What You Need to Know About Spinal Cord Injuries in California

A spinal cord injury (“SCI”) can happen in any type of accident, and since these injuries affect one of the most important structures in the nervous system, an injury can often have catastrophic repercussions such as paralysis or nerve damage.

All spinal cord injuries should be immediately addressed by your doctor.

Some spinal cord injuries can have a temporary impact on your body. For example, the effects of a whiplash injury may last just two to four weeks before subsiding. However, other spinal cord injuries can cause permanent damage.

The Barnes Firm has represented thousands of accident victims with spinal cord injuries. Some of these injuries include:

  • Cervical disc herniations
  • Lumbar disc herniations
  • Disc replacement
  • Fusion surgeries
  • Paralysis

After suffering a spinal cord injury, it’s important to speak with a doctor. The next step is to contact an experienced personal injury attorney who can help guide you and your family through the process of pursuing an injury claim. Call The Barnes Firm anytime at 1-800-800-0000 or contact us for a FREE case evaluation.

Common Spinal Surgeries

Those who have suffered a spinal injury can undergo a number of different surgical procedures to help correct the injury. Our attorneys have dedicated a section of our website to discussing these surgeries in-depth.

The Different Types of Spinal Surgeries

Compression Fractures

Your spine is made of 33 individual bones called “vertebrae.” When these bones break due to a severe trauma, it’s called a compression fracture, because vertebrae require a very strong force, or compression, in order to break.

Compression fracture injuries can be very serious, and they can impact the nervous tissue that helps send signals to the brain.

These fractures can also cause other injuries, including:

  • Ligament damage
  • Nerve root damage
  • Spinal cord damage

In extreme situations, spinal cord injuries can cause the loss of feeling or motion in the extremities, including the arms, hands, and legs.

The most common treatments for compression fractures include:

  • Pain medications
  • Decreasing activity
  • Neck braces
  • Surgery

Paralysis from Spinal Injuries

When a person’s nervous system is impacted by an injury or illness, it can sometimes cause paralysis, which is the inability to move or feel. In some instances, paralysis may only affect an individual muscle, but it usually impacts an entire region of the body.

More on Paralysis Here.

Thoracic Spinal Injuries

The thoracic spine refers to the upper and middle back. There are 12 vertebrae in this area, and these bones are built for stability, since they connect to the ribs and stabilize the torso.

Accidents are the most common cause of upper back injuries, but these injuries can also stem from strained muscles or poor posture over time.

Compression fractures most often impact the bottom part of the thoracic spine (T11 and T12) and the first vertebra of the lumbar spine (L1). Injuries in this thoracic region can impact feeling in the chest and legs. This can also result in paralysis.

Cervical Spine Injuries

The cervical spine is basically your neck. Any injuries here can cause serious problems, since almost all of your nerves have to pass through this region.

More on Cervical Spine Injuries Here.

Back Injuries & the Lumbar Spine

Just five bones make up the lumbar spine in the lower back (some people can have six vertebrae here). Injuries to the lumbar spine are common, usually resulting from accidents including:

  • Car accidents
  • Sports injuries
  • Workplace injuries (construction accidents)
  • Falls
  • Violence

The most serious injuries to the lumbar spine are spinal fractures or disc herniations. These can usually be treated without surgery, but if your spine isn’t stable, or if there’s nerve damage, surgery may become a necessity.

Typical surgeries in this region of the back are meant to relieve pressure from the nerves and provide stability to the lower back. A fusion surgery is one of the most common procedures for the lumbar spine. This procedure places screws and rods in certain vertebrae to hold a patient’s back together.

Whiplash Injury

Whiplash is the most common neck injury after a car accident and is caused by the jolt of impact, which causes the neck to snap and overextend.

How Whiplash Is Diagnosed and Treated.

Spinal Cord Q&A

If you or a loved one has suffered a spinal injury, we understand how much uncertainty and how many questions can arise. We’ve provided answers to some of the most commonly asked questions here.

If your questions still aren’t answered, feel free to call our attorneys any time: The Barnes Firm (800) 800-0000.


I am very thankful and appreciative for the wonderful job that The Barnes Firm has done for me with my auto accident. I think I was lucky to have Landon and Ali worked on my case. They were always available for me.

I was in a car accident and contacted, The Barnes Firm. I was transferred to an attorney right away. The attorney was very pleasant and helpful. He answered all my questions. He set up an appointment that same week. The attorney himself, came over to my home. He went over the paperwork and explained the procedure very thoroughly. The attorney’s paralegal contacted me right away. The office has been in touch with me and genuinely concerned about my injuries. This firm was on top of my case. I highly recommend them. Please call The Barnes Firm.

My attorney and his Assistant helped me through my injury case. It was a real pleasure having their legal advice available to me in a time when I couldn’t think straight or even figure out what to do after my accident injury.