WORKERS’ COMPENSATION

Palm Springs Back Injury Attorney

With more than 30 years of experience, our accomplished attorneys are here to guide you through these difficult times and get the compensation you deserve.

Palm Springs Back Injury Lawyer

Sustaining a severe back injury can be an extremely painful, frightening, and overwhelming experience. Spinal cord injuries often devastate the lives of those who experience them, resulting in permanently reduced quality of life from physical damage as well as cognitive issues, emotional distress, and the changes in lifestyle necessary to cope with everyday tasks. Along with impacts on the life of the injured party, back injuries can make life increasingly challenging for their loved ones. Between costly medical bills for ongoing treatment and loss of income, financial burdens may continue to mount, leaving injured individuals and their families feeling helpless, hopeless, and desperate for support.

Dealing with a back injury may seem impossible, especially if you are unsure of the seriousness of your injury. However, you can navigate this challenging time with assistance from an experienced Palm Springs back injury lawyer. Learn more about back injuries by considering the information below, then contact English, Lloyd & Armenta today to discuss your injury. With over three decades of experience helping clients just like you, we can guide you through the process of seeking legal recourse for your injuries and help you seek justice and compensation.

Spinal Cord Injuries

The human spinal column is one of the most vital areas of the body, providing a structural foundation for your limbs and protecting your organs. Spinal cord injuries (SCIs) involve trauma to the spinal column, usually as the result of a sudden, intense blow. This trauma can also herniate discs and dislocate or fracture the vertebrae in your back and neck. Displaced disc material, ligaments, or bone fragments often compress vertebrae and lacerate spinal cord tissue, destroying the axons in your spine that transmit signals between the brain and the rest of your body. This trauma can result in bruising, fracturing, or even the total severing of your spine.

Spinal cord injuries occupy two categories, known as complete spinal cord injuries or incomplete spinal cord injuries. Complete spinal cord injuries cause a total loss of motor function and sensation from the injured area continuing down the length of spine. Incomplete injuries allow for some level of sensation and function. Damage to the spinal cord can result in a wide variety of symptoms, including pain, weakness, diminished or lost sensations, and changes in sexual function, sensitivity, and fertility. Some injuries cause chronic pain for the rest of your life, permanent nerve damage, or even paralysis.

Spinal Cord Injuries and Paralysis

After strokes, spinal cord injuries rank as the second most common cause of paralysis, contributing to 27% of all paralysis cases. Not only does paralysis hinder your ability to move, but it also impacts your internal organs. For example, paralyzed individuals can experience respiratory problems that require them to use a respirator or incontinence that can become deadly without prompt treatment.

Medical professionals classify paralysis into four categories:

  1. Monoplegia – paralysis affecting one limb
  2. Hemiplegia – paralysis affecting one side of your body, such as the same side of your face, arm, and leg
  3. Paraplegia – paralysis affecting both legs, pelvic organs, and the trunk of the body
  4. Quadriplegia or tetraplegia – paralysis affecting both arms and legs as well as the torso

Unfortunately, spinal cord injury symptoms do not always manifest immediately. This situation may lead individuals to forego medical treatment and suffer from symptoms that become worse over time when left unaddressed. An untreated back injury also makes you vulnerable to sustaining further injury that requires more extensive care and a longer recovery time. If you experience discomfort that lasts for more than a few days and does not subside with over-the-counter painkillers, or you are unable to work or complete daily tasks due to your injury, you should seek prompt medical attention.

If another party caused your injury, neglecting to seek treatment immediately can lead to difficulties seeking compensation for your expenses. You should always seek treatment if you wish to pursue litigation in the future with assistance from a Palm Springs back injury attorney.

Common Causes of SCIs

Spinal cord damage can result from several types of incidents. According to data collected by the National Spinal Cord Injury Statistical Center, the most common causes of spinal cord injuries include:

  • Motor vehicle accidents (38.2%)
  • Falls (32.3%)
  • Violence, particularly gunshot wounds (14.3%)
  • Sports or recreational activities 7.8%
  • Medical or surgical issues (4.1%)
  • Other (3.3%)

The “other” category consists of workplace accidents, crushing injuries, genetic malformations, medical malpractice, undiagnosed infections, epidurals, defective products, diving into shallow water, and physical labor.

Injured Spinal Cord Statistics

In the US, there are approximately 17,900 new spinal cord injuries each year, with 54 cases occurring per one million people. Incomplete quadriplegia comprises the majority of injury cases at 47.4%, followed by incomplete paraplegia at 19.9%, complete paraplegia at 19.9%, and complete quadriplegia at 12.4%. Less than one percent of patients with spinal cord injuries will reach complete neurological recovery before hospital discharge.

The average stay in acute care lasts 11 days, while the average length of stay in rehabilitative care lasts 30 days. Nearly 30% of patients will experience re-hospitalization at least once after their injury, commonly due to diseases of the genitourinary system or the skin. Musculoskeletal, respiratory, circulatory, and digestive diseases are also frequent causes of re-hospitalization.

Financial Impact of SCIs

Spinal cord injuries result in incredibly high costs for healthcare and living expenses, which vary based on the type of neurological impairment as well as the individual’s education and employment history before sustaining the injury. The first year after injury involves expenses ranging from $380,000 to $1.16 million, and each subsequent year of expenses can cost $46,000 to $202,000 annually. The estimated lifetime cost of spinal cord injuries can reach anywhere from $1.2 million to $5.2 million, not including the indirect costs consisting of loss in income, benefits, and productivity.

Life Expectancy and Mortality Impact of Spinal Cord Injuries

The life expectancy of individuals with spinal cord injuries remains significantly below the life expectancies of individuals without these injuries. Mortality rates are highest during the first year following the injury, especially for patients with severe neurological impairments and those requiring ventilators. Together, pneumonia and septicemia comprise the most common causes of death related to spinal cord injuries. Mortality rates continue to rise due to accidents, musculoskeletal disorders, nervous system diseases, mental disorders, and metabolic, endocrine, and nutritional diseases.

Spinal Cord Injury Cases

With such high costs associated with spinal cord injuries, hiring the services of an experienced Palm Springs back injury lawyer is essential if your injury occurred due to the negligence of another person or business. Proving negligence requires gathering evidence that demonstrates the extent of your injury and that the actions of the defendants directly caused this injury.

Your attorney must identify the defendants who share responsibility for your injury, such as a negligent driver, manufacturer, or employer. To support your claim, your attorney will also compile medical reports from physicians and coordinate testimony from expert medical witnesses to show the full scope of the effects that you experienced due to your injury. It is not advisable to pursue this process on your own.

Damages in Spinal Cord Injury Accident Claims

As part of your claim, your Palm Springs back injury lawyer can pursue compensation for a variety of damages you incurred. Damages may include:

  • Cost of medical treatment, including acute hospital care, surgical procedures, medical devices, medication, and ongoing therapy
  • Cost of assisted technology, such as ramps and wheelchairs
  • Loss of current income
  • Loss of future earning potential
  • Loss of health benefits
  • Physical pain and discomfort
  • Emotional and psychological suffering, including depression and anxiety
  • Reduced quality of life

Workers’ Compensation Benefits

A wide range of workplace accidents can cause debilitating spinal cord injuries that prevent you from working, including agricultural accidents, construction accidents, factory, and manufacturing accidents, hospitality and restaurant accidents, and motor vehicle accidents that occurred while working. In the California workers’ compensation system, your Palm Springs back injury lawyer can obtain the following five types of benefits:

  1. Medical benefits for treatment of the work-related injury
  2. Temporary disability, or wage replacement, limited to 104 weeks within five years of sustaining the injury
  3. Permanent disability based on loss of future earning capacity
  4. Supplemental job displacement to cover the cost of retraining necessary for re-entry into the workforce
  5. Death benefits paid to dependents who survive you

Seek Justice and Restitution Today

If you or a loved one has experienced a serious back injury, contact the experts at English, Lloyd & Armenta immediately. Since 1981, our team has built an impressive record of bringing clients in the Coachella Valley area justice and fair compensation for their injuries. Our team has the knowledge, skills, and experience required to navigate the workers’ compensation system, build formidable claims, and effectively negotiate with insurance companies. We understand federal and state employment laws and know the tactics insurance companies use to try to ignore or minimize your case. When you hire our Palm Springs back injury attorneys, we will protect your rights and aggressively advocate on your behalf to reach the best possible outcome for your case.

Contact English, Lloyd & Armenta to receive a free consultation with our team. We have helped thousands of clients just like you navigate personal injury and workers’ compensation claims, recover compensation, and move forward after a devastating back injury.

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