Spinal Cord Injuries

A spinal cord injury can impact a person's ability to work and perform daily tasks. When paralysis results from spinal cord injury, medical complications associated with immobility create serious health risks that aren't easily prevented or treated. Different kinds of spinal cord injury include the separation of vertebrae, a transverse fracture, twisting of vertebrae, vertebrae compression, displacement of vertebrae, and axial burst fracture.

If the spinal cord fractures, severing the nerves that run along its column to the brain, paralysis can occur. In each instance, the effects of a spinal cord injury impacts a person's mobility and, in some cases, bodily functions. As a result, long-term health care is almost always needed, including in-home nursing care, medical equipment, and rehabilitation.

In low impact car accidents and serious slips and falls, fractured vertebrae are common. Even though the spinal cord is not severed, a fractured vertebra can lead to numbness and weakness in the extremities, loss of bladder control, and chronic pain. As a result, a person may find it difficult to work, lift objects, or perform certain daily tasks. While not as serious as paraplegia or quadriplegia, fractured vertebrae can still result in disability and a lifelong need for ongoing medical care.

Under California law, "[A] person injured by another's tortious conduct is entitled to recover the reasonable value of medical care and services reasonably required and attributable to the tort." (Hanif v. Housing Authority of Yolo County (1988) 200 Cal.App.3d 635, 640, internal citations omitted).

A person may also recover for all detriment caused whether it could have been anticipated or not. In accordance with the general rule, it is settled in this state that mental suffering constitutes an aggravation of damages when it naturally ensues from the act complained of, and in this connection mental suffering includes nervousness, grief, anxiety, worry, shock, humiliation and indignity as well as physical pain. (Crisci v. The Security Insurance Co. of New Haven, Connecticut (1967) 66 Cal.2d 425, 433 internal citations omitted.)

The California Supreme Court has stated: " 'Under the prevailing American rule, a tort victim suing for damages for permanent injuries is permitted to base his recovery "on his prospective earnings for the balance of his life expectancy at the time of his injury undiminished by any shortening of that expectancy as a result of the injury.' " (Fein v. Permanente Medical Group (1985) 38 Cal.3d 137, 153, internal citations omitted.)

To schedule a free consultation to discuss your case, contact Mr. Charlton today at (310) 651-9906.