Category Archives: Personal Injury

Spinal Injury Cripples Cross Fit Athlete Permanently

Crossfit is a popular fitness program that is characterized by explosive Olympic lifts, performed with minimal rest in between strenuous movements. Undeniably, it has made stronger athletes due to the rigorous weight training involved. However, like most physical activities, this type of exercise poses risks of injury.

 Crossfit athlete and Coach Kevin Ogar severed his spine while trying to lift over 200 pounds during a fitness competition in Orange County, California. The accident occurred when he missed a snatch and failed to get out of the way of a bar bearing heavy weights which landed on his spine, damaging it and paralyzing the athlete from the waist down. 

It was a single moment that totally changed his life. To make matters worse, Ogar was not covered by health insurance. While Ogar’s injury may be a rare and tragic injury, spine injury can occur too as a result of auto accidents, negligent medical care, and slip and fall accidents.

 Serious Effects of spine injury 

Your spine consists of nerves that carry signals between your brain and various parts of your body. A single traumatic force or blow to the spinal cord can disrupt the signals running back and forth to the brain, causing: 

  • Paralysis
  • Quadriplegia
  • Absence of movement in fingers, limbs and toes
  • Loss of motor and sensory functions
  • Disabling neck, back and shoulder injuries
  • Loss of breathing
  • Sexual dysfunction

Los Angeles Spine injury accidents

If you or someone you know is injured in an accident affecting the spinal cord, the injury can drastically alter your life and lead to lost wages, ongoing and accumulating medical bills, decreased future income capabilities and overall reduced quality of life. Further, you may be entitled to claim compensation from the party responsible for your accident. 

In metropolitan Los Angeles, the law firm of Marvin S. Lanter has years of experience in spinal cord injuries, representing clients in negotiations and helping them recover full and fair compensation for their injuries.

 To discuss your particular spinal injury situation, we invite you to contact our firm today at (310) 299-2075 for a free initial consultation.

Can You Afford a Spinal Cord Injury?

In the United States, an estimated 200,000 individuals are living with a spinal cord injury, with anywhere from 12,000 to 20,000 new patients joining that number every year. There are many causes that contribute to this number, with the four most common being motor vehicle accidents (46%), falls (22%), violence (16%) and sports-related injuries (12%) (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 2010).

A spinal cord injury, also referred to as an “SCI”, is one of the most serious medical conditions that one can suffer, as such injuries can have a lasting negative effect on one’s mobility, finances, and overall well-being. Given that the spinal column and cord are so fragile, it doesn’t need to be a significant injury or event for someone to suffer from a permanent or semi-permanent spinal cord injury.

More Than Just A Physical Disability

SCIs can not only leave an individual physically impaired, but mentally impaired as well. The spinal cord houses a bundle of nerves that extend from the brain and then branch peripherally. These nerves are essential for our brains to be able to communicate with the rest of our body. Any damage to the spinal column can impact our spinal cord and leave an individual with temporary or even permanent neurological impairments.

There are a number of long-term complications that come with this type of injury, including:

  • Musculoskeletal
  • Respiratory
  • Urinary
  • Gastrointestinal
  • Psychological side effects

The Costs Associated With An SCI

For a number of SCIs, having such an injury can cost individuals hundreds of thousands, if not millions, of dollars a year. The National Spinal Cord Injury Statistical Center (NSCISC) released these estimated costs:

  • High Tetraplegia (C1-C4): First year – $1,023,924 Each year following – $171,808
  • Low Tetraplegia (C5-C8): First year – $739,874 Each year following – $109,077
  • Paraplegia: First year – $499,023 Each year following – $66,106
  • Incomplete motor function at any level: First year – $334,170 Each year following – $40,589

The estimated lifetime cost of living with an SCI can range anywhere from $500,000 to well over $4 million, depending on the severity and duration of the injury. Sadly, with an estimated 50-70% of SCIs occurring in younger individuals aged 15-35, this makes the lifetime costs even more considerable.

Knowing exactly what your rights are and seeking the legal expertise of an SCI experienced personal injury attorney is essential in protecting the financial and physical well-being of yourself or a loved one. At Marvin S. Lanter, we’ll help you recover full compensation for any damages that you have suffered so you can focus on what’s most important of all: healing.

If you have suffered a personal injury as a result of someone else’s negligence or product fault, then we invite you to contact us to arrange a free, no-obligation initial consultation to discuss your case. We welcome your call at 310-504-1306.

Can Social Networking Damage Your Personal Injury Case

In our modern, computer-centric lives, many of us belong to social networking sites such as Facebook, MySpace, YouTube, Twitter, Google Buzz, LinkedIn, etc. While these sites are an invaluable resource when it comes to maintaining contact with others via the internet, there are also some negative, less-publicized factors that need to be taken into consideration. Chief among these is that:

Whatever you post on the internet is NOT confidential and is accessible to almost anyone.

You should be aware that it is standard practice for attorneys, investigators, insurance companies and their representatives to troll social-networking sites in an attempt to glean personal and potentially damaging material about you or your case. While this information is gathered without the permission of the subject, due to the fact that the information is posted online, anyone can access and download this personal data. To be safe, assume that anything you place on-line can be viewed by anyone at any time.

The safest strategy is to avoid the social sites altogether while your case is pending. If, however, you must frequent such sites, we urge you to do the following:

  1. Set your computer for the highest privacy settings.
  2. Don’t post ANY information regarding your case or how you are feeling.
  3. Don’t post ANY information regarding your attorneys. E-mails from your attorney are for you, and you alone. In litigation, the attorney client privilege is a valuable resource. Posting information online could erode the ability to use this objection.
  4. Be sure you want to share with the world what you post: Like our mothers used to tell us when we were kids, “think before you speak (or type)”.
  5. Do not send e-mail or gossip about your case to friends/family. Once an email is sent, there is no “unsend’ button. Often, e-mails contain personal and emotional details that you may find difficult to explain or which may be inconsistent with your recollection if you are questioned later in your case. If you need to communicate with a friend or family members, keep the communications short and sweet. If you can, try to communicate verbally.  The people you communicate with could be subpoenaed to testify about your conversations and the defense may attempt to subpoena the e-mails from your friends or family members.
  6. Obviously, do not enter websites; participate in blogs, chat-rooms, or message boards that belong to the insurance company or their representatives.
  7. Be careful of any pictures you post online: Here is a scenario: A client is injured in a car accident and claims serious back injuries. After the accident, the back pain keeps the client from participating in normal, daily activities (working out, playing with the kids, etc.).  However, a friend of the client’s invites him to a baseball game. Though his back still hurts, the client agrees to go. A picture is taken of the client, smiling at the baseball game and he uploads it online. An insurance investigator finds the picture of the client at the baseball game and infers that the client is just fine, suffering from no pain.  What may seem innocuous may be used against you.  Also, be wary of posting pictures depicting use of alcohol or other activities that the adverse party or their attorneys may try to use to paint you in a less-than-favorable light to a jury.
  8. Don’t “friend” just anyone. If someone sends you a “friend request” or an invitation to join a social networking site, make sure you know who the person is.
  9. To be safe, stay away from social networking sites until your case in completed.
  10. Also be aware, that removal of contents or picture from your Facebook page or website after an accident, could be construed as destruction of evidence and a crime.

There has been a definite increase in electronic and computer surveillance by attorneys, investigators, insurance companies and their representatives. Some of the information recovered on-line can be embarrassing, but other information can be used for the purpose of claiming that your injury was exaggerated or that you are simply a flat out liar.  Insurance companies have successfully used such information; even that considered innocent, harmless joking between private “Friends”, to convince a judge or jury that a plaintiff has been not telling the truth.  Always assume that attorneys, investigators, insurance companies and their representatives peruse social media sites and blog items in order to do whatever it takes to prevail against you, even if that means painting you in an unflattering light.

You should know that attorneys, investigators, insurance companies and their representatives may be entitled to subpoena and request your home computer and laptop hard drives in order to look for information regarding the issues discussed above.

Periodically review the contents of your social network sites and keep only the “friends” or “connections” that you know and trust. Always assume that whatever you post on-line or in an e-mail communication with a friend, someone is watching and hoping to use that against you.

© 2017 The Law Office of Marvin S. Lanter, Los Angeles Personal Injury Lawyer. All Rights Reserved.
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