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C1 Vertebra Fractures Attorney – Jefferson Fractures

A fracture of the C1 vertebra is a life-threatening, potentially fatal injury that is sometimes associated with injury to the spinal cord and resulting paralysis. C1 vertebral fractures, also called atlas fractures or Jefferson fractures, are rare, representing about 10% of cervical (neck) spinal injuries, and about 2% of all spinal injuries. Patients with C1 vertebra fractures that do not have neurological damage or head trauma usually have a good prognosis. Fractures may occur at the posterior arch, anterior arch, or massa lateralis, the thick lateral part of the vertebra that articulates with the axis and the occipital condyle, the boney facets at the base of the skull.

Causes of C1 Vertebra Fractures

Traffic accident related injuries to the C1 vertebra may result from auto collisions (including SUV rollover accidents resulting in roof crush) cycling accidents, motorcycle accidents, pedestrian accidents, and trucking accidents. Non-traffic accident related injuries may be due to high-impact sporting accidents, like football, skiing, hang-gliding and gymnastics accidents. Other causes include gunshot wounds, being struck by falling objects, diving in shallow water, and other compression injuries in the neck.

Atlas Fractures and Jefferson Fractures

Another name for the first cervical vertebra is the atlas. It was given that name because its function is to support the globe of the head. The atlas, along with the axis (C2 vertebra), makes up the joint that connects the skull to the spinal column. A break or fracture in the C1 vertebra is called an atlas fracture, Jefferson fracture or Jefferson burst fracture. Jefferson fractures are named after Sir Geoffrey Jefferson, a British neurologist and neurosurgeon who first described the injury. Approximately 1/3 of Jefferson fractures are also associated with an axis fracture, or C2 vertebra fracture. Most minor C1 fractures can be treated without surgery using a Philadelphia collar or sometimes, a more invasive Halo brace. More severe fractures may require spinal fusion or other surgical repair, which may result in a delayed or extended healing time.

C1 Spinal Cord Injuries

An injury to the spinal cord at the first cervical vertebra is a catastrophic injury that is much more serious than just a fracture of the C1 vertebral bone. If the spinal cord injury is classified as “complete,” meaning the patient has no sensation or movement below the point of injury, the patient will have complete paralysis of all four limbs and may need a respirator or diaphragmatic pacemaker to help breathe. Spinal cord injury victims may also not be able to regulate body temperature and blood pressure, making them more susceptible to complications such as pneumonia and autonomic dysreflexia (over activity of the autonomic nervous system), and can even result in death. Due to the need for ongoing medical care, those who have suffered C1 injuries should only trust a skilled and experience C1 injury attorney in San Diego to handle their case.

California C1 Fracture Attorney

The attorneys at Estey & Bomberger have more than 70 years of collective experience representing victims of serious and catastrophic injury in California. We understand the astronomical cost of catastrophic injuries over a victim’s lifetime, and the many ways insurance companies will attempt to devalue injuries and pay victims as little as possible. If you or someone in your family has suffered a vertebral fracture or spinal cord injury, you deserve an advocate who can get you the maximum, full and fair compensation you are entitled to. The attorneys at the AV-rated law firm of Estey & Bomberger offer a free consultation. To speak with a lawyer about your potential case, call (800) 925-0723. Our staff is available 24 hours a day to answer you questions and discuss your case.

Start your recovery today

If you are hesitant to contact us about your claim, it may help you to gain an understanding of what personal injury law is, and what is is not. We are ready to help you. Whether you prefer talking on the phone, coming into our office in San Diego, or you need us to come to where you are, please give us a call today at (619) 295-0035 to schedule an appointment.

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Estey & Bomberger, LLP

2019 Undergraduate Scholarship

At Estey & Bomberger, LLP we understand the importance of a college education, while at the same time knowing how expensive college can be. We are proud to announce the Estey & Bomberger, LLP 2019 Undergraduate Scholarship. The cost of college tuition is now higher than ever and our goal is to take some of the financial burden off of dedicated and hard working students.


We are offering $2,000 to one student whom is in the final year of high school or currently enrolled as undergraduates at an accredited college or university in the United States. Applicants must be 17 years of age or older. There is no restriction on your field of study.


Help us to make the world safer! To apply, please write an essay (minimum 750 words) explaining a current public safety issue in our society, and your proposed solution to the problem. Be creative :)

The issue can be either public or consumer safety. We will then select a winner from the submissions we receive.


$2,000 awarded one time.


  • The deadline to apply for this scholarship is March 31, 2019.
  • Winner will be announced by April 30, 2019.

We will notify the scholarship winner by either phone or email and the winner will be announced on our firms social media accounts.

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Please fill out the form on this page as completely as possible. Please upload your essay using the submission button with the form. Also please submit a digital copy of the acceptance letter from your college or graduate school. The accepted file types: doc, docx and pdf. Do not include additional material not asked for in the application. Good luck!

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