Spinal cord injury sufferers new hope

Nearly one quarter of a million people suffer from the effects of spinal cord injuries. Auto accidents and workplace accidents account for over 50 percent of new cases. In some instances, these spinal cord injuries can cause permanent or temporary paralysis.

Treatment for a spinal cord injury can be very expensive. The average treatment costs in the first couple of years after the injury range from approximately $250,000 to $750,000 annually. The lifetime costs of a person’s treatment and rehabilitation can approach $3 million. With these injuries typically affecting people under 30, victims can face a long existence of grueling rehabilitation and a diminished quality of life.

Two recent studies provide hope. A 2013 study shows that a combination of physical therapy and stem cell treatment can repair many lost neurological functions in spinal cord injury victims. In this study, scientists at the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey-Robert Wood Johnson Medical School conducted a clinical trial of spinal cord injury patients who had not responded previously to six months of treatments. The doctors placed the patients into two groups, one receiving only physical therapy and the other group combination treatment. The combination treatment group indicated improvements after just a month. After two more months, some patients previously unable to control their bladders could now relieve themselves without catheters. After 18 months, some patients previously unable to walk independently could walk without support.

Previously, in a 2012 study, doctors performed the first human cell transplant on a spinal cord patient. Doctors grew cells from the patients’ own extracted nerve tissues, and then placed these cells back into the patients. Researchers plan to monitor the patients for another two years to measure overall improvement.

Scientific developments in stem cell research may ultimately help many spinal cord injury victims recover many of their lost functions and/or physical sensations. While the medical community is hopeful for a cure, it recognizes that substantial work lies ahead.

If you are suffering from a spinal cord injury, speak with San Luis Obispo personal injury lawyer, Steven P. Roberts. He can help you pursue the compensation you need to cover your medical bills, lost wages and pain and suffering.


Premises liability public falls

Although it can be embarrassing to fall in public in front of other people, in the eyes of the law, your falling may not entirely be your fault. In most cases, if you fall and injure yourself in a public place, the liability for your injuries rests with the premises owner. And, while it is important to seek legal assistance in determining liability, it is helpful to have a basic understanding of how fault is determined under the law.

Premises liability places the responsibility for your safety in the hands of the premises owner. If the owner has failed to address or remove potential hazards that contributed to your injury, it may constitute a negligent act. Some examples of these types of hazards include icy walkways, inadequately lighted stairways, falling objects or slick surfaces.

If there is a reasonable expectation that the premises owner had prior knowledge of any hazards that contributed to your injury, that person may be found negligent. In addition, the premises owner has a responsibility to deliver adequate warning of any known hazards on the property. If the owner has failed to do so, you may be entitled to damages to cover any medical expenses or lost wages you experience due to your personal injury.

After sustaining an injury as the result of a fall on public or private premises, you should immediately seek dependable legal representation. It may be that your fall is the result of negligence on the part of the premises owner, and a skilled California lawyer can help you pursue any damages from property owners or their insurance companies.


Dog bites children: Special circumstances

In most dog bite cases, there are arguments to be made on both sides. Maybe the dog owner acted negligently, but, in some cases, the victim may have provoked the attack in some way. However, in cases in which children are bitten by dogs, there are some special rules that apply in Santa Barbara County that make it a little easier to establish fault.

Under the law, children under the age of five are considered incapable of negligence. The reason for this rule is understandable enough, as young children are prone to misunderstand the risks associated with a given situation. This is particularly true in cases of dog attacks, as children are more likely to approach a dog without recognizing the threatening behavior the animal exhibits. The law and our society do not expect small children to understand the difference between friendly dogs and dangerous ones.

As a result, liability will often rest with the dog’s owner when a child is bitten. In some rare cases where a child is found to have committed a willful act of misconduct resulting in an attack, liability may be extended to the child’s parent or guardian. Even in situations where an adult is responsible for provoking an attack, a child will typically be held blameless.

If your child has been the victim of a dog attack, you may be eligible for compensation to cover medical bills, lost time at work and pain and suffering. It’s important to consult with a San Luis Obispo personal injury lawyer to determine liability based on the specifics of your case.


Filing suit after the tragic loss of a child

Recently, a 6-year-old girl living in San Francisco with her family was struck and killed by a Honda driven by Syed Muzaffar while he was logged on to the transportation app called Uber. Police arrested and charged Muzaffar with vehicular manslaughter, gross negligence, and failure to yield to pedestrians in a crosswalk. For the Lius, however, that wasn’t enough. The Liu family is suing Uber for wrongful death.

Burying a child is a pain that no parent should have to endure. This is especially true when the child dies because of the wrongful act or omission of another person. When this occurs, the parents or guardians of the child can bring a wrongful death lawsuit against the liable parties. Here’s what you need to know: 

Statutory eligibility — Under Indiana’s statute for wrongful death of a child, a “child” is defined as:

  • An individual who is under the age of 20 and not married
  • A student who is under the age of 23 and not married
  • A viable fetus 

Potential damages — In a lawsuit for the wrongful death of a child, you may seek compensation for:

  • Hospital and other medical expenses
  • Burial and funeral costs
  • Loss of companionship and love
  • Loss of the child’s services
  • Mental health counseling for the parents and minor siblings 

Statute of limitations — Generally, a lawsuit for the wrongful death of a child must be filed within two years of the date of the child’s death. If the lawsuit is filed after the two-year statute of limitations expires, the surviving parties may be barred from recovering damages.

If your child was killed because of another person’s wrongful act or omission, contact a California wrongful death attorney. At the Steven P. Roberts, we fight hard to obtain compensation for those affected by wrongful death. Contact our office today to discuss your situation.


Did negligence and mismanagement lead to boxers disability?

A few months ago, boxer Magomed “Mago” Abdusalamov was a WBC champ on his way to a chance at the world heavyweight title. Today, the 33-year-old husband and father of three little girls is helpless in a hospital bed, struggling to follow simple commands. He may never walk or talk again.

Mago’s family doesn’t blame Mike Perez, the opponent who delivered punishing blows in a brutal 10 rounds at Madison Square Garden. They blame commission officials, medical personnel and others for “negligence and medical mismanagement” that nearly cost Mago his life. They have filed a civil lawsuit in light of the following:

  • The referee and ring doctors failed to stop the fight as Mago was “unreasonably and violently beaten.”
  • “Improper, untimely and inadequate medical care” by boxing commission doctors exacerbated Mago’s condition. After a rudimentary neurological check, and despite complaints of head pain, they stitched a gash over his eye, noted his broken nose and advised him to see a doctor “in a day or two.” It was not until an athletic commission inspector observed blood in Mago’s urine — suggesting internal bleeding — that his handlers were advised to take him to the nearest hospital.
  • Two ambulances were stationed at the Garden for the fight — yet none was provided. As his condition worsened and he began vomiting, Mago’s team was finally able to flag down a cab which dropped them at the ER waiting room. By the time he was examined, he could barely speak. A CT scan revealed a blood clot causing severe pressure in his brain, and at 1:33 AM — nearly three critical hours after the fight ended — doctors began surgery. Mago Abdusalamov’s life was spared, but he had several strokes and was left in a coma.

In a violent sport like boxing, can an ambitious young man be solely accountable for his own safety? Or are officials and medical personnel required to exercise reasonable care and judgment? If the carelessness or negligence of others has harmed you or a loved one, a California personal injury attorney can help you seek justice.