Overview: Spinal Cord Injuries
The spinal cord is an integral part of the central nervous system, operating as a bridge between the brain and the rest of the body. When a spinal cord injury occurs, the consequences can be catastrophic, potentially leading to the inability to control certain limbs. According to the Mayo Clinic, the ability to control certain limbs after sustaining a spinal cord injury depends on the location of the lesion and the severity of the injury itself. In the most severe cases, a spinal cord injury can result in the complete loss of mobility, known as either paraplegia or quadriplegia, depending on which parts of the body are affected. In other cases, the victim may only lose partial motor function, known as an “incomplete tetraplegia.”
Types of Accidents That Can Cause a Spinal Cord Injury
According to the Mayo Clinic, the most common causes of spinal cord injuries across the United States include:
- Car accidents: These types of crashes comprise of nearly half of all spinal cord injuries that occur annually in the United States
- Slip and fall accidents: These types of accidents account for 15% of all spinal cord injuries. It’s worth noting that individuals aged 65 and older commonly sustain spinal cord injuries as a result of these types of incidents
- Sports injuries: The Mayo Clinic estimates that injuries from impact sports or diving in shallow water account for 10% of all spinal cord injuries
- Violence: Violent acts that involve blades and other firearms account for 12% of spinal cord injuries
While not a direct cause, the Mayo Clinic also indicated that alcohol consumption was involved in one out of every four spinal cord injuries. In other cases, spinal cord injuries can be a result of a disease such as cancer, osteoporosis or arthritis.
How to Identify a Spinal Cord Injury
According to the Mayo Clinic, serious spinal cord injuries are not always immediately apparent and if not identified soon, could result in severe damage. If you were involved in any of the accidents mentioned above, it’s crucial to pay attention to the following symptoms, as they could be a possible sign of a spinal cord injury:
- Severe back pain
- Pressure in the back, head or neck
- Weakness, lack of coordination or paralysis
- Tingling, numbness or loss of sensation in the limbs
- Loss of bladder and bowel control
- Difficulty walking
What Should You Do After a Spinal Cord Injury?
While it may seem counterintuitive, an injured person must remain immobile until they receive medical attention. This is because any movement, no matter how slight, can aggravate the injury and result in greater damage. If you or a loved one suffer an accident and believe your spinal cord has been injured, call an ambulance immediately.
Costs Associated with a Spinal Cord Injury
The fees associated with a spinal cord injury can be quite costly. According to the National Center for Statistics on Spinal Cord Injuries, injured individuals can expect to spend between $42,000 and $184,000 in treatment and rehabilitation costs. These figures don’t account for lost wages if the injured victim is unable to return to work. If your accident and subsequent spinal cord injury was a result of a negligent third party, it’s important to hold the responsible party liable for the consequences of their actions. At Proner & Proner, our personal injury attorneys are ready to defend and advocate for your rights so that you’re rightfully compensated for the harm you’ve suffered.
Contact a New York City Personal Injury Lawyer to Discuss Your Spinal Cord Injury Case in New York
Did you or a loved one sustain a spinal cord injury in New York? Don’t let the medical bills pile up while you wait for the negligent party or their insurance company to do the right thing. Right now, you need an aggressive personal injury attorney on your side, fighting to get you the compensation you need, want, and deserve. The skilled attorneys at Proner & Proner represent clients dealing with a spinal cord injury in Brooklyn, Queens, Staten Island, the Bronx and throughout NY. Call 212-500-1003 or fill out our online contact form to schedule a free consultation about your case. We have an office conveniently located at 60 E. 42nd Street, Suite 1503 New York, New York 10165 as well as offices in Forest Hills, Brooklyn, the Bronx and Bethel, CT.
The articles on this blog are for informative purposes only and are no substitute for legal advice or an attorney-client relationship. If you are seeking legal advice, please contact our law firm directly.