, with 15 members selected.
  • CAALA
    Several partners are active members in the Consumer Attorneys Association of Los Angeles, with attorneys Browne Greene, Bruce Broillet, and Christine Spagnoli named “Trial Lawyer of the Year."
  • WLALA
    Firm partners Christine D. Spagnoli and Molly McKibben have both been honored by the Women Lawyers Association of Los Angeles and are active members.
  • Top 50 Personal Injury Verdicts in California in 2019
    After winning $2.6 million for the plaintiff’s side in a head-on collision case, our victory was named in the Top 50 Personal Injury Verdicts in California in 2019 by TopVerdict.
  • Best Lawyers: Ones to Watch
    Recipients of this recognition are held up to the same standards as for The Best Lawyers in America, but only legal professionals in the first ten years of their careers qualify. Four attorneys at GBW have been recognized with this award in 2021.
  • American Board of Trial Advocates
    Several of our partners are members in the American Board of Trial Advocates, a national invite-only association consisting of the most experienced trial lawyers.
  • Top 100 Settlements in California in 2019
    Greene Broillet & Wheeler, LLP, was featured by TopVerdict in the Top 100 Settlements across all practice areas in California for 2019.
  • International Society of Barristers
    Our team includes several Fellows and Associates with the invite-only International Society of Barristers in recognition of their trial advocacy.
  • International Academy of Trial Lawyers
    Bruce A. Broillet and Christine D. Spagnoli are Fellows with the invite-only International Academy of Trial Lawyers, a group of elite trial lawyers from over 30 countries.
  • American College of Trial Lawyers
    A preeminent trial lawyers’ organization in North America, the American College of Trial Lawyers have elected firm partners Bruce Broillet, Mark Quigley, and Geoffrey Wells as Fellows.

Why Choose Greene Broillet & Wheeler, LLP?

  • Decades of Legal Experience
  • Billions Recovered For Our Clients
  • We're Always Available For Our Clients & Offer Free Consultations
  • We've Taken On Some of The Largest Corporations & Insurance Agencies

BILLIONS RECOVERED

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