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San Mateo Spinal Cord Injury Lawyer

Experienced Accident Attorneys Based in San Mateo

One of the most serious injuries that you can sustain is a spinal cord injury (SCI). Your spinal column consists of nerve tissue and runs from the base of your skull down the back to your pelvis. Protective membranes and vertebrae surround this column, but trauma to the back can get through the protective layers and damage the spinal cord itself.

Spinal nerves transmit information and signals from your brain to various parts of the body. When the spinal tissue suffers damage, it can disrupt or completely cut off these signals. This can disrupt the functioning of any body parts below the spinal damage, including causing permanent paralysis in some people.

Spinal injuries and paralysis can be overwhelmingly costly in many ways. It can disrupt your entire life and lead to physical, mental, and financial struggles. If someone else caused your injury, that party should also be responsible for covering all of your injury-related losses. You should speak with a San Mateo spinal cord injury attorney from the law firm of Galine, Frye, Fitting & Frangos for a case evaluation today.

Spinal cord injuries not only cause significant physical and emotional pain, but they also usually result in substantial costs. If you or someone you love sustained a spinal cord injury due to an accident caused by someone else’s careless behavior, it is wise to speak with an attorney regarding the actions that you can take to protect your interests.

The San Mateo spinal cord injury lawyers at Galine, Frye, Fitting & Frangos, LLP have more than 75 years of combined experience helping injured parties fight to recover damages for their harm, and we will aggressively pursue any compensation that you may be owed. Our San Mateo spinal cord injury lawyers represent people throughout the San Francisco Bay Area.

Causes and Types of Spinal Cord Injuries

Spinal cord injuries can occur in any type of accident that can cause trauma to the spine or spinal column.

Some of the more common accidents that can cause SCIs include:

  • Car accidents
  • Bicycle accidents
  • Pedestrian accidents
  • Pool and spa accidents
  • Motorcycle accidents
  • Truck accidents
  • Slip and fall accidents
  • Medical malpractice
  • Accidents involving defective consumer products

Generally, spinal cord injuries are caused by a sudden impact. Typically, the force of the impact will cause damage to a ligament, disc, or vertebrae, which subsequently causes damage to the spinal cord.

For example, car accidents frequently cause spinal cord injuries due to the force of one car hitting another. Falls and assaults often cause spinal cord injuries as well.

The severity of a spinal cord injury largely depends on where the injury occurred, and whether the injury is complete or incomplete. A complete injury results in a complete loss of feeling and the ability to control movement below the point of injury. Conversely, a person with an incomplete injury retains some degree of sensory and motor function below the point of injury.

Furthermore, in addition to sensory and motor dysfunction, a spinal cord injury can result in diminished functions in every part of the body. The spinal cord injury attorneys at our San Mateo firm have seen that spinal cord injuries can result in bladder or bowel incontinence, difficulties related to circulation and respiration, nerve pain, and muscle atrophy. People who sustain spinal cord injuries frequently develop mental health issues as well.

Serious Effects of Spinal Cord Injuries

Spinal injuries fall into the category of catastrophic injuries because of the profound effect they can have on your life. Incomplete spinal injuries do not totally sever the spinal cord, though they can cause enough damage to result in partial or temporary paralysis.

Complete spinal cord injuries cut off all signals from the brain to the body below the injury, so a victim will have total paralysis. Such paralysis might affect you from the waist down, your trunk, or even all four limbs and your torso.

Spinal injury victims can:

  • Require an extended hospital stay, including time in the ICU or a rehabilitation unit
  • Require surgery or other invasive procedures
  • Need wheelchairs and other assistive equipment
  • Lose bladder, bowel, respiratory, and sexual functioning
  • Need adaptations to their homes
  • Require home health care assistance
  • Sometimes never return to their previous jobs or work at all

Losing your ability to walk, move, work, and even care for yourself can be devastating. Many paralyzed spinal injury victims experience serious mental health struggles due to the new limitations on their lives. Victims might have to rely on disability benefits, which can be much less than they might earn otherwise.

Overall, SCIs are severe and costly injuries that are difficult to come back from. At the very least, you deserve to have the liable party for your accident cover all of your various past and future losses.

The Value of Your Spinal Cord Injury Claim

Because spinal injuries lead to such devastating losses, the resulting injury claims tend to be high-stakes. Determining how much you deserve is a highly complex process that involves the assessment and calculation of many future and intangible losses.

One set of estimations indicates that the cost of living with a spinal injury is as follows:

  • For a 25-year-old with incomplete motor function = $1,578,274
  • For a 50-year-old with incomplete motor function = $1,113,990
  • For a 25-year-old with paraplegia = $2,310,104
  • For a 50-year-old with paraplegia = $1,516,052
  • For a 25-year-old with low tetraplegia = $3,451,781
  • For a 50-year-old with low tetraplegia = $2,123,154
  • For a 25-year-old with high tetraplegia = $4,724,181
  • For a 50-year-old with high tetraplegia = $2,596,329

The factors that go into these calculations involve your age when the injury occurred, your job, the extent of your injury, necessary medical care, the level of your pain, and suffering-related losses. You want an experienced attorney handling these calculations, so you do not miss out on any compensation.

Who is Liable for Your Spinal Injury and Losses?

Under California law, people who suffer injuries by the negligence of others are typically entitled to compensation from the party who caused their accident.

Parties that may have caused your injuries include:

  • Other motorists
  • Product manufacturers
  • Medical professionals
  • Businesses
  • Property owners

If your spinal cord injury resulted from the negligence of a person performing their job duties, you will likely be able to recover compensation from their employer under a legal doctrine known as respondeat superior.

For example, if your accident happened because of a truck driver, you would likely file a claim against the trucking company responsible for the operation of the vehicle. Similarly, if your accident occurred due to a store employee who failed to take reasonable steps to mitigate a falling hazard, your claim would likely be against their employer rather than the individual employee.

For respondeat superior to apply, an employee must have acted within the scope of their employment duties. So, for example, if a delivery driver causes an accident while delivering goods to a customer, their employer would likely be liable. On the other hand, if the accident occurred while the driver was heading home or grabbing lunch, the employee would bear liability.

An attorney familiar with a personal injury law can review your case and determine who may bear liability for your injuries.

Elements of a Lawsuit Seeking Damages for Spinal Cord Injuries

The majority of spinal cord injuries are caused by accidents. As a result, in most lawsuits seeking damages for spinal cord injuries, the plaintiff will assert a negligence claim against the defendant. In California, to prove negligence, a plaintiff must establish that the defendant owed a legal duty to exercise due care, that the defendant breached the duty, and that the breach proximately caused the plaintiff’s harm.

In other words, the plaintiff must show both that he or she would not have suffered an injury if the defendant had acted with reasonable care and that the breach was a substantial factor in bringing about the plaintiff’s harm.

A plaintiff who successfully proves a defendant’s liability with the assistance of our San Mateo spinal cord injury attorneys may be awarded damages. Damages usually consist of compensation for the economic harm caused by the accident, such as the cost of any past medical treatment, as well as the cost of the treatment that the plaintiff will need in the future.

Economic harm may also include lost earnings if the plaintiff cannot work or earns a reduced income due to his or her injuries, and it may include out-of-pocket expenses. Damages often include compensation for the intangible harm caused by an injury as well, such as emotional trauma, suffering, and pain.

Learn More from a San Mateo Spinal Cord Injury Attorney Today

Spinal cord injuries often cause irreparable harm to every aspect of a person’s life, and people responsible for causing spinal cord injuries should be held accountable for the damages that resulted from their negligence. If you or a loved one suffered a spinal cord injury, it is prudent to speak with an attorney regarding your possible claims.

The seasoned spinal cord injury lawyers at the San Mateo law firm of Galine, Frye, Fitting & Frangos, LLP take pride in helping injured parties seek recourse for their harm. If you engage our services, we will fight tirelessly to help you seek a just result.

If you have suffered a spinal cord injury in an accident due to someone else’s negligence, it’s in your best interest to contact an attorney as soon as you can. In many cases, spinal cord injuries entitle victims to significant compensation, and insurance companies will do everything they can to settle your claim for as little as possible.

To schedule a free case evaluation with a San Mateo spinal cord injury lawyer, call Galine, Frye, Fitting & Frangos today at (650) 345-8484 or contact us online.

Galine, Frye, Fitting, & Frangos, LLP
411 Borel Ave #500,
San Mateo, CA 94402
Phone: 650-345-8484
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Client Reviews

    I retained Ilya Frangos of Galine, Frye, Fitting & Frangos on a business litigation matter involving a frivolous lawsuit filed in federal court. Ilya guided me through the case and helped make sure that I understood the process… He always took the time to answer all my questions and helped put my mind at ease. I would highly recommend him and this firm!


    I called Mr Frye after my wife had passed away… John listened to my case over the phone, after aggreeing to represent me, handled everything from there… I have already recommended Mr Frye to a friend for help with a similiar case and would without reserve recommend him to anybody. He came highly recommended as an expert in these type cases, and I believe he demonstrated this personally.


    Chantel Fitting is as good as it gets. If you have been injured, need help and cant get what you know you deserve from one of the big insurance companies, then you have got to call Chantel. She will fight for you like it was her that was hurt… She cares. Call her. You wont be sorry you did.

    Cindy C.

    A great experience. Excellent law firm which treats their client’s with the utmost respect. Very knowledgeable and made me fell extremely secure when handling my personal injury claim. Would highly recommend Galine, Frye, Fitting & Frangos to handle your next case.

    Lisa D.

    I was fortunate enough to have been represented and retained by this law firm for my injuries sustained by an under insured motorist. I must say Chantel Fitting and Illya Frangos went above and beyond trying to resolve my case… I would highly recommend this law firm and stop shopping around if you are looking for the best, as this is as good as it gets.

    Joanna K.

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