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Since the late 1970s, our Los Angeles spinal cord injury lawyers at DiMarco | Araujo | Montevideo have been there for our clients throughout the difficult legal process of spinal cord injuries. We have helped people who have suffered a spinal cord injury on the job, at home, in a car accident, while slipping or falling and from many other injury circumstances. We provide our clients with extraordinary personal service and prudent and ethical representation. This is true whether the case is a work injury, workers’ compensation, or personal injury claim. We investigate all injury cases we represent to look for ways of maximizing the scope of the case, which includes investigating the case and circumstances for the potential of adding a Third Party injury claim. Speak with a Los Angeles spinal cord injury attorney today if you are going through a traumatic spinal injury.
We want to help you as much as possible. We will guard your legal rights, take over the majority of the paperwork and represent you in court using our three decades of spinal cord injury legal experience. Our firm’s top priority will be to get for you the fair and full compensation you deserve under the law. Our Los Angeles California spinal cord injury lawyers will put together an experienced team of quality attorneys, staff, physicians, economists, vocational experts, and accident reconstructionists who will work together to help us prepare and carry out your case. Call us today to schedule your free initial consultation and case evaluation so you know where you are at and what your options are.
A Spinal Cord Injury (SCI) has occurred when harm has happened to the spinal cord that results in the loss of one or more functions. A few possible functions that can be partially or completely lost because of SCI include: trunk stability, feeling, balance, and mobility. The spinal cord’s job is to carry commands, information, feedback and signals to and from your brain. Incomplete injuries are spinal cord injuries where the victim still has partial use of the affected body part whereas complete injuries are where the patient fully loses an ability to use the affected area of the body.
The causes for SCI vary, but they can be listed within two categories: external and internal causes. The National Spinal Cord Injury Statistical Center found that vehicle accidents accounted for 39% of spinal cord injuries, making up the majority of external causes. Accidental falls followed closely behind at 29%. Below are other common external causes:
The typical internal causes for spinal cord injuries are: neurodegenerative diseases, transverse myelitis (resulting from a stroke or inflammation), tumors, ischemia from the occlusion of spinal blood vessels (including emboli, dissecting aortic aneurysms, arteriosclerosis), vascular malformations, and developmental disorders.
Three syndromes can also cause a spinal cord injury. Anterior cord syndrome, central cord syndrome, and Brown-Sequard syndrome all might decrease the patient’s body functions. Central cord syndrome is linked to hemorrhage, necrosis and ischemia.
The list of tumors that could cause an SCI includes ependymomas, astrocytomas, meningiomas, and metastatic cancer. Neurodegenerative diseases can also cause spinal cord injuries. Examples are Friedreich’s ataxia and spinocerebellar ataxia.
The developmental diseases that can cause an injury to the spinal cord include spina bifida, meningomyolcoele, and mentakengithupthtehbatty. The list of vascular malformations that could play a part in causing harm to the spinal cord include arteriovenous malformation (AVM), spinal hemangioma, cavernous angioma, dural arteriovenous fistula (AVF), and aneurysms.
The vast majority of spinal cord injuries have external causes to blame that fall within three categories: motorized vehicle accidents (36%), violence (28.9%), and slipping, tripping and falling (21.2%). Annually, there are about 10,000 new SCI’s.
Injuries to the spinal cord can vary greatly as the location of your injury is very important. Each segment of the spinal cord generally controls a different area of our body. This section will discuss, in general terms, what may happen when damage occurs at each part of the spinal cord.
Sacral Vertebra – S1, S2, S3, S4 & S5 – Injuries that damage this segment could result in the partial or full loss of the leg’s and hip’s functions. Additionally, the urinary and anus could be affected. This segment starts at the pelvis and goes to the end of the spine.
S1 and S2 work together to control the flexion of the toes and the plantar flexion of the foot in addition to controlling the legs movements that extends from the hips and the flexion from the knee. S3 and S4 combine to work the urinary bladder and the urinary system. S5’s main job is to control the coccygeus muscle.
Lumbar Vertebra – L1, L2, L3, L4 & L5 – This region is above the pelvis but below the chest area. It is located between the sacral and the thoracic segments of the spinal cord. L1 is one of the more crucial parts of the spinal cord as it helps to control the abdominal muscles and thigh flexion. L2 and L3 control the thigh adduction, thigh flexion, and the extension of the legs at the knees. L4 also assists in controlling control thigh adduction, thigh flexion, and the leg extension at the knee. L4 teams with L5 to control hamstring movements, thigh abduction, extension of toes and the dorsiflexion of the foot. L5 is also important for the plantar flexion of the foot, the extension of the leg at the hip, and the flexion of the toes. Combined, the Lumbar Vertebra controls much of our muscles that allow us to be mobile.
Thoracic Vertebra includes T1 down to T12 – Paraplegia is a possible outcome for spinal cord injuries that happen in the thoracic segment of the spine. The functions of the neck, diaphragm, hands, and arms are not typically lost by injuries sustained here. Injuries here are still very serious as our balance, mobility, and stability functions can be lost, lessened, or disrupted.
Spinal cord injuries at T1, T2, T3, T4, T5, T6, T7, & T8 can all cause the patient to have less control over their abdominal set of muscles. Abdominal muscles do correlate with trunk stability. Spinal cord injuries that happen to thoracic vertebra lower than T8 (consisting of T9, T10, T11 and T12) also may result in the complete or partial loss of abdominal function. The thoracic vertebrae are located behind the chest region.
Cervical Vertebra – C1, C2, C3, C4, C5, C6, C7 & C8 – Cervical spinal cord injuries in general could result in the loss of hand, leg, and/or arm functions for an injured patient. The cervical segment is located in the neck area of the body. A severe injury here may result in quadriplegia.
The following is a summarized list of the additional problems spinal cord injuries may cause: spasticity, osteoporosis, atrophying of the muscles, Sympathetic and Parasympathetic Nervous Systems, trouble breathing, Lower Motor Neurons (LMNs), Upper Motor Neurons (UMNs), Peripheral Nervous System, neuropathic pain, chronic pain, bone degeneration, Central Nervous System (including the brain), dysfunction of the bowel and bladder, autonomic dysreflexia, and problems with sexual function and fertility.
Treatments for spinal cord injuries vary from medication and traction to surgery and therapy. The first round of treatment could be all about stabilizing the injured patient. This includes immobilizing the back and neck, preventing shock, keeping you breathing, and working to prevent respiratory, stool, urine, and cardiovascular problems. Once you are at a hospital, emergency room, or spine injury center, you could be treated in the intensive care unit. The ICU will most likely have a full team of social workers, surgeons, neurosurgeons, occupational therapists, psychologists, and spinal cord specialists. Back, neck or spinal cord surgery may be done to remove herniated disks, fractured vertebrae, and bone fragments.
The Law Offices of DiMarco | Araujo | Montevideo
Los Angeles, California ~ (213) 416-2472
We really want you and your family to eventually see better days and we want to be some of the people to help you get there. The initial case consultations are free. You and your family will meet with a lawyer who will answer your questions, listen to your injury story and give you a road map as to where your case could go from here. You will not incur any legal fees unless and until we win your case. The Los Angeles spinal cord injury lawyers at DiMarco | Araujo | Montevideo are ready meet you at our office, your home or your hospital room throughout the regular work week of Monday through Friday between 8:30am and 5:30pm. Los Angeles work injury lawyers and staff will also meet you, by appointment, all other times throughout the week and weekend, including Saturdays, Sundays and evenings.