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San Diego Spinal Injury Attorney


Call Mission Legal Center Now! 619-777-5555

Spinal injuries occur frequently as the result of a vehicle accident, workplace injury, motorcycle accident, boating accident, or at the hands of another. When another individual’s wrongdoing or negligence is responsible for your spinal injury, you are entitled to compensation under the law.

If you are a spinal injury victim in San Diego, you need the legal expertise of personal injury attorneys in San Diego, Mission Legal Center, who specializes in spinal injuries.

Call us for a free consultation and case-specific guidance today at 619-777-5555

The Statistics

  • According to the National Spinal Cord Injury Association, there are approximately 7,800 spinal cord injuries every year in the United States; however, this does not include cases where the patient dies instantaneously or soon after the injury.
  • Approximately 4,860 additional spinal cord injury patients die before reaching the hospital.
  • The average cost for acute medical care after the injury is $99,553. This does not include long-term treatment.
  • Studies have shown that a person can injure their spinal cord when involved in an accident at a speed as low as 2.5-5 miles per hour, proof that you should practice safe, defensive driving even at low speeds.

The Causes of Spinal Injury in San Diego

  • A spinal cord injury happens with tearing, bruising, swelling or crushing of the spinal cord tissue. Several factors can contribute to a spinal cord injury:
  • Auto accidents (44%): leading cause of spinal cord injuries, including rollover accidents
  • Violent Acts (24%): caused by stab or gunshot wounds
  • Slips and Falls (22%)
  • Sports (8%): including swimming, diving and impact sports
  • Other (2%): including alcohol use, cancer, osteoporosis and arthritis

The Basic Anatomy of the Spine

  1. Cervical Vertebrae – located in the neck
  2. Thoracic Vertebrae – connected to the ribs
  3. Lumbar Vertebrae – located in the lower back
  4. The Sacrum – made up of 5 fused vertebrae, part of the spine, located below the lumbar vertebrae

An Overview of the Spinal Cord

  • Long, thin
  • Made up of nerve tissue and support cells
  • Run from the brain down to the tail bone
  • Coordinates reflexes
  • Allows sensory and motor information to pass and flow
  • Along with the brain, makes up the central nervous system

The Symptoms of Injury

According to the Mayo Clinic, the following can be symptoms of spinal cord injury:

  • Complete or partial loss of movement
  • Loss of sensation, including the ability to feel heat, cold and touch
  • Loss of bladder and bowel control
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Spasms
  • Pain or intense stinging
  • Body weakness
  • Paralysis in any part of the body
  • Pain or pressure in the back, neck or head
  • Numbness in hands or feet
  • Tingling or loss of sensation in hands or feet
  • Problems with walking, standing or balancing
  • A strangely positioned neck or back
  • Changes in sexual sensation, dysfunction

Types of Injury

The severity of the spinal cord injury is categorized as either “complete” or “incomplete.”

  • Complete – Almost all sensory and motor function is nonexistent below the spinal cord
  • Incomplete – Varying degrees, some motor and sensory function remains below the spinal cord

Paralysis from a spinal cord injury may be known as:

  • Tetraplegia – Aka quadriplegia, legs, arms, hands, trunk and pelvis organs are affected by paralysis
  • Paraplegia – Legs, trunk and pelvic organs are affected by paralysis

When to see a doctor:

  • Any traumatic injury to a person’s head or neck, could indicate spinal injury
    • Do not move the person
    • Call 911
    • Keep the person still
    • Stabilize the head and prevent any movement
    • Numbness or paralysis – could be immediate or happen over time, bleeding and swelling around the spinal cord may not be immediate

The Treatment

Spinal cord damage can’t be reversed; however, ongoing research brings new treatments, prosthetics, and medications that can help with nerve function and encourage nerve cell regeneration. Currently, treatment can include:

  • Use of a neck brace, device to keep head movement minimal
  • Casts, braces and straps for back immobilization
  • Steroids – usually administered within 24 hours of injury, helps to reduce swelling
  • Surgery – to stabilize or realign the spine, for example
  • Rehabilitation – patients can achieve one or two levels of improved function, making the difference between breathing on his/her own and having to use a respirator
  • Multi-disciplinary team – can include:
  • Case manager – liaison with patient and family members, oversees rehab
  • Physical therapist – helps with mobility and lower extremity function
  • Psychologist – helps with emotional and behavior consequences
  • Speech-language pathologists – helps with communication and swallowing
  • Occupational therapist – helps with mobility and upper extremity function, everyday functions
  • Nurse – helps treat pressure ulcers and bowel and bladder dysfunction

Note: Seeking the advice of a San Diego personal injury attorney can be important with receiving compensation for medical bills and suffering. A professional can answer any questions you may have and protect you and your loved ones during a very vulnerable time.


  • Auto Accidents – Safety
    • Always wear a seatbelt
    • Don’t drink and drive
    • Don’t ride in a car with a driver who’s been drinking
    • Always wear a helmet when operating a motorcycle
    • Always wear a helmet while riding a bike
    • Use child safety seats appropriately
  • Violent Acts
    • Keeps guns and ammunition locked up in a safe place
  • Avoiding Slips and Falls
    • Clean up wet spills immediately
    • Use sturdy ladders and step stools
    • Use handrails on the stairs
    • Check flooring and stairs for tears, uneven surfaces, cracks, carpet coming up
    • Use non-slip bathmats and kitchen mats
    • Pick up obstacles obstructing walkways
    • Install rubber stair treads or non-skid tape
    • Wear non-slip shoes
  • Sports Safety
    • Wear a helmet when playing football, baseball and hockey
    • Avoid hitting, blocking or tackling with the head
  • Avoid sliding head-first into a base
  • Wear a helmet when riding a bike, skateboarding, snowboarding, skiing and horseback riding
  • Immediately replace damaged or extremely old protective gear
  • Always wear the correct protective gear for each sport/activity
  • Practice safety in the water
    • Know the water depth of the pool
    • Remove any debris before entering the pool
    • Only dive in deep ends of the pool marked for diving
    • Be aware of other swimmers in the pool
    • Follow all posted rules and regulations

The Next Step

If you suffered serious injury to your spine, contact Mission Legal Center. We are San Diego Personal Injury Attorneys with a proven record of success in helping those who suffer from a spinal injury, to receive the necessary medical attention, care and treatment you need, in addition to compensation for future care you may require. Call for a free consultation and case-specific guidance: 619-777-5555. You may also contact us or follow us on Facebook.

As a family owned and operated San Diego Personal Injury and Accident Law Firm, Mission Legal Center is conveniently located in Mission Valley – San Diego, California.


Q: What causes spinal cord injuries in San Diego?

A: The earmarks of a spinal cord injury are bruising, swelling or crushing of the spinal cord tissue. Spinal cord injuries result most often from automobile accidents, violent acts, slips and falls, sports injuries, and other injuries including those that under the influence of drugs or alcohol, as the result of cancer, arthritis or osteoporosis.

Q: What are symptoms of spinal cord injuries in San Diego County?

A: Symptoms that you may have experienced a spinal cord injury include, Loss of sensation, including the ability to feel heat, cold and touch, loss of bladder and bowel control, difficulty breathing, spasms, pain or intense stinging, body weakness, paralysis in any part of the body, pain or pressure in the neck, back, or head, numbness or tingling in hands or feet, difficultly walking, standing, or balancing, an oddly positioned neck or back, and even sexual dysfunction. Read more about spinal injuries here.

If you suffered serious injury to your spine, contact Mission Legal Center. We are a San Diego Personal Injury and Spinal Cord Injury Law Firm dedicated to helping those who suffer from a spinal injury, to receive the necessary medical attention, care and treatment you need, in addition to compensation for future care you may require. Call for a free consultation and case specific guidance: 619-777-5555. You may also Contact Us