How Much Is A California Spinal Cord Injury Claim Worth?
Spinal cord injuries (SCI) are one of the most common forms of accidental trauma, and statistics are proof that they are prevalent in the US. The American Association of Neurological Surgeons (AANS) estimates that there are 250,000 to 450,000 nationwide who are currently living with a spinal cord injury. Around 17,000 new cases are added every year, primarily through motor vehicle accidents and falls. The implications for the victim vary widely, as the spinal cord is a complex, very delicate network of tissues that some medical professionals say counts as an organ of the human body.
Because of the variables, it is not possible to provide an exact figure on what you can recover if you suffered SCI in an accident. Compensation aims to reimburse you and make you whole, so there are countless factors to take into consideration. An Oakland spinal cord injury lawyer can describe how damages are calculated, but answers to the following questions should give you some insight.
Is it a complete or incomplete spinal cord injury? A complete SCI is one that leads to complete lack of function, because the cord was severed, compressed, or damaged. With an incomplete SCI, there is limited function. Complete SCI impacts both sides of the body equally, while an incomplete injury could only interfere with one side.
Where is the injury located on the spine? The spine has multiple regions, and the consequences of an SCI depend upon where the trauma occurs. The higher up on the spine, the more devastating the damage.
The location of SCI, along with incomplete versus complete injury, are the key factors in determining damages. A complete SCI to the cervical spine, at the neck, could lead to quadriplegia. On the other hand, an incomplete injury to the lumbar spinal cord might lead to minor muscle weakness. The formula includes medical costs, long-term care, and other medical complications for the victim, which can skyrocket with severe SCI.
Can you still work? SCI could mean the victim cannot work at all, especially if the injuries result in quadriplegia, paraplegia, or tetraplegia. Muscle weakness or atrophy may force you to change employment. If you are unable or limited at work, you suffer lost wages, a factor that affects your monetary damages.
How do spinal cord injuries affect your quality of life? Being hurt could impact your relationships with family and friends, and SCI could limit you in terms of the favorite activities you enjoyed before you were injured. Plus, many people who sustain damage to the spinal cord lead shorter lifespans. These are quality of life issues, and they are included when determining your monetary damages.
An Oakland Spinal Cord Injury Attorney Will Seek All Available Damages
If you or a loved one suffered SCI in an accident, please contact Venardi Zurada, LLP to discuss your legal remedies. We can set up a free case evaluation at our offices in Oakland or Walnut Creek, CA. A spinal cord injury lawyer can provide more information about your case after reviewing your unique circumstances.