Complications & Long-Term Medical Needs

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Nothing is more important than recovery and compensation for your loved one after a severe injury. 

The Resources To Pay For Long-Term Medical Costs

A spinal cord injury may result in life-altering challenges associated with sensory and motor function loss. Long-term care requirements may include nursing and attendant care to assist a paraplegic or quadriplegic with the activities of daily living. You need an injury lawyer with the resources and experience to tell your story.

For more than 30 years, the attorneys at have helped Bay Area clients and their families who have suffered serious spinal cord injuries. We employ leading experts to create a life care plan taking into account the long-term care requirements. This outlines future needs and is one tool we use to fight for full compensation from those responsible for causing injuries.

Complications And Long-Term Medical Needs

The average hospital stay for acute care and initial rehabilitation is 95 days for quadriplegics and 67 days for paraplegics. Hospital bills can easily soar to more than $100,000. Insurance typically only covers about half.

Increased risk of pneumonia and infections from ulcers or bedsores are complications when confined to a wheelchair or bedridden. These complications are the leading cause of death for those who suffer spinal cord injuries. Proper attendant and medical care can significantly reduce these risks, but come at a cost.

Contrary to common perception, paraplegics and quadriplegics often suffer intense agony. This neurogenic pain is pain due to a dysfunction of the nervous system (it is frequently referred to as “phantom pain,” where pain is felt from a part of the body that has no sensation or is no longer there due to misfiring nerve endings). No drugs can effectively treat this pain.

Rehabilitative therapy can help regain some functioning.

  • High cervical injuries — C1 to C4 — cause breathing difficulties and likely require a ventilator. With rehabilitative therapy, as many as 85 percent of people with C4 injuries and around 60 percent of those with C3 injuries can eventually breathe on their own.
  • A great deal can be done for those who have suffered paraplegia from lumbar region injuries. Treatment cannot reverse paralysis, but physical therapy and occupational therapy can restore mobility and independence.
  • Surgery to treat a sacral (pelvic) fracture may be needed to stabilize and realign the pelvis. This along with occupational and physical therapy can help regain bladder and bowel control.

Early therapy can lead to improvement that makes a significant difference in daily functioning. It is thus critical to get early physical and occupational therapy.

How Will All The Bills Get Paid?

We work aggressively to recover adequate compensation from those responsible for causing spinal cord injury so that the following resources are available:

  • Therapy to relearn basic independent living skills
  • Educational assistance for students
  • Job retraining when necessary
  • Home and workplace accommodation for a wheelchair or other equipment

In the worst cases, we fight to ensure that resources are available to provide for nursing and attendant care to assist with activities of daily living.

Investing To Ensure Stability For Your Future

Cases involving spinal cord injuries are expensive to litigate. We invest the resources to retain expert witnesses, including psychiatrists, life care planners and economists. Our attorneys have the experience to take your case to trial when required to obtain a fair outcome.

For more information or to schedule a free initial consultation with an experienced San Francisco lawyer regarding a back injury, please call 415-421-7995 or toll-free at 888-745-2988 or contact us online.

Jeffrey R. Smith

Jeffrey R. Smith

Managing Partner

Robert B. Waldsmith

Robert J. Waldsmith

Partner, 1999

William B. Smith

William B. Smith

Partner, 1978

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