Types of Spinal Cord Injuries

  • By James Rush
  • 28 Apr, 2017
Types of Spinal Cord Injuries

There are approximately 17,000 new cases of non-fatal spinal cord injuries every year in the United States. Spinal cord injuries range in severity, but many of them can lead to consequences that will affect the rest of the victim’s life. The severity of the injury will depend on a number of factors, including which part of the spinal cord was damaged, and whether it was a complete or incomplete injury.

Complete vs. Incomplete Spinal Cord Injuries

The spinal cord is severed in a complete injury, which means the brain cannot send signals below the site of the injury. If you sustain a complete spinal cord injury, you will not be able to control your body or feel sensations below the site of the injury. This type accounts for less than 30% of all spinal cord injuries, and it is estimated that complete spinal cord injuries will become even more uncommon with new research and advancements in the medical field.

The spinal cord is not totally severed in incomplete spinal cord injuries, so you should not completely lose functioning of your body below the site of the injury. The extent of the damage to your spinal cord will determine how much functioning you are able to retain after the accident.

Types of Incomplete Spinal Cord Injuries

Incomplete spinal cord injuries can be further categorized based on the location of the injury . Anterior cord syndrome is characterized by damage to the front of the spinal cord, which will affect your ability to feel sensations such as pain or temperature. People with damage to the anterior cord will likely regain some movement after treatment, but those who damage the central cord rarely see much improvement with treatment. There is also posterior cord syndrome, which is an incomplete injury located on the back of the spinal cord. Most victims are able to retain their functioning, but they may struggle with balance and coordination.

Degrees of Paralysis

Both complete and incomplete spinal cord injuries can also be categorized based on the level of paralysis. Tetraplegia is the most serious type of paralysis because it affects all four limbs. Those who have tetraplegia will not have any control of their body below the site of the injury, which affects their ability to live a normal life. Paraplegia occurs when you lose function and sensation in the lower limbs, but retain it in your arms. Finally, there is triplegia, which is the loss of feeling and function in one arm and both lower limbs.

Regardless of whether you have an incomplete or complete injury, if it was caused by another person’s negligence, you need to speak to an attorney right away. Contact James Rush at Rush Injury Law today to discuss your case and review your legal options. Spinal cord injuries can completely disrupt your life, and you may be entitled to compensation for the pain and suffering caused by this devastating injury. Contact us today to schedule a free consultation by calling 415-897-4801 or filling out the online form on our website, www.rushinjurylaw.com .

By James Rush 20 Jul, 2017

In order to recover compensation for your injuries, you must be able to prove that the injures were sustained in the car accident. An insurance adjuster may try to say that your injuries are considered a pre-existing condition, which means they were caused prior to the accident.

Types of Pre-Existing Conditions

There are two types of pre-existing conditions that you should know about if you are filing a car accident claim. The first is an injury that you sustained prior to the accident that flared up again as a result of the accident. For example, let’s say you experienced back pain prior to the accident as a result of a sports injury you sustained years ago. The injury was treated and the symptoms vanished. Then, you were involved in a car accident and the symptoms reappeared because you reinjured the same area. This will most likely be considered a pre-existing condition.

The second type is a physical disorder that developed prior to the accident, such as osteoporosis or arthritis. It’s possible that you won’t know you have one of these conditions until you receive medical treatment following an accident. But, as long as it existed prior to the accident, it is a pre-existing condition whether you knew about it or not.

How a Pre-Existing Condition Can Affect Your Claim

A pre-existing condition may affect the amount of compensation that you are able to recover after a car accident. But, an insurance company cannot deny your claim unless the adjuster is able to prove that the accident did not cause your pre-existing condition to worsen and did not lead you to experience any new or different symptoms.

This means if you are suffering from back pain at the time of the car accident, you cannot recover compensation to treat this back pain unless you are able to show that you have experienced new symptoms or your condition has worsened as a result of the accident.

A doctor may be able to help you recover compensation by doing a comparison between old and new medical records to see how your condition has worsened. Sometimes, the difference is clear on X-rays or CT scans, but other times it’s not. If it’s not, the insurance company may ask your doctor for his professional opinion on the matter.

A pre-existing condition may complicate your personal injury claim, which makes it even more important that you work with an experienced personal injury attorney. James Rush at Rush Injury Law has the legal knowledge to handle every type of car accident claim regardless of the complexity. Schedule a free consultation with our team of compassionate attorneys by calling 415-897-4801 or filling out the online form on our website www.rushinjurylaw.com .

By James Rush 18 Jul, 2017

One of the first questions that clients who have been involved in a car crash often ask is “How long does it take to settle a car accident claim?” This is not an easy question to answer because it can vary so greatly depending from case to case. If liability has been proven, the insurance company is cooperative, and the injuries have been documented, a car accident claim could be settled in a matter of months. However, there are several factors that could extend this time frame, including:

Severity of the Injuries

An attorney cannot estimate the value of your claim until you have either fully recovered from your injuries or reached the level of maximum medical improvement , which means no further improvement is expected. If you have sustained serious injures in a car accident, it may take months for you to either recover or reach the level of maximum medical improvement, which will delay your case.

Liability is Unclear

If both sides do not agree as to who was at fault for the accident, this can delay the settlement of your car accident case. In fact, your case may end up going to trial if the two sides cannot agree on liability in negotiations out of the courtroom.

Insurance Companies

Each insurance company will handle personal injury claims differently. Some companies may want to resolve cases as quickly as possible, so they may be more open to negotiations than others. If you end up working with an insurance company that is more difficult to negotiate with, the case could be drawn out by months.

In addition, some insurance adjusters may have more cases on their plates than others. If an insurance adjuster has a heavy workload, it may take longer for him to complete his investigation, calculate a settlement, and get back to you.

Unfair Settlement

 Your attorney will advise you whether the settlement that is being offered in pretrial negotiations is unfair. If an attorney believes that you can get more by taking your case to trial, it is up to you to decide whether you want to accept what could be an unfair settlement or try your luck in court. If you agree to go to trial, this will extend the length of the process.

James Rush at Rush Injury Law knows that car accident victims are eager to recover the compensation that they deserve, which is why we work tirelessly to help you achieve a fair settlement as quickly as possible. Schedule a free consultation with our team by calling 415-897-4801 or filling out the online form on our website www.rushinjurylaw.com .

By James Rush 14 Jul, 2017

Seatbelts are designed to keep drivers and passengers safe in the event of a car accident. People who are wearing their seatbelts are far less likely to sustain fatal injuries caused by blunt trauma or being ejected from the vehicle. But, passengers can still sustain injuries in an accident even if they are wearing their seatbelts. In fact, some injuries can be caused by the seatbelts. Here’s everything you need to know about seatbelt injuries:

What are common seatbelt injuries?

A seatbelt holds your body in place during a collision. When your car is hit by another vehicle, the collision will cause your body to press against the seatbelt with a significant amount of force. As a result, you could suffer from bruises, soft tissue damage, or even broken bones. In some cases, the force of your body hitting the seatbelt may be strong enough to fracture a rib. Other victims may experience minor injuries such as abdominal pain or lacerations caused by the friction of the seatbelt rubbing against your skin.

Who typically suffers from seatbelt injuries?

Anyone who is wearing a seatbelt can sustain these injuries in a car accident, but there are some people who are more vulnerable than others. Pregnant women often wear their seatbelts incorrectly to accommodate their growing bellies. If a pregnant woman is wearing a seatbelt across her stomach instead of at her hips, the seatbelt could cause serious injuries to her and her baby during an accident. Children can also be seriously injured if they are not properly restrained with a seatbelt. Parents must ensure that seatbelts fit their children correctly to protect them in the event of an accident.

Wearing a seatbelt puts you at risk of sustaining seatbelt injuries during a car accident, but that does not mean that you should avoid buckling up. The injuries that you may sustain from wearing a seatbelt are far less serious than the injuries that you could suffer without a seatbelt. Wearing a seatbelt could save your life—so don’t let the possibility of sustaining minor injuries stop you from protecting yourself on the road.

Seatbelt injuries are just one type of injury that you can sustain in a car accident. If you have been injured and a negligent driver is to blame, speak to an attorney as soon as possible. James Rush at Rush Injury Law can help you recover the compensation that you deserve for your car accident injuries. Schedule a free consultation by calling 415-897-4801 or filling out the online form on our website www.rushinjurylaw.com .

By James Rush 13 Jul, 2017

It’s possible to injure any part of your body during a car accident, but many people end up injuring their backs. Even if you are involved in a minor fender bender, you may leave the scene of the accident with aches and pains in your back. There are several types of back injuries that you may sustain in a car accident, including:

Herniated Disc

The discs in your back separate the vertebrae and provide extra protection to the spine. If you are involved in a car accident, the impact of the collision could cause one of your discs to become displaced. This is known as a herniated disc , and it can be incredibly painful for the victim, who may suddenly experience intense pain, weakness, or numbness in the back.

Soft Tissue Damage

It’s very common to injure the ligaments, muscles, and tendons in your back during a car crash. These areas can become strained or even torn when the impact of a collision causes you to suddenly jerk your body forward. It’s possible that these injuries could appear to be minor at first and then worsen over time. Some victims recover quickly, but others can face lingering pain for months or even years after an accident.

Spinal Cord Injuries

The most serious back injury that you can sustain in a car accident is a spinal cord injury , which occurs when you suffer a blow to the spinal cord. The long-term effects of this injury will depend on where the injury occurred on your spinal cord. If the injury is high up on your spinal cord, it’s very likely that a great deal of your body will be affected. In the most extreme cases, you could lose all sensation and movement in your four limbs as a result of a spinal cord injury.

Medical professionals should be able to immediately diagnose a back injury using CT scans, MRIs, and X-rays. In many cases, the sooner that you are diagnosed, the easier it is to treat your condition, which is why it’s so important to seek medical attention immediately after car accidents.

The next step that you should take after seeking medical attention is contacting a personal injury attorney to discuss your case. James Rush at Rush Injury Law will immediately step in and handle the legal aspects of your case so you can focus solely on recovering from your back injury. Contact our law office by calling 415-897-4801 or filling out the online form on our website www.rushinjurylaw.com to request a free consultation.

By James Rush 11 Jul, 2017

If your personal injury case goes to trial, your attorney may rely on expert witnesses to help prove your case. An expert witness is not someone who witnessed the accident, but rather someone who has extensive knowledge in a particular area that is relevant to your case. For example, your attorney may ask a car accident reconstruction expert to testify in your case in order to prove that the accident was definitely caused by the other party. These individuals can often be the difference between winning and losing a verdict. How? Here are some of the ways that an expert witness can help your personal injury case:

Simplify complex issues.

Because expert witnesses are so familiar with the subject matter, they are able to break it down and simplify it in a way that others cannot. This is incredibly beneficial when a jury of your peers is deciding whether you should be awarded compensation. An expert witness can clearly explain the information so the jury understands what you are trying to prove.

Give credibility.

If the jury is having a hard time buying your case, an expert witness can give you more credibility. Hearing that someone who is considered to be an expert supports the claims that you have made may be enough to sway the jury in your favor. For example, let’s say you are trying to prove that a trucking company’s failure to perform regular maintenance on a truck caused an accident. But, the trucking company is adamant that they kept up with all required maintenance. A maintenance specialist could testify that after inspecting the truck, he supports your version of events. This could give credibility to your claim and help you win the case.

Seen as a neutral third party.

Your personal injury attorney is responsible for seeking an expert witness if one is needed in your case. Even though the expert is being used to prove your case, the jury may still view him as a neutral third party because he was not affected by the accident. Therefore, the members of the jury may trust the expert more than other witnesses who are directly involved in the accident.  

If you have been harmed due to the negligent acts of another person, a personal injury attorney can help you recover the compensation that you deserve. James Rush at Rush Injury Law will use all available resources, including expert witnesses, to help you achieve a favorable outcome in your case. Contact our law office by calling 415-897-4801 or filling out the online form on our website www.rushinjurylaw.com to request a free consultation.

By James Rush 07 Jul, 2017

If you have been involved in a car crash, it’s imperative that you seek medical treatment as soon as possible. Some victims fail to do this because they think their symptoms are too minor to warrant a trip to the doctor, but don’t make this mistake. A minor ache or pain could be a sign of a serious injury. Therefore, if you are injured in any way you should seek help from a medical professional. How can you tell if you’re injured? Here are some of the most common car accident injury symptoms that you should look out for:


Everyone gets headaches, so you may not think anything of the headache that sets in right after your car accident. But, it’s important that you pay attention to what your body is trying to tell you. Headaches can signal that you have been injured in the car accident. This type of pain could indicate that you have anything from whiplash to a concussion , so visit a doctor as soon as possible.


Does your back or neck feel stiffer than usual? Strains and sprains are common car accident injuries. If you’ve injured a muscle, tendon, or ligament in the car accident, you could begin to experience pain and a limited range of motion in the affected area. If the area that is bothering you is in your upper back, shoulders, or neck, this could be a sign that you are suffering from whiplash.


You may begin to experience numbness in certain parts of your body either immediately or hours after a car accident. This is a very serious symptom that should not be ignored. Numbness is one of the most common symptoms associated with spinal cord damage , and it often does not develop until the area around the spinal cord begins to swell. Of course, there’s a chance that this symptom could be a sign of another type of injury, but you should still be checked by a medical professional right away.

Abdominal Pain

If you start to experience pain or discomfort in your midsection after an accident, this could be a sign of an internal injury. These are potentially life-threatening injuries, so it’s important to get help right away if you start to experience this symptom after a car accident.

Seeking medical attention should be your first priority after a car accident. After you have been treated, get in touch with an attorney to discuss your case. Personal injury attorney James Rush at Rush Injury Law is committed to helping those who have been injured in a car accident caused by a negligent driver.  Contact our law office by calling 415-897-4801 or filling out the online form on our website www.rushinjurylaw.com to request a free consultation.

By James Rush 06 Jul, 2017

The internet is the first place that people turn to for information, but it’s not always a reliable source. If you’ve ever researched personal injury cases online, you’ve probably stumbled upon information that isn’t completely accurate. Learn the truth behind these common myths about personal injury cases:

Myth: You can file at any time after an accident.

Some people take their time when it comes to filing a personal injury claim because they are under the impression that they can file at any point, but that’s not the case. Each state has its own statute of limitations for personal injury cases. In California, you have two years from the date of the accident to file a claim. After the two years has passed, you will not be able to pursue legal action against the party that caused you harm.

Myth: Personal injury attorneys are unaffordable.

Many people believe that they cannot afford to pay for an attorney, so they never even consider filing a personal injury claim. Don’t make this mistake. Personal injury attorneys work on a contingency fee basis, which means they won’t get paid for their legal services unless they can successfully recover compensation on your behalf. This means that personal injury attorneys are affordable for everyone regardless of your financial situation.

Myth: Personal injury cases can leave the at-fault party bankrupt.

If you are awarded compensation in your personal injury case, it is very unlikely that the at-fault party is the one paying. In the vast majority of cases, the at-fault party’s insurance company will pay the compensation that has been awarded through a settlement or verdict. Therefore, you should never feel as if you are causing the at-fault party financial ruin by filing a personal injury claim.

Myth: If you are injured, you automatically receive compensation.

It’s important to remember that compensation is never guaranteed in any personal injury case. There are a number of factors that could affect whether you are awarded compensation, including the severity of your injuries, whether or not you are able to prove liability, and how well you have documented your injuries and expenses. It is in your best interests to work with a personal injury attorney who can help you recover the compensation that you deserve.

If you have been injured in a car crash, slip and fall, or any other type of accident, get in touch with Rush Injury Law at once. James Rush will fight tirelessly to help you recover the maximum amount of compensation for your injuries. Call 415-897-4801 today to schedule your free consultation or visit us online at www.rushinjurylaw.com .

By James Rush 04 Jul, 2017

Pedestrian accidents are no laughing matter. When a car crashes into a pedestrian, it is very likely that the pedestrian will suffer serious injuries, including head trauma, spinal cord damage, and broken bones. Some injuries may even be fatal. For this reason, it’s important to learn how to protect yourself as you walk on the streets of San Francisco. Follow these safety tips for pedestrians:

Don’t drink and walk.

Everyone knows that it’s dangerous to get behind the wheel after consuming alcohol, but did you know you shouldn’t drink and walk either? According to AAA , about half of all car accidents that result in pedestrian fatalities involve alcohol. To be more specific, 34% of these accidents involved an intoxicated pedestrian. If you plan on walking anywhere, it’s important to stay sober to protect yourself.

Wait for the car to completely stop.

Many pedestrian accidents occur at crosswalks when a driver fails to stop to allow a pedestrian to cross in front of him. If you’re waiting at a crosswalk, don’t ever assume that a car that appears to be slowing down will come to a complete stop. You should always play it safe by waiting for the car to completely stop before you start walking across the intersection. Remember, drivers could be slowing down because they are distracted or looking for a street sign, so don’t assume that they see you.

Be aware of the traffic signs.

Pedestrians should pay attention to every traffic sign that they see even if it doesn’t apply to them. For example, pedestrians don’t need to know that U-turns are prohibited at a light, but they should still pay attention to this sign. Why? Doing so will help you understand what the drivers around you will do. By anticipating drivers’ next moves, you can stay safe while walking on the street.


Your ears can tell you a lot about what’s going on around you, so you shouldn’t wear headphones while walking. If you do, you may not hear a car honking his horn to warn you that he is quickly approaching or an ambulance siren that is getting closer and closer.

Unfortunately, you could still end up in a pedestrian accident even if you follow all of these tips. If you have been injured because of another person’s negligence, speak with personal injury attorney James Rush at Rush Injury Law at once. Call 415-897-4801 today to schedule your free consultation or visit us online at www.rushinjurylaw.com .

By James Rush 30 Jun, 2017

You’ve probably heard that both teen drivers and senior drivers are dangerous on the roads. Teens are less experienced than adults, and more likely to engage in risky behaviors such as distracted driving, speeding, and driving while intoxicated. On the other hand, seniors cannot react to changes on the road as quickly as younger adults, and they may not be able to see as well, either. But, are teens or seniors more dangerous behind the wheel? Here’s a look at who’s safer between teen and senior drivers:

Teens are involved in more fatal accidents.

In 2008, drivers between the ages of 15 and 20 accounted for 8.5% of the U.S. population and 12% of the traffic accident fatalities. Senior drivers between the ages of 64 and 69 accounted for 3% of the population and 3% of all traffic accident fatalities during this year. This proves that teens are involved in more fatal car accidents than seniors. In fact, car crashes are one of the leading causes of death for teenagers.

Teens are involved in more accidents overall.

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration , teen drivers have more crashes per million miles traveled than senior drivers. Based on the NHTSA data, drivers that are 16 and 17 are the most dangerous, which could be because they have the least amount of driving experience.

Teens are unable to recognize dangerous situations.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports that teen drivers have a harder time recognizing dangerous situations on the road than older drivers. Teen drivers are also more likely to make bad decisions when driving through hazardous conditions. For example, they may not know how to safely navigate their way through heavy rain or a snowstorm. Their inability to make good decisions and spot hazardous conditions could make them more dangerous than senior drivers.

Senior drivers are improving.

According to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety , the number of fatal car accidents involving seniors has steadily declined over the last 30 years. This could be partly because of new products that are designed to keep seniors safe on the road, such as easy-grip steering wheels made specifically for seniors with arthritis.

So, who is safer? Based on this information, it seems that teen drivers are probably more dangerous than senior drivers, but the truth is that drivers of all ages can cause car accidents.

If you have been involved in a car accident caused by a negligent driver, contact James Rush at Rush Injury Law right away. James Rush can help you recover compensation for your medical expenses, pain and suffering, lost wages, and more. Schedule a free consultation with us today by calling 415-897-4801 or filling out the online form on our website www.rushinjurylaw.com .

By James Rush 28 Jun, 2017

If you have been injured on someone else’s property, it’s important to understand the concept of premises liability. Here’s what you need to know about premises liability in California:

Types of Premises Liability Cases

Premises liability comes into play any time someone is injured by an unsafe condition on someone else’s property. Some of the most common examples of premises liability cases involve:

·    Slip and fall accidents

·    Dog bites

·    Swimming pool accidents

·    Exposure to toxic chemicals

·    Icy walkways

·    Lack of security around the property

Proving Negligence

An injury that occurs on someone else’s property is not always the property owner’s fault. In order to recover compensation, you must be able to prove that the property owner’s negligence directly caused your injuries. How? First, you must show that the property owner owed you a “duty of care.” For example, retail store owners have a responsibility to keep their customers safe by ensuring the floors are not slippery.

Next, you will need to show that the property owner breached this duty of care, meaning he failed to act reasonably and put you in harm’s way as a result. Using the previous example, if a retail store owner sees a puddle of water on the floor, but fails to clean it up, he has breached his duty of care.

Finally, you will need to show that you were injured because the property owner breached his duty of care. If you slipped and fell because the floor was slippery from the puddle of water, you would need to prove that the injuries occurred as a result of the property owner’s failure to clean up the spill.

Comparative Negligence

California is a comparative negligence state, which means both the property owner and the injured person may be held liable in a premises liability case. How can this affect your premises liability case? As a visitor on someone else’s property, you are required to act with reasonable care to protect yourself. If it is determined that your failure to act with reasonable care led to your injury, the amount of compensation you are awarded may be reduced.

For example, let’s say it is determined that you are 40% at fault for your injuries and the property owner is 60% at fault. If you were awarded $10,000, it would be reduced by 40%, so you would only receive $60,000.

As you can see, premises liability cases can be quite complex, so you will need an experienced personal injury attorney by your side. If you have been injured on someone else’s property and think the property owner is to blame, contact James Rush at Rush Injury Law right away. Schedule a free consultation with us today by calling 415-897-4801 or filling out the online form on our website www.rushinjurylaw.com .

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