A spinal cord injury is sudden and irreversible. It changes the person’s life forever and has a ripple effect on the entire family. Yet life goes on. With rehabilitation, adaptive technologies and other assistance, people paralyzed in accidents can adapt and lead productive and fulfilling lives. But those individuals face many physical, psychological, financial and legal barriers on that road to reclaiming their lives.
The legal team at Walkup, Melodia, Kelly & Schoenberger is committed to supporting victims of spinal cord injuries. We have the experience and resources to hold the negligent parties accountable. We work to ensure that our clients receive comprehensive compensation that will cover the costs of future care, the loss of projected income and the personal hardships.
Our San Francisco spinal cord injury lawyers welcome cases throughout the Bay Area, Northern California and the West. We can connect families to good doctors and helpful resources while we are building a strong case for full damages.
Proven Results In Spinal Cord Cases
The Walkup firm has effectively represented victims of catastrophic injury for more than 55 years, including six- and seven-figure recoveries for people with spinal cord injuries. Those verdicts and settlements have covered the spectrum, including spinal cord damage from a cycling accident caused by a road defect, a brain stem injury during neurosurgery, unsupervised horseplay at a school, and failure to diagnose and treat serious medical conditions.
We excel at isolating the root cause of spinal injuries and identifying the liable parties and insurance coverages. Our lawyers have successfully litigated cases against product manufacturers, businesses, motorists and their insurers, commercial drivers, property owners, construction companies, physicians and hospitals, public transit agencies, schools and other private and public entities.
Paralysis Injuries: Paraplegia And Quadriplegia
Damage to the spinal cord is often categorized as either a “complete” or “incomplete” injury. A person with a complete spinal injury will typically have no muscle control or sensation below the area of the spine that was injured and no function or feeling in the tailbone area. A person with an incomplete injury may suffer only partial paralysis, muscle weakness or reduced sensation. A key difference is recovery – a complete injury is essentially permanent, while some people with incomplete injuries can recover 50 percent or more of their function with medical intervention and rehab.
We help clients coordinate with doctors and professionals who specialize in the treatment and rehabilitation of spinal cord injuries. Our mission is to secure access and compensation for whatever combination of surgery, medication, physical therapy, occupational therapy and vocational rehabilitation will restore the greatest function and quality of life.
Our personal injury lawyers have extensive knowledge of the medical and physiological aspects of spinal cord trauma. For instance, we understand that beyond the paralysis of limbs, victims are prone to pneumonia, infections and other health complications from the atrophy of muscles and loss of bone mass.
We have represented clients with various levels of complete spinal injuries, both paraplegia (paralysis of the legs and lower half of the body) and quadriplegia (paralysis of the arms and legs and many bodily functions). The degree of paralysis correlates directly with the highest vertebrae at which the spinal cord was damaged. People with a high cervical injury (C1 to C4) may be completely paralyzed below the neck and may not be able to breathe on their own. People with a lower cervical injury (C5 to C8) may have some function of limbs but will require assistance with many activities of daily living. People with thoracic, lumbar and sacral injuries to the spinal column will have greater mobility and independence, but may nonetheless have serious limitations and challenges in their lives.
Projecting Future Care Needs And Providing Economic Security
We are committed to getting our clients the medical care and resources they need to deal with the aftermath of a spinal cord injury. We work with rehab specialists, life care planners, economists and other professionals to determine the needs of our client and the family. We present a detailed and documented request for damages that may include:
- Nursing care or attendant care in the home
- Medications and medical equipment
- Modifications to the home (ramps, lifts, etc.)
- Modified vehicles or transportation arrangements
- Psychological counseling
- Vocational retraining
- Lost wages and lost earning capacity
- Damages for pain and suffering
- Damages for loss of enjoyment
- A spouse or partner’s loss of consortium and household services
Contact Walkup Melodia For A Free Consultation
Nothing can compensate for the grief, regret and loss of independence. Our goal is to make life as comfortable and normal as possible for our spinal injury clients and their families. We have been doing this work since 1959 and we are confident that we can make a difference in all phases of recovery, including the financial recovery. Along the way we can help with legal and insurance issues that arise and connect families with spinal cord injury organizations and resources.
Call (415) 981-7210 or contact the Walkup firm online. We will gladly arrange home or hospital visits if you are not able to come to our San Francisco law office.