FULLERTON Spinal Cord Injury Lawyer


You know there are various injuries considered catastrophic under personal injury law, and spinal cord injuries are some of the worst that you can experience. Unfortunately, these injuries can leave you permanently disabled, especially when the injury occurs at the higher levels of the spinal cord. 

At Pirnia Law Group, we’re well aware of the dangers associated with a spinal cord injury and the negligence that can cause them. As such, our Fullerton personal injury attorney works hard to help you understand what legal rights you may have if you or someone you love suffers this devastating injury.

We’ll work with you to recognize where negligence may occur and stand by your side throughout the process as we pursue the compensation you need and deserve. 

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Types of Spine Injuries

When discussing spine injuries, there are many different terms you’ll hear, and it’s important to know what they mean.

Monoplegia, hemiplegia, paraplegia, and quadriplegia/tetraplegia

  • Monoplegia refers to paralysis in one area of the body
  • Hemiplegia refers to paralysis in one half of the body
  • Paraplegia refers to paralysis from the chest or waist down
  • Quadriplegia & tetraplegia refer to paralysis in all four limbs

Complete vs. incomplete

  • Complete paralysis refers to the situation in which the nerves are completely damaged and there’s no messages sent from the brain to the affected parts of the body, meaning loss of all function. Incomplete paralysis refers to some damage to the nerves, but some messages from the brain to the affected parts of the body remain, meaning only loss of some function.

Cervical, Thoracic, Lumbar, Sacrum

  • These refer to different areas of the spine containing the vertebrae. These levels all control different parts of the body. Damage to the sacrum spinal cord can impact your ability to walk, but paralysis may not occur. Damage to the lumbar spinal cord can result in paraplegia, but often impacts motor function and causes problems in your hips and groin. Damage to the thoracic spinal cord most often leads to paraplegia. Damage to the cervical spinal cord (closest to the brain), results in quadriplegia.

The more severe the damage, the more impact the injury can have on you. The most damaging injury you can sustain is complete quadriplegia. This means you lose function in your entire body below the level of the injury including arms, hands, legs, feet, groin, abdomen, back, and hips. Because it’s complete, there’s no functionality whatsoever.

Lifetime Costs of Paralysis

Paralysis can impact your entire life, and when you consider the medical care, modifications, and all other expenses, it’s easy to see why compensation becomes necessary. The lifetime costs associated with paralysis have been calculated, but they most often depend on a few different factors, including the severity of the injury and the age at which the injury occurs. Of course, someone who is younger and suffers paralysis may require much more care, meaning significantly more costs. 

At age 50, someone who suffers full quadriplegia can expect to pay a few million dollars over their lifetime, with the first year costing upwards of a million dollars on its own. Someone who suffers full quadriplegia at the age of 25 may spend more than $5 million dollars over the course of his or her lifetime. When you factor in the inability to earn an income, you can guess just how much compensation may be when negligence causes the spinal cord injury. 

Common Causes of Spinal Cord Injuries

Spinal cord injuries are like any other injury in personal injury law as they can be the result of someone else’s negligence. As such, it’s vital to recognize cause and where you have legal rights.  

Some of the most common causes of spinal cord injuries include the following situations:

  • Vehicle collisions
  • Slip and falls
  • Construction accidents
  • Violent acts
  • Medical malpractice

In any case, when someone else causes you or someone you love to suffer a spinal cord injury, causation becomes a big factor in proving liability. Our team is here to help you through the process so you can recognize your ability to pursue compensation.

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What to Expect in the Process of Filing a Lawsuit

When you file a lawsuit against someone for their negligence, it’s important to have someone on your side. The process can be time consuming and you may find yourself confused about what comes next and what your rights are. However, when you have a better understanding of the process, you can prepare for the situation accordingly.

Here are some of the things you should know about at each phase of the process:

  • Filing a claim: You file your claim against the negligent party and his or her insurance provider.

  • Claim acceptance or denial: The insurance company will make the decision to either accept or deny the claim. Acceptance means paying out a full settlement. Denial means you can take the next steps.

  • Filing a lawsuit: You must inform the defendant of the lawsuit and give him or her a chance to respond. This is often done in the form of a motion to dismiss, which the court can approve, dismissing the case completely, or deny, allowing the case to resume.

  • Discovery: This is your legal team’s chance to provide significant evidence and tell your story. Many claims settle at this point if your team can show significant evidence.

  • Settlement: Before accepting any settlement, speak with your lawyer to ensure it’s fair. Once you accept it, you forfeit your right to additional legal action.

  • Trial: If you go to trial, you’re showing your case to a jury of your peers and hoping they side in your favor to provide you with compensation.


What happens if your spinal cord is damaged?

A damaged spinal cord can mean many things, but a lot of what happens in the aftermath of an injury is dependent on how severe the damage is and where on the spinal cord the injury occurs.

For instance, an injury to the sacrum spinal cord can result in difficulty with hip and leg function, while a cervical spinal cord injury can result in full quadriplegia.

Permanent disability is a real possibility following a spinal cord injury, so it becomes essential to file a claim with the help of a lawyer to hold negligence accountable.

Can spinal cord injuries heal?

It’s unfortunate, but there’s no cure for a spinal cord injury and the damages are not reversible. There are treatment plans that you can utilize to help ease the problems associated with a spinal cord injury, though.

For instance, you can use physical therapy to help with your ability to walk should you suffer minor motor function loss. You can also use occupational therapy if you suffer from incomplete paralysis to learn how to use parts of your body that coincide with independence.

Receiving treatment can be expensive, though, so pursuing compensation is necessary.

Is a Herniated Disc Considered a Spinal Cord Injury?

A herniated disc is not something that would be considered a spinal cord injury, but it can contribute to causing such a problem.

For instance, if the bulging disc pushes enough to cause damage to the nerves within the spinal cord, it can cause significant harm. The severity of that harm is dependent on the part of the spinal cord that suffers damage. The lower on the spinal cord the injury occurs, the less severe the damages.

However, should a herniated disc occur within the cervical spinal cord and cause damage, paralysis is a possibility. 

How much is a spinal cord injury lawsuit worth?

Spinal cord injury lawsuits vary greatly depending on the individual who suffers the injury. This isn’t to say that one injury is worse than the others, but some individuals may be impacted greater in their ability to earn income or their need for medical care.

A spinal cord injury at the sacrum level would not be compensated nearly as much as a spinal cord injury at the thoracic area.

Similarly, someone who suffers from quadriplegia may require significantly more compensation because of his or her inability to work and modifications he or she may need to make to vehicles and their house.

How Much is a Fractured Vertebrae Lawsuit Worth?

A fractured vertebrae is something that can be painful and there may be long-term problems that arise from them.

While they’re not nearly as known and serious as paralysis, fractured vertebrae cases can still lead to verdicts and settlements bypassing hundreds of thousands of dollars for the expenses associated with such a significant injury. 

CALL A FULLERTON Spinal Cord Injury Attorney

Our team at Pirnia Law Group is here to help you. When you need someone to protect your rights after a spinal cord injury, know that we’re committed to your needs. We offer contingency fee representation; you don’t pay unless we win. Let us be your voice against negligence and take on large corporations on your behalf.

Call our firm today for a free consultation to discuss your potential case with our team.