Newport Beach Spinal Cord Injury Lawyers
Newport Beach has a variety of nightlife, restaurants, and entertainment for the benefit of locals and tourists alike. Area roadways, including California State Routes 1 and 55, also see heavy traffic daily. However, with more people and more traffic comes the possibility of accidents—including slip and falls and motor vehicle crashes—both of which can lead to spinal cord damage.
When a Newport Beach accident victim sustains spinal cord damage, they may undergo one or more surgeries, physical therapy, and other medical treatment. In addition, they may not work after their accident due to lifelong impairments—including full or partial paralysis.
If you or someone you care about suffered a spinal cord injury in an accident resulting from someone else’s negligence, you should seek experienced legal help immediately. The Newport Beach spinal cord injury lawyers at Bentley & More LLP can meet with you to determine your eligibility for filing a personal injury claim or lawsuit with the at-fault party’s insurance company. We can then help you take the necessary legal steps to recover the monetary compensation you deserve for your debilitating injuries.
Our legal team has successfully recovered millions of dollars in compensation for seriously injured clients. Let us review your case with you and help you pursue a favorable monetary award through settlement or litigation in court.
Special note for other law firms: Our legal team has the resources to represent accident victims who suffer serious and debilitating injuries, including spinal cord damage and paralysis. We use these resources to regularly accept referrals from and help other law firms regarding complex injury cases. Feel free to call us and let us know how we can help you.
What Types of Occurrences Lead to Spinal Cord Damage?
Spinal cord injuries may result from various types of accidents. For one of these injuries to happen, an accident victim must ordinarily suffer a significant blow to their neck or back. In some cases, they may strike the ground with a significant amount of force, while at other times, an object might strike them with significant force.
Some of the most common accidents that lead to spinal cord damage include:
- Motor vehicle crashes, especially head-on collisions
- Slip and fall accidents, where the accident victim lands on their neck or back
- Pedestrian accidents, where a motor vehicle strikes a pedestrian, knocking them to the ground
- Bicycle and motorcycle crashes, where another vehicle hits the motorcycle, dislodging the cyclist and causing them to strike the ground
- Medical negligence, where a medical provider deviates from the standard of care or performs a back procedure incorrectly, causing spinal cord damage
- Construction accidents, where a worker falls from a tall ladder or scaffolding, or an object falls on the worker from overhead, hitting their back or spine
If you suffered spinal cord injuries in any of these accidents, you should obtain the legal help you need as quickly as possible.
The Newport Beach spinal cord injury lawyers at Bentley & More LLP can first meet with you to discuss your eligibility for filing a personal injury claim or lawsuit against the at-fault person or entity. We can then gather the necessary documents and submit them to the insurance company so that settlement negotiations may begin in your case.
Common Types of Spinal Cord Injuries
Spinal cord injuries, like other types of injuries, vary considerably in size and scope. One common type of spinal cord injury is a vertebrae or spinal fracture. These injuries may cause accident victims to experience a significant amount of pain and may require surgery or another medical procedure to correct.
In addition to vertebrae fractures, some accident victims suffer permanent soft tissue injuries to their neck and back. A soft tissue injury is a severe muscular sprain or strain that does not involve a broken bone. While some of these injuries are relatively minor, others are permanent and may require surgery or other medical procedure to correct. These injuries may also cause an accident victim to experience ongoing pain, sometimes permanently.
Finally, in a serious accident, a person may suffer full or partial paralysis. A paralysis injury prevents an accident victim from moving one or more body parts. In addition, they may lose sensation or feeling in those affected body parts. Paraplegia is an injury where the accident victim loses the ability to move the lower half of their body while they retain the ability to move the upper half. Quadriplegia, on the other hand, prevents movement and feeling in all four of the accident victim’s limbs.
Accident victims who suffer full or partial paralysis injuries may require around-the-clock medical care to manage their needs. Other accident victims may need to reside in a nursing home or assisted living facility for constant monitoring.
If you or a person you love suffered a spinal cord injury, you should first undergo all of the medical treatment that you need. While you focus your attention on recovering from your injuries, the Newport Beach spinal cord injury attorneys at Bentley & More LLP can begin advocating for you.
Our legal team can gather your medical records, income loss documentation, injury photographs, property damage photographs, and other potential evidence to use in your case. We can also draft a settlement demand letter on your behalf that makes an opening monetary demand for settlement. Then, we can submit this documentation to the insurance company and start negotiating a settlement offer in your case.
Proving the Legal Elements of a Spinal Cord Injury Case
To recover monetary compensation for a spinal cord injury, the accident victim in the case has the sole legal burden of proof. First, an accident victim must prove that the responsible person or entity owed them a legal duty of care. For example, in a car accident case that leads to spinal cord injuries, the accident victim must demonstrate that the responsible driver had a duty to drive carefully and safely.
Next, the accident victim must establish that the at-fault party violated their legal duty of care and that as a result, the subject accident happened. For example, in a car crash scenario, the accident victim must show that the other driver failed to drive safely and reasonably under the circumstances. Instead of watching the road attentively, the driver might have been fiddling with a cellular device or roughhousing with a vehicle passenger. Alternatively, the driver might have violated a traffic law or operated their vehicle while under the influence of drugs or alcohol, subsequently causing the car accident.
Finally, the accident victim must show that as a direct result of their accident, they suffered a spinal cord injury. This element of the case is often the most difficult for accident victims to prove because many insurance companies bring medical challenges. For example, an insurance company adjuster might allege that a pre-existing injury or medical condition is responsible for the accident victim’s current back symptoms.
The Newport Beach spinal cord injury lawyers at Bentley & More LLP can help you prove the legal elements of your case by retaining various experts to testify at a discovery deposition or jury trial. For example, if the insurance company is disputing fault for the accident, we can retain an accident reconstructionist to visit the scene, review photographs and police documents, speak with witnesses, and determine exactly how the accident occurred—and who likely caused it.
In addition, we can retain a treating medical doctor to serve as an expert in your case and causally relate your spinal cord injuries to the subject accident. A medical provider might also establish, based on a reasonable degree of medical certainty, that your spinal cord injury is permanent and long-lasting.
Filing a Personal Injury Claim or Lawsuit
The first step to recovering monetary damages for spinal cord injuries is for a personal injury attorney to file a claim—usually with the at-fault party’s insurance company. The Newport Beach spinal cord injury attorneys at Bentley & More LLP can help you file your claim and answer all of your legal questions.
A settlement demand package consists of two primary components. The first is a demand letter, in which we make a monetary demand to resolve your case within the available insurance policy limits. The second component consists of documents we may later use as evidence if your case goes to trial.
Important claim documents in a spinal cord injury case include:
- Medical treatment records that outline all of the treatment and procedures that you underwent following your accident
- Copies of all related medical bills for the medical treatment you received
- If you had to miss time from work after your accident, lost income documentation from your employer showing the dates and hours you missed, along with the total amount of compensation you lost
- Income tax returns, if you are making a lost income claim
- Photographs of any visible injuries, as well as imaging scans of your spine (such as X-rays and MRIs)
- Photographs of the incident scene
- Photographs that depict damage to any property vehicles involved in the accident
- A personal statement that you prepare detailing the effects that the accident and your spinal cord injuries have had on your overall life
Once your medical treatment is complete, we can submit these documents to the insurance company on your behalf. If the insurance company accepts fault for the accident, we can start negotiating settlement compensation.
In most instances, insurance companies will make low initial settlement offers—even in serious spinal cord injury cases. Insurance companies make these lowball offers to see if accident victims are in a hurry to resolve their claims. After all, adjusters want to be finished with your claim as quickly as possible, and they want to save their insurance company as much money as possible. Insurance companies cannot make or retain money when they have to pay out large personal injury settlements.
It will usually take several rounds of negotiations in a spinal cord injury case before the parties come to a resolution. Sometimes, the parties may need to resort to the court system to resolve their case.
If we must file a lawsuit in court on your behalf, we can still continue our settlement negotiations with the insurance company. We can also help you decide whether you should accept a particular settlement offer, given the strengths of your case, the specific spinal cord injuries that you suffered, and the medical treatment that you received.
A good settlement offer should compensate you for all of your:
- Medical expenses
- Lost earnings
- Mental distress
- Pain and suffering
- Loss of use of a body part(s)
- Permanent paralysis, disability, or impairment
- Lost quality of life
- Loss of spousal companionship
- Permanent disfigurement
- Lifetime care costs
Talk to a Newport Beach Spinal Cord Injury Lawyer Today
If you sustained spinal cord damage in a recent accident that resulted from another person’s careless or reckless behavior, you should know and understand your legal options and rights. It is also essential that you take legal action in your case immediately. Otherwise, the court may prevent you from recovering monetary damages for your injuries. Reach out to a Newport Beach personal injury lawyer.
Spinal cord injury victims only have two years from their accident date to file a personal injury claim—or a lawsuit for damages. Failing to take legal action within that time frame, absent exceptional circumstances, will prevent the accident victim from recovering any monetary compensation in their case.
At Bentley & More LLP, our knowledgeable lawyers have the skills and experience to negotiate effectively with insurance company adjusters on your behalf and, if necessary, litigate your case effectively through the court system. If your case must go to court, we can aggressively fight for your rights during all legal proceedings, including your jury trial or binding arbitration hearing, and work to maximize the monetary damages you receive for your spinal cord injuries.
For a free case evaluation and legal consultation with a Newport Beach spinal cord injury attorney, please call us at (949) 617-0938or contact us online.
“I’ve had the pleasure of working with Bentley & More for the past 5-6 years. Their drive and compassion to earn great results for their clients is obvious to everyone who works with them.
I’m grateful for the opportunity to partner with the firm to help serve their clients.” – Nicole S. ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
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Bentley & More LLP – Newport Beach Office
4931 Birch Street
Newport Beach, CA 92660
Phone: (949) 617-0938