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As Bakersfield continues to grow, traffic has increased throughout the city, including in neighborhoods and other pedestrian-heavy locations. Unfortunately theincrease in trafficThis is a major detriment to population growth as it causes delays for other travelers and increases the risk of serious injury.
One of the most serious injuries a person can sustain in a car accident is a spinal cord injury. Car accidents are among the most common causes of spinal cord injuries.
If you sustained a spinal cord injury in a Bakersfield automobile accident or other accident caused by the negligence or recklessness of another person, you may be able to recover the costs and psychological effects of your injury through a spinal cord injury lawsuit .
An experienced Bakersfield spinal cord injury attorney from The May Firm can help you understand this process.
We are satisfied with the results we have achieved for our clients including:
- $2.3 million for a customer who was injured when a pickup truck hit his vehicle.
- $1.9 million for family of person hit and killed by motor vehicle.
- Comparing $1.5 million in insurance claims for a client who sustained a non-surgical spinal cord injury. This case was settled prior to filing a lawsuit.
Please note that these are past results and do not guarantee the result in any particular case.
The May Firm understands that many people hesitate to hire the services of an attorney because they don't knowhow much does it cost to rent one. We also understand the permanence of spinal cord injury and the need to go beyond just receiving adequate compensation to endure complications for a lifetime. Because access to experienced legal counsel is such an important part of your case, we are available to answer your questions and discuss your case free of charge during a case evaluation.
Onespinal cord injuries
The spinal cord is a bundle of nerves that runs down the middle of the back from the base of the skull to the waist. The spinal cord, along with the brain, forms the body's central nervous system.
The spinal cord primarily carries messages between the brain and other parts of the body. Although the bony vertebrae and cushioning of the intervertebral discs generally protect the spinal cord, spinal cord damage can still occur.
Contrary to popular belief, a spinal cord injury rarely cuts the spinal cord, but rather damages it. Unfortunately, despite the importance of the spinal cord in the body's ability to function, the spinal cord has a limited ability to heal from injury, and the damage is often permanent.
The main risk that people with a spinal cord injury face is aLoss of feeling and function below the lesion, known as paralysis. If the lesion occurs high in the spinal cord in the neck area, it can paralyze the person's extremities, chest, torso, and pelvis. This is known as quadriplegia or quadriplegia. Injuries that occur in the lower spine often paralyze the lower extremities, known as paraplegia.
The most common causes ofspinal cord injuries
According to the World Health Organization (WHO), theThe most common causes of spinal cord injuriesaround the world include:
- Motor vehicle accidents, including accidents involving cars, commercial vehicles, pedestrians or bicycles.
- Falls, including those from a height and the same height.
- Acts of violence, including physical harm, child abuse, or fighting.
- sports and leisure activities.
Spinal cord injuries are more common in men than women, and men in their early 20s are more likely to suffer this injury than other demographics. Spinal cord injuries are also more common in older people due to decreased vision and other physical problems that come with age and cause falls.
How is the spinal cord?injuries treated?
Spinal cord injuries can result in death. Doctors must treat them promptly. Early treatment usually consists of maintaining the patient's airway, immobilising the throat to prevent further damage, preventing or treating shock, and treating problems that lead to complications such as stool or urine retention or the formation of blood clots can.
Rehabilitation begins in the early stages of recovery to prevent loss of muscle tone. Over time, depending on the person's physical capacity, rehabilitation may include learning new ways to perform self-care tasks, using assistive devices and technology to improve social and employment opportunities, and methods of care that can reduce complications such as infection.
In addition to ongoing rehabilitation, people with spinal cord injuries generally need treatment for the ongoing needs and complications associated with the injury. Any spinal cord injury that results in loss of motor function results in complications, and the average cost per year to treat these complications exceeds $40,000 per year.
The associated lasting effectsWith a paraplegic
Spinal cord injuries are considered catastrophic injuries because they have a high likelihood of creating permanent disabilities that prevent someone from performing personal care responsibilities independently or earning an income.
In truth, a spinal cord injury can change every aspect of the sufferer's life, including:
- Health. People with spinal cord injuries are up to five times more likely to die prematurely than other people, with pneumonia being the leading cause of premature death. Pneumonia is a common complication of quadriplegia because coughing cannot clear discharges from the lungs and throat. Although the direct costs of treating a spinal cord injury are highest in the first year after the injury, people with spinal cord injuries face enormous medical expenses each year to maintain their health and manage the effects of the many complications of their injuries.
- finance. The indirect costs of a spinal cord injury, e.g. B. loss of wages due to inability to work due to a disability, often exceed the direct costs, such. B. Medical expenses. A person who suffers a spinal cord injury with high quadriplegia at the age of 25 can expect to pay more than$4.7 million in lifetime direct costs, while those who suffer from SCI by age 25 face a lifetime direct cost of more than $500,000.
- Relationships. Family members of a person who has suffered a spinal cord injury often face profound changes in their relationship with the injured person, taking on the role of caregiver for someone who is no longer able to care for themselves and providing regular medical care intervention needed. Likewise, friends of a person who has suffered a spinal cord injury often fade when the injured person is no longer able to participate in activities or pursue common interests. Spouses and partners of people with spinal cord injuries often experience loss of consortium (a loss of physical intimacy and companionship that often occurs after suffering this injury).
frequent complicationsFrom spinal cord injuries
In addition to the extreme psychological effects of a spinal cord injury, there are also common and serious physical complications associated with the injury, such as:
- breathing problemsof paralysis in the abdominal and chest muscles that prevent the person from coughing to clear secretions from the lungs and throat.
- circulatory problemsB. dangerously low blood pressure when standing up, life-threatening increase in blood pressure or swelling of the extremities. Poor circulation increases the risk of developing a blood clot in the deep veins of the arms or legs, a condition known as deep vein thrombosis (DVT). A DVT is of particular concern because it carries the risk of the blood clot breaking loose and traveling through the venous system to the lungs, where it can lead to a potentially fatal condition known as a pulmonary embolism.
- loss of bladder controlwhen the part of the spine that transmits messages to the bladder has been damaged. Changes in your ability to control your bladder can increase your risk of urinary tract infections, kidney infections, and kidney or bladder stones.
- Lack of bowel control, which can lead to incontinence or constipation. People with spinal cord injuries often eat high-fiber diets to aid in digestion in the stomach and colon.
- loss of skin feel., which can result in serious injury as the person is unable to feel or quickly react to contact with the skin from extremely hot, cold or sharp surfaces. Also, the loss of feeling in the skin makes it difficult for the person to know when it is time to change body position, which can lead to the development of pressure sores.
- changes in muscle tone. Loose, flabby muscles known as flaccidity can occur in people with spinal cord injuries. You may also experience uncontrolled tightening or spasms of muscles known as spasticity.
search for compensationfor his injury
There are approximately 12,500 new spinal cord injuries each year in the United States, and more than 275,000 people live with the consequences of a spinal cord injury. More than half of all new spinal cord injuries occur in car accidents, and falls cause another 31 percent.
Persons who suffered their injury as a result of the negligence or recklessness of another person anywhere in Bakersfield may seek compensation for the injury through the Spinal Cord Injury Claims Procedure, including a lawsuit, if necessary.
The statute of limitations for filing your claim for spinal cord injury is usually two years after the injury. You must file the claim with the guilty party's applicable insurance policy.
The types of insurance policies that are commonly accessed to compensate people for spinal cord injuries in Bakersfield include:
- Motor vehicle liability insurance. All drivers who register their vehicles in California must have a minimum amount of insurance to cover costs related to property damage and personal injury suffered by others in accidents caused by the driver's negligence.
- homeowner policy. If your accident was a fall or other injury in a private home because the owner or occupant of the property failed to promptly address known hazards, you would seek compensation from your insurance policy.
- Commercial Insurance Policies. If your injury resulted from a fall in a commercial setting, e.g. B. in a retail store or restaurant, you will need payment from this policy. An exception is if you were an employee of the company where your injury occurred andinjured at work. They receive compensation for these injuries through the California Workers' Compensation Program, which provides wage replacement and health insurance to more employees through no-fault workers' compensation. Most employers in the state are required to maintain workers' compensation insurance for their employees.
Spinal cord injuries are complex, and the legal process for recovering damages for this type of injury is also complex. Read on for answers to some of the questions we hear most about getting compensation for these types of injuries, and contact us for a free case assessment so you can get answers to any legal questions you may have have to your case.
Bakersfield spinal cord injuryfrequently asked questions
Whether your spinal cord injury occurred in a car accident on Highway 99 or in a slip and fall at Valley Plaza, we don't have to tell you how serious this type of injury can be.
However, the experienced spinal cord injury attorneys at The May Firm can tell you that you can use California's civil court system to seek compensation for the extraordinary costs and quality of life impact of a spinal cord injury.
Here are answers to some of the most common questions our Bakersfield neighbors ask us about spinal cord injuries.
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Frequently Asked QuestionsQuestions
Here are the answers from a Bakersfield spinal cord injury attorney, courtesy of The May Firm.
to some frequently asked questions that we receive from customers.
How do I get compensation for my spinal cord injury in Bakersfield?
The process you use to obtain compensation after you have been injured as a result of someone else's negligence or recklessness is the Spinal Cord Injury Compensation Process. This involves filing a claim for the costs and effects of your injury with the guilty party's applicable insurance provider.
The insurance then has three options:
- Accept responsibility for the accident and pay the claim as filed;
- Reject the claim in its entirety and inform the claimant of the reasons for this decision; either
- Offer to settle (solve) the claim for a lesser amount.
Generally, the insurance company rejects the claim outright or offers to pay with a lesser amount. This offer is usually well below the case value, but serves as a good starting point for negotiating a fair offer.
However, if at some point the other party fails to offer a fair settlement, your attorney may recommend that you file a lawsuit.
In California, you must file a lawsuit in courtwithin two yearsfrom the day the accident occurred.
California allows spinal cord injury claimants to seek compensation for both economic and noneconomic damages for both the cost and psychological effects of their injury.
Common costs and implications of claiming damages in a Bakersfield spinal cord injury case include:
- Medical expenses, including the cost of emergency treatment, ambulance transport, diagnostic tests, hospital stays, the services of your physicians and surgeons, prescription drugs, physical therapy, and rehabilitation. You can also try to get reimbursed for the cost of care in a nursing facility and aids such as crutches or a wheelchair.
- Lost wages from being too injured to work.
- Loss of future earning capacity if your accident prevents you from earning what you earned before the accident.
- Property damage that you suffered in the accident, e.g. B. the cost of repairing or replacing the vehicle you were driving if your injury was the result of a car accident.
- pain and physical suffering.
- emotional stress.
- loss of zest for life.
- Loss of consortium raised on behalf of an injured person's spouse for the loss of physical intimacy and companionship that often accompanies serious injuries such as spinal cord injuries.
For your claim to be successful, you must be able to show that someone else was responsible (legally liable) for causing your damage.
You prove liability by showing:
- The guilty party owed you a duty of care. Duty of care is simply the action that a reasonable person would take under certain circumstances to avoid harming other people or their property.
- There was a breach of duty of care relating to actions that a reasonable person would not have taken in similar circumstances.
- The breach caused an accident that resulted in your spinal cord injury and subsequent costs and repercussions associated with the injury and treatment of the injury.
Catastrophic injuries are likely to result in permanent disability and drastically reduce a person's ability to earn an income. The term usually refers to injuries to the central nervous system, including the brain and spinal cord.
Catastrophic injuries typically result in higher value litigation due to the permanence of the injury and the need for compensation sufficient to pay for service, treatment and equipment for the life of the person.
Each agreement reflects the unique facts of the case in question and the willingness of the parties on both sides to come to an agreement. That's why there's no average settlement in a spinal cord injury case in Bakersfield.
However, many factors can affect the value of your claim, including:
- How much is the guilty party's insurance coverage because insurance pays for almost all settlements and premiums.
- The severity of your injury. Spinal cord injuries are considered "catastrophic injuries" because they have a high likelihood of resulting in permanent disability and loss of earning capacity. This injury also generally results in greater non-economic harm as many people with spinal cord injuries are unable to perform personal tasks independently and the complications resulting from the injury can result in the victim requiring many additional medical treatments and associated costs suffers.
- Your patience in settlement negotiations. The guilty party's insurance provider may begin negotiating a settlement soon after your attorney receives the original claim package, and these negotiations may continue after the trial begins. Offers may come your way throughout the process, but your attorney will be on the lookout for offers that can ensure you have adequate compensation to help you overcome the common complications that accompany spinal cord injuries.
My spouse sustained a spinal cord injury in a car accident and cannot make a claim himself. Can I apply on behalf of a partner?
Yes, in general you can file a lawsuit on behalf of your spouse. However, if your spouse has not named you as a personal representative in a living will or other legal document, you must obtain a medical power of attorney, power of attorney, or guardianship in order to make legal decisions. Obtaining these documents usually requires a court hearing to show that your loved one is mentally or physically unable to make their own decisions.
If I receive a settlement or compensation for future medical expenses and the doctors then find a cure for my injury, do I have to pay the money back?
While there is currently no cure for spinal cord injury, researchers are constantly working to develop treatments to help people with spinal cord injury with the many difficulties that accompany this type of injury. That being said, settlement agreements are almost always final.
Just as you can't go back and ask the guilty party's insurance provider for more money if you find that the settlement isn't enough to fully recover your costs, the insurance company can't require you to pay back the money you actually believed. necessary.
If you have not already discussed your case with a Bakersfield spinal cord injury attorney, you should do so before accepting the settlement. Insurance adjusters are not in business to help those injured by their policyholders, they are in business to make money. One way to do this is to avoid paying out large claims.
Early settlement offers have little to do with the fact that you're paying for a permanent injury, such as an injury. B. a spinal cord injury, receive adequate compensation. Instead, it's about getting someone to agree to a small amount before they've had a chance to fully understand the cost and impact of their injury.
The IRS does not consider monies received in compensation for the effects and costs of personal injury incomedon't tax it.
However, there are two exceptions that you should be aware of:
- If you used your medical expenses as a tax deduction in the year your injury occurred or in later years and later received compensation that includes medical expenses, you must repay the deducted expenses.
- If you were awarded punitive damages, the IRS can tax you for not recovering your costs or effects and penalize the defendant's malicious or extremely reckless actions.
A Bakersfield spinal cord injury attorney from The May Firm can seek the maximum amount of compensation available in your case.
- A free, no-obligation case assessment that gives you time to talk to an attorney about your case, get answers to your legal questions, and learn more about the injury claim process.
- Identifying all sources of liability in your case and all insurance resources can compensate you.
- Determine a case value based on the costs and impacts you have already incurred as a result of your spinal cord injury and those you are likely to face.
- Negotiate with the guilty party's insurance provider to obtain a fair settlement offer on their behalf.
- Guidance on the pros and cons of accepting or rejecting an offered settlement.
- Timely filing of documents required by the court and attending all pre-trial conferences and hearings on your behalf.
- Gathering and organizing the evidence and testimonies needed to prove your case in court.
- In lieu of a fair settlement offer in your case, litigation services may include the presentation of opening and closing arguments, the presentation of evidence, and the hearing of witnesses.
- Assistance in recovering your settlement or court judgment.
- A customer-friendly contingency fee payment arrangement that allows you to withhold payment for your attorney's services pending a positive outcome in your case.
We understand that your spinal cord injury has changed every aspect of your life, from your ability to work to your relationships with loved ones and friends. Let an experienced Bakersfield spinal cord injury attorney at The May Firm help you understand the process of obtaining compensation for the many costs and repercussions you face as a result of your injury.
For your free case evaluation,Contact The May Firm onlineor by calling (866) 825-7909.
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Contact usFor the beginning. If you are involved in a motorcycle accident, it is important to have the right legal representation on your side. Often times, in a multi-vehicle collision, the rider is wrongly blamed due to the increased risk associated with motorcycling. Insurance companies are reluctant to side with motorcyclists and often try to blame them in whole or in part. Do not accept this guilt and the legal consequences that come with it.
Financial support(866) 619-6679to arrange a free consultation with our award winning motorcycle accident attorneys. We will help you, based on your statements, to determine the feasibility of your case and determine the best course of action. Working on a contingency fee means our attorneys will only be compensated if your case or settlement is won and our extensive experience and case history allows us to settle most claims out of court, giving you faster resolution of your case and it Allows you to focus on your recovery process. When building your settlement, we consider all possible expenses: medical bills, lost wages, property damage and emotional distress are all taken into account. Our goal is to help you regain control of your life to the best of your ability.
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How long does it take to recover from a spinal cord injury? ›
Recovery, if it occurs, usually relates to the severity and level of the injury. The fastest rate of recovery is often seen in the first six months, but some people make small improvements for up to 1 to 2 years.Which doctor is best for spinal cord injury? ›
Neurosurgery and orthopedic doctors are specialists that help decide the type of SCI, as well as the medical and surgical treatment. They may do surgery on the spine. They will work with other doctors in intensive care or to treat injuries to other parts of the body if needed.How much does it cost to treat a spinal cord injury? ›
After the first year, costs tend to go down. Spinal cord injury patients with high tetraplegia incur costs of about $184,000 annually, compared to $113,000 for people with low tetraplegia. Paraplegia costs about $69,000 each year, while incomplete motor function produces the lowest costs, of about $42,000.What is considered a severe spinal cord injury? ›
Cervical spinal cord injuries affect the head and neck region above the shoulders. It is the most severe level of spinal cord injury.Can a spinal cord injury get worse? ›
Even if you experience only mild symptoms after an accident, it is important to seek medical attention as soon as possible. Spinal cord injuries can worsen when they are not diagnosed and treated in time.Can nerves heal after spinal cord injury? ›
People who survive severe spinal cord injuries often experience life-long disability. Adult nerve cells in the spinal cord don't regrow after damage. Why they don't, and how they might be encouraged to do so, have been areas of extensive research.Why is it so hard to fix spinal cord injuries? ›
The spinal cord, part of our central nervous system, is an amazingly complex matrix of nerve cells and support cells. Following injury to the spinal cord, the damaged cells face anatomical, physiological, chemical, and immune system changes that hinder their attempts at regeneration.Which spinal cord injury has the best prognosis? ›
The prognosis is much better for the incomplete cord syndromes. If some sensory function is preserved, the chance that the patient will eventually be able walk is greater than 50%. Ultimately, 90% of patients with spinal cord injury return to their homes and regain independence.What is the average lifetime cost of a spinal cord injury? ›
Results: The estimated lifetime economic burden per individual with tSCI ranges from $1.5 million for incomplete paraplegia to $3.0 million for complete tetraplegia.How much is epidural stimulation for spinal cord injury? ›
According to Cost Helper Health, typical out-of-pocket costs of spinal cord stimulation for uninsured patients range between $15,000 and $50,000 (although they have been known to cost more): “According to a study funded by the Washington State Department of Labor and Industries, average total medical costs of ...
Does Medicare cover spinal cord injury? ›
Medicare is the nation's largest health insurance program, and is run by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid. Among other populations, Medicare provides benefits to some people with disabilities under the age of 65, including those with spinal cord injuries.How painful is a spinal cord injury? ›
In spinal cord injury (SCI) patients, chronic pain is common. It impacts about 70% of patients with one-third of these experiencing severely intense pain impacting on mood, functioning, and quality of life. The pain can be nociceptive, neuropathic, or visceral.Is spinal cord injury a disability? ›
Spinal cord injuries are some of the most severe injuries an individual can face. They often result in devastating disabilities. These disabilities can prevent an individual from performing any type of gainful work activity whatsoever.How does spinal cord injury affect life? ›
Symptoms may include partial or complete loss of sensory function or motor control of arms, legs and/or body. The most severe spinal cord injury affects the systems that regulate bowel or bladder control, breathing, heart rate and blood pressure. Most people with spinal cord injury experience chronic pain.Does spinal cord injury affect the brain? ›
Spinal cord injury causes inflammation which can affect the whole nervous system – this includes the brain, and the brain can be very sensitive to inflammation and pressure.What is the most severe complication of a spinal cord injury? ›
A spinal cord injury can cause circulatory problems ranging from low blood pressure when you rise (orthostatic hypotension) to swelling of your extremities. These circulation changes can also increase your risk of developing blood clots, such as deep vein thrombosis or a pulmonary embolus.Can you live with a damaged spinal cord? ›
After they adjust, many people with spinal cord injuries are able to work, drive, play sports, and have relationships and families. Your rehab team can provide the support, training, and resources to help you move toward new goals. It's up to you to make the most of what they have to offer.Can someone with a complete spinal cord injury walk again? ›
The qualified answer to this question is yes, a person can walk again after suffering a spinal cord injury. This is possible because the spinal cord is capable of reorganizing itself and making adaptive changes through a process known as neuroplasticity.What are the stages of spinal cord recovery? ›
Acute injury phase (less than 48 hours after the traumatic event) Subacute injury phase (48 hours to 14 days after) Intermediate injury phase (14 days to 6 months after) Chronic injury phase (6 months after and beyond)Do spinal cord injuries affect lifespan? ›
The life expectancy for a person aged 20 years who suffers a high tetraplegia spinal injury and survives at least one year is around 33.7 years. This statistic shows the life expectancy for spinal cord injuries in the U.S. for those who survive at least one year post-injury, as of 2021.
Is spinal cord damage permanent? ›
A spinal cord injury — damage to any part of the spinal cord or nerves at the end of the spinal canal (cauda equina) — often causes permanent changes in strength, sensation and other body functions below the site of the injury.Is there any hope for spinal cord injury? ›
For decades, scientists have looked for an effective treatment for spinal cord injuries, often with little success. Now, new research by Northwestern University scientists has resulted in a game-changing innovation: an injection that uses “dancing molecules” to repair spinal tissue and reverse paralysis.How long does it take for nerves to regenerate after spinal cord injury? ›
Spontaneous recovery typically plateaus at 12-18 months. However, neuroplasticity never completely goes away, and spared neural pathways are always capable of adapting, even years after SCI. The intensity that you approach your rehabilitation with also plays a crucial role in your recovery.