If you’ve suffered an injury to your spinal cord in an accident in Orange County, CA, you may be entitled to a substantial monetary award. The experienced Orange County spinal cord injury lawyers at Bridgford, Gleason & Artinian can help you stand up, assert your legal rights, and demand the compensation you deserve.
Since 1990, we’ve been tough and passionate advocates for victims of catastrophic spinal cord injuries in Orange County. As award-winning California litigators, we’ve helped our clients win billions in life-changing awards – including many million and multi-million dollar results.
Benefit from a top-rated team of trial attorneys with 75+ years of litigation and courtroom experience. To get started, give our Orange County law office in Newport Beach a call to arrange a time for your free consultation. We’re always here to help.
Understanding Spinal Cord Injuries
The spinal cord is a bundle of nerves and fibers that runs down the center of your back from the base of your skull to your tailbone.
Its role is simple – to relay signals from the brain to other parts of the body. When the spinal cord becomes damaged in any way, the body’s ability to function can become impaired.
While any spinal cord injury can be debilitating, injuries that occur higher on the spine tend to be more catastrophic. That’s because everything below the level of the injury is affected. The higher the level of the injury, the greater the impact of the trauma.
Possible Consequences of Spinal Cord Injuries
Depending on the location of the injury on the spinal cord and the severity of the trauma, potential consequences include:
- Limited mobility
- Temporary paralysis
- Bladder and bowel dysfunction
- Weakness in the extremities
- Respiratory dysfunction
- Difficulty breathing
- Severe and chronic pain
For some, spinal cord injuries will have temporary consequences. For others, their lives will be changed forever. Regardless of the extent of the injury, compensation may be available if someone else is to blame.
What’s My Orange County Spinal Cord Injury Case Worth?
Few injuries can be more costly than a spinal cord injury.
In the first year alone, spine injuries can cost upwards of $1 million. For a 25-year-old victim with a severe spinal cord injury, the lifetime cost can exceed $5 million.
Through a personal injury claim or lawsuit, spine injury victims can typically recover damages for compensatory damages such as medical bills, lost wages, disability, pain and suffering, and emotional distress.
However, the amount of money that can be awarded will vary from case to case. After all, every spinal cord injury is different. So is every victim.
Important considerations include:
- The location of the injury on the spinal column
- Whether the spinal cord injury was complete or incomplete
- The type of medical treatment that will be required during recovery
- The length of time medical treatment will be needed
- Contributory negligence and shared responsibility for the spinal cord injury
- Available insurance benefits and policy limits
- Out of pocket costs and expenses
The more your life changes after you’ve suffered a spinal cord injury in an Orange County accident, the more your case will likely be worth.
Turn to the experienced Orange County personal injury lawyers at Bridgford, Gleason & Artinian for help. We’ve led catastrophically injured clients to billions in settlements and jury awards. Now we’re here to be your dedicated legal advocates, too.
Common Damages in Orange County Spinal Cord Injury Claims
Spinal cord injuries are life-altering and often catastrophic. This type of injury also quickly becomes exorbitantly expensive, requiring ongoing medical care for common complications, physical therapy, expensive equipment, and sometimes home health aides. Spinal cord victims also commonly rely on mental health therapies to deal with the trauma and changes in their daily lives. Common damages in spinal cord injury claims in Orange County and the surrounding area include:
- Medical expenses
- Future medical expenses for ongoing care, procedures, treatment, equipment, and home health aid
- Lost income
- Diminished future earning capacity due to disability
- Pain and suffering
- Trauma, PTSD, loss of enjoyment of life, and loss of consortium (the ability to enjoy a full physical and emotional relationship with a loved one)
Because of the serious consequences of a spinal cord injury, the non-economic damages for loss of enjoyment of life, PTSD, and trauma can be substantial. While it’s more challenging to assign a monetary amount to these intangible damages, they are just as deserving of compensation as economic damages in a spinal cord injury claim.
A successful claim for spinal cord injury damages in Orange County also allows victims of this type of trauma to achieve a sense of justice.
What Causes Most Spinal Cord Injuries in Orange County?
According to the National Institutes of Health, leading causes of spinal cord injuries include, but are not limited to:
- Car accidents
- Truck accidents
- Defective products
- Sports injuries
- Medical malpractice
- Acts of violence
If you’ve suffered an injury to your spine or experienced the wrongful death of a family member in an accident in Orange County, CA, call Bridgford, Gleason & Artinian for immediate assistance.
Proving Liability in Orange County Spinal Cord Injuries
All serious injuries are traumatic and painful, but when the injury was entirely preventable if only another individual or business entity had taken reasonable care to prevent harm to others, it’s even more distressing—especially when it’s an injury with long-term effects like a spinal cord injury. When someone else is at fault for a serious injury, the injury victim bears the responsibility to prove liability on the part of the individual or business at fault. An experienced spinal cord injury lawyer in Orange County has the specialized blend of legal and medical knowledge to prove liability by gathering evidence to effectively demonstrate the following legal points:
- The at-fault party owed a duty of reasonable care to others to prevent injuries (or a medical provider’s special duty of care to treat patients at the industry-accepted standards)
- The party at fault breached their duty by acting with negligence, recklessness, or purposeful wrongdoing
- The breach of duty directly caused injury
- The injury victim suffered significant economic and non-economic damages due to their injury
California requires proof of liability through a preponderance of the evidence. It takes a skilled brain injury attorney to clearly demonstrate liability to present a compelling case for compensation.
What You and Your Loved Ones Can Do After a Spinal Cord Injury
The steps a victim and their loved ones take after a serious injury such as spinal cord damage can have a tremendous impact on their physical and financial recovery later. After suffering a serious injury, you or someone close to you at the time of the injury can use a cell phone to do the following:
- Call 911 to request emergency services and report the accident or injury to the police if it was a car accident or an act of violence
- Take photos of the accident scene including anything relevant to the injury such as damaged vehicles, or a broken stair riser
- Record a brief statement about how the injury occurred while it’s fresh in your mind
- Add the contact information of anyone involved in the injury plus eyewitnesses
- Ask for a police report or a business accident report
Once at the hospital, ask your medical providers to keep a detailed record of your injuries and the impact on your mobility, as well as their recommended treatments, procedures, and therapies. If possible, ask for a long-term prognosis. Keep copies of all medical expenses and injury-related costs throughout the process of your Orange County spinal cord injury case.
The Benefits of Hiring a Spinal Cord Injury Lawyer in Orange County
California’s pure negligence liability insurance law requires injury victims to prove the at-fault party liable for damages through a preponderance of the evidence. It’s difficult for someone who is dealing with a life-altering injury to take on the challenge of a complex spinal cord injury claim in Orange County. When a skilled attorney navigates the legal challenges on your behalf, it frees you and your family to focus on maximizing your physical recovery. Your spinal cord injury attorney will represent your rights and best interests throughout the process by doing the following:
- Investigating the accident or incident that caused the injury
- Documenting evidence of liability
- Carefully calculating damages to seek the highest possible compensation amount
- Draft an evidence-backed demand letter to the appropriate insurance company
- Negotiate with insurance adjusters by presenting a compelling case for your full compensation
- Either secure an ample settlement for your damages or file a lawsuit within the state’s statute of limitations
- Persuasively present your case to a jury to seek a positive jury verdict and the highest possible court award for your compensation
Our spinal cord injury team has deep compassion for injured clients, especially those with the life-altering consequences of a spinal cord injury. We keep open lines of communication throughout the process so you know every development in your case as it moves forward. Spinal cord injury victims deserve someone in their legal corner to seek both financial compensation and justice. We’re ready to be your voice in this specialized legal arena.
You Have a Limited Time to File a Spinal Cord Injury Lawsuit in Orange County, CA
Under California law, you’ll have just two years from the date of your injury to pursue compensation from a negligent or otherwise liable party. Don’t lose out on the right to get the compensation you deserve by letting the statute of limitations expire.
Do I Have to Go To Court for a Spinal Cord Injury Claim In Orange County?
In an estimated 94% of spinal cord injury claims, the appropriate insurance company settles the claim out of court through negotiations with a skilled personal injury attorney. However, in the unlikely event that an insurance company denies your valid claim or offers only an unacceptably low settlement amount, your attorney from Bridgford, Gleason, & Artinian is more than ready to argue aggressively on your behalf in court.
California’s 2-year statute of limitations allows time to negotiate the case directly with the at-fault party’s insurance company to secure an ample settlement and still file a lawsuit within the time limit in case of a denial. It’s important to note that courtroom litigation in spinal cord injury cases may take longer than a settlement, but jury awards for damages tend to be higher than settlements. If the insurance company used bad-faith insurance tactics to deny the claim, the court may compel them to pay more in damages.
No one should go it alone in a spinal cord injury case.
Call Bridgford, Gleason & Artinian and enlist the help of our experienced Orange County spinal cord injury lawyers today.
We offer a free, confidential case evaluation, so contact our Newport Beach law office at (949) 831-6611 to get started now.