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Complete Spinal Cord Injuries vs. Incomplete Spinal Cord Injuries

How Our Los Angeles Back Injury Lawyer Can Help

Are you experiencing neck and back pain? Most times, spinal cord injuries can occur from an unexpected accident. It may have involved a negligent driver crashing into your car or a damaged product that failed to provide an adequate warning. To prove negligence was the reason behind your wounds, you need to show that the person or company had legal responsibility for your injuries. At Grey Law, our accident injury attorney in Los Angeles can help you go after every negligent person involved.

What Is a Spinal Cord Injury?

Spinal cord injuries (SCI) occur when your spine gets hit with such impact that it causes fractures or dislocated vertebrae. The damage begins when the bone, discs, or ligaments bruise the surrounding tissue. Most accidental injuries tend to be minor, with fractures and minimal tears. However, that does not mean it won’t worsen over time and destroy nerve cells that transmit information between the brain and throughout the body. Severe injuries to the spine may result in long-term damage like paralysis, and in worse cases, death.

The best time to file a personal injury claim for spinal cord damages is after you received emergency medical care after the accident. As one of many life-threatening injuries, victims should get evaluated. Not only will this take a toll on you and your family physically, but also emotionally. Accumulating medical bills, loss of income, and out-of-pocket costs to take care of your family may feel troubling. An injury attorney in LA would recommend learning more about complete and incomplete spinal injuries. It will help you and your legal counsel gauge how much your case is worth against the opposing party.

Complete and Incomplete SCI

When you suspect your spine is damaged, it may fall into two categories: complete or incomplete. A complete injury is when your body loses sense of feeling and mobility below the point of injury. Incomplete injuries result in a minuscule loss of mobility and sensation near the wound.

Back injury lawyers in LA see more incomplete injuries in cases regarding fender benders and non-life-threatening accidents. Although, complete spine damage is frequent in dangerous mishaps, according to Medical News Today. The American Spinal Injury Association (ASIA) established a system to grade the level of impairment. Doctors might refer to this when relaying how bad the accident’s impact was on your body.

ASIA A – absolutely no feeling or motor function
ASIA B – partial feeling with complete loss of movement
ASIA C – no motor function, with limited movement; less than half of the muscles can lift with a full range of motion
ASIA D – inability to move fully; more than half of the muscles can lift
ASIA E – standard

Although there are more differences than similarities, either can impact your range of motion and feeling. A severed spinal cord will cause a temporary disability that requires ample time to heal.

How Do They Differ?

Incomplete spinal cord injuries may be easier to recover for in court. For instance, if you slipped and fell on someone’s faulty staircase and the doctor diagnosed you with incomplete spine damage, you may have a higher chance of recovering. It is common to see a partial loss of motion in one arm or leg on one side of the body. In court, a personal injury lawyer in LA can use the medical report to establish how the negligent property owner operated outside their duty of care and failed to maintain safe premises and that their actions were the direct cause of your spinal fracture.

Complete spinal cord injuries may be more challenging to recover damages for, as delayed symptoms could lead to long-term care. A loss of feeling and mobility can have a significant emotional toll on injured persons. It is a drastic change in one’s livelihood.


After an accident, you or your loved one should seek immediate medical attention. At the hospital, doctors will run X-rays, CT scans, or MRI scans for spine damage. Swelling is expected and could be an indicator that the spine is worsening. If it goes down within two weeks, the doctor can distinguish what category it falls in.


The spine is composed of four sections: cervical, thoracic, lumbar, and sacral. Each controls a different part of the body. When we build the foundation of your legal case, we will ask you to recount what occurred, including any symptoms you initially experienced immediately after the impact. Outside of pain and discomfort, other symptoms may persist like:

  • Respiratory difficulty
  • Problems within your intestine and urinary tract
  • Headaches or migraines
  • Nerve damage
  • Persistent muscular pain
  • Increased vulnerability to infections
  • Loss of sex drive/function
  • Infertility
  • Pneumonia

What Makes Spinal Cord Injuries Distinct from Other Injury Claims?

As a catastrophic injury, there may be more than one defendant involved. It depends on how the injury occurred and when it worsened. Spine damage can become unbelievably expensive. It can cost millions alone when victims suffer long-term paralysis, excluding loss of income and healthcare. Read on for a better idea of what the damages could look like for long-term or lifelong costs:

  • Medical bills for an ambulance (if applicable), hospital stay, medication, surgery, therapy
  • Technology costs for rehabilitative assistance
  • Wheelchairs, ramps
  • Loss of income and future earning potential
  • Loss of healthcare and out-of-pocket expenses
  • Chances in previous quality of life
  • Critical pain and discomfort
  • Stress, anxiety, depression, and PTSD
  • Additional physical, emotional, and psychological concerns

Spine injuries can be fatal and should get treated as such. Like legal cases, each client’s experience will differ. You may cover within months or years. When you entrust our spinal cord injury law firm in Los Angeles with your concerns, we will do everything possible to reach a maximum settlement.

About Grey Law

“When it comes to getting you more, I won’t settle for less.” – David Grey

When you or a loved one gets injured due to negligence, carelessness, or wrongful acts of another person, David Grey is ready to help. Seeking compensation or negotiating with insurance companies can be stressful, especially while recovering. Let us do that for you. Our Los Angeles personal injury lawyers are well-versed in several practice areas:

  • Traffic Accidents
  • Premises Accidents
  • Personal Injuries
  • Product Liability
  • Nursing Home Abuse

Why do you need a lawyer for accident compensation? With thousands of lawyers in California, we understand it can be hard to choose legal representation. We have 35+ years of experience and secured millions for our clients. From the time you retain our firm, we build your case. For a free case evaluation and consultation, reach out to us at (323) 857-9500 or email

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