Orange County Spinal Cord Injury Attorneys

Among all the non-fatal injuries that can befall a person, a spinal cord injury stands out as potentially the most severe. It has the capacity to render an individual in various stages of paralysis, sometimes even complete paralysis. The spine serves as a vital conduit, facilitating communication between the brain and every part of the body. However, when the spine is injured, this communication can become partially or almost entirely obstructed, depending on the location and severity of the injury. 

If you or a loved one has suffered a spinal cord injury in Orange County, California, due to someone else’s negligence or intentional act, contact us at the Law Offices of Stephen Zwick. You may have an insurance claim to compensate you for your medical expenses and other losses, and there’s also the potential for a personal injury lawsuit.  

Our team of attorneys proudly serves clients throughout Orange County, including but not limited to the cities of Buena Park, Costa Mesa, Irvine, Huntington Beach, San Juan Capistrano, Westminster, Placentia and more 

Understanding Spinal Cord Injuries

About 15,000 people a year in the United States suffer a spinal cord injury. According to the National Spinal Cord Injury Statistical Center, 42.1 percent of injuries result from vehicular accidents. Falls account for 26.7 percent, acts of violence including gunshot wounds for 15.1 percent, and recreational sports activities for 7.6 percent.  

It’s also possible for a spinal injury to occur during surgery, in which case you could file a medical malpractice lawsuit. Defective products such as seat belts or airbags that fail to work can also be the cause of such injuries. 

As mentioned in the opening, the spinal cord (a bundle of nerves housed within the spinal column, or in common terms, the backbone) is the pathway for inter-body communication to and from the brain. Ultimately, if the spinal cord is damaged, the victim can become a paraplegic (loss of muscle function in the lower half of the body, including the legs) or even a quadriplegic (paralysis of all four limbs and the torso).  

If you or your family has been impacted by a similar situation, you deserve justice. Our esteemed Southern California injury attorneys are here to help.  


Steven Zwick in a navy suit.

Complete and Incomplete Spinal Cord Injuries

A spinal cord injury can either be complete or incomplete. Complete means that below the injury, you can feel nothing—information to and from the brain has been blocked. Incomplete means that the information superhighway to your brain is still somewhat functioning. You may be able to wiggle a toe or feel part of your leg. 

The higher the injury occurs on your spine, the more serious the consequences can be. Injuries to the top four vertebrae, referred to as higher cervical injuries, can result in quadriplegia. Injuries to the next four vertebrae, referred to as lower cervical injuries, can result in paraplegia. Thoracic injuries and even lumbar injuries can also result in loss of the use of one’s legs, or paraplegia. 

Possible Long-Term Effects of Spinal Cord Injuries

Recovery is more hopeful for those with incomplete injuries. There are mobility assistance devices, and medical science is constantly researching possible medications. Epidural stimulation, exercise rehabilitation, and electric stimulation are all being used to help those with incomplete spinal injuries achieve a more normal life. 

Those with complete injuries will face long-term consequences. Home aid may be necessary. Wheelchairs and other devices will have to be procured, along with ramps and stair lifts in the residence.  

Legal Options to Recover for Your Injuries

If you are injured because of someone else’s negligence or intentional act, that person can be held liable for the injuries and other losses you’ve suffered. Say you’re struck by another vehicle, and you end up with spinal cord injuries, the at-fault driver and their insurance can be the first resource for recovering for what happened to you. Likewise, if you slip and fall on a wet surface in a store, the owner/operator likely will have liability insurance. 

In these two examples, both the driver and owner/operator had a “duty of care” toward you. In other words, they were legally obligated to prevent harm to others. If you take them to court for a personal injury lawsuit, you then have four elements to prove: 

  1. The other party had a duty of care toward you; 

  1. They breached that duty through negligence; 

  1. That breach caused you injury and loss; and 

  1. As a result, you are owed compensation for your injuries and losses. 

It’s also possible that your spinal injury could be caused deliberately by someone else through violence. That person can also be held liable in a lawsuit. The same goes for injuries resulting from defective products such as seat belts or airbags that malfunction. The manufacturer or supplier could be sued under product liability laws. 

What Compensation Is Available? 

In a personal injury lawsuit, you can recover both economic and noneconomic damages, or compensation. Economic refers not only to the expenses associated with your medical treatment and ongoing rehabilitation, but also to lost wages and future earning capacity. Noneconomic damages include your pain and suffering, mental anguish, and—in wrongful death cases—loss of consortium (companionship). 

Spinal Cord Injury Attorneys Serving Southern California

A spinal cord injury can be a tragic event with lifelong consequences. As such, the party responsible should be held accountable. If you or a loved one in Orange County has suffered a spinal cord injury, contact us immediately at the Law Offices of Steven Zwick. Our personal injury attorneys will pursue the insurance claim for you and negotiate for the best possible settlement. We will also pursue a personal injury lawsuit if that is the best route to full compensation.

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