New York City Spinal Cord Injury Attorney for Paralysis and Other Injuries
If you or a loved one have suffered a spinal cord injury due to the negligence of someone else, call The O’Connor Law Firm and let us help you when you need it most. An experienced New York City spinal cord injury lawyer will deal with the insurance company and hospital billing department and take on the burden of the legal process so that you can focus on your recovery. Our serious injury lawyers will thoroughly investigate the details of your accident, hire necessary experts and help you get the compensation you deserve. Call us now at 212-566-4868 or 718-948-3500 or contact us below to reach our Manhattan or Staten Island office.
Spinal Cord Injury Statistics
According to the National Spinal Cord Injury Statistical Center (NSPISC), there are approximately 300,000 people living in the United States with spinal cord injuries. Each year, there are approximately 17,730 new spinal cord injuries. The average age at injury has increased from 29 years during the 1970s to 42 years recently. However, the most frequent age at injury is 29. Nearly half (47.6%) of all spinal cord injuries occur between the ages of 16 and 30. About 78% of new spinal cord injury victim are male.
What is the Spinal Cord?
The spinal cord is a dense collection of nerves running from the base of your brain down through the spinal canal (open space between the vertebrae). The spinal cord is the nerve pathway that allows your brain and body to communicate. When the spinal cord functions properly it assists in controlling three basic functions:
- Motor function: Your ability to control the movement of your muscles
- Sensory function: The sensation of touch and your ability to feel things
- Autonomic function: The reflex actions that your brain controls without thinking about it, such as heart rate and bladder control.
What Injuries Can a New York City Spinal Cord Injury Attorney Help With?
A spinal cord injury is when the cord or nerve roots are damages by trauma causing bruising or tearing of the spinal cord nerve fibers. Typically, during an accident, the vertebrae will pinch the spinal cord causing damage to the nerve cells that carry signals between the brain and the rest of the body, resulting in temporary or permanent loss of movement and/or feeling.
Complete and Incomplete Spinal Cord Injury
Spinal cord injuries are classified as either complete or incomplete. These classifications are used to describe the functioning of the spinal cord.
A complete spinal cord injury results in total loss of feeling and movement below the level of injury. A complete spinal cord injury usually causes complete paralysis (a total and permanent loss of feeling and movement) below the level of the injury and incontinence.
An incomplete spinal cord injury results in some loss of movement or feeling but not all. Incomplete spinal cord injuries are usually permanent, although sometimes damage caused by swollen or bruised nerves may see improvement. Incomplete spinal cord injuries do not result in paralysis. Victims with incomplete spinal cord injuries will have the ability to feel and move below the level of the injury but may exhibit serious limitations.
What is “Level of Injury”?
The location or “level” on the spinal cord that was damaged will determine the point where the spinal cord nerves will not be able to send messages between the brain and parts of the body below the level of the injury. All the nerves above the level of injury will continue to work the way they did before the injury.
The spinal cord runs from the base of the brain through the first three sections of the spine with spinal nerve roots continuing to run to the lower spinal canal. These first sections of the spine are as follows:
- Cervical spine: This section is at the top of the spine at your neck. There are 7 vertebrae in this section numbered C1 to C7 from top to bottom. Cervical spinal cord injuries are the most severe as everything below the level of injury can be affected, including paralysis of the arms, torso and legs (tetraplegia also known as quadriplegia), inability to breathe without assistance and incontinence.
- Thoracic spine: This section is immediately below the cervical spine and consists of 12 vertebrae numbered T1through T12. Thoracic spinal cord injuries are severe and can result in paralysis of the legs and torso (paraplegia), inability to breathe without assistance and incontinence.
- Lumbar spine: This section follows the thoracic spine and consists of 5 vertebrae numbered L1 to L5. Lumbar spinal cord injuries can result in paralysis of the legs (paraplegia) with incontinence. There will still be feeling and movement in the areas above the level of injury.
Causes of Spinal Cord Injuries
According to the NSCISC the most common causes of spinal cord injuries due to negligence include vehicle accidents (39.3%), falls (31.8%), and sports and recreational activities (8%). Unfortunately, spinal cord injuries can be caused by any type of trauma to the spinal cord. We handle all types of accidents that may cause spinal injuries including:
- Car accidents
- Slip and fall accidents
- Construction accidents and worksite injuries
- Bicycle accidents
- Pedestrian accidents
- Bus accidents
- Subway accidents
If you or a loved one have suffered a spinal cord injury, we can provide the guidance you need and help you get the compensation you deserve. With offices in Manhattan and Staten Island, we represent clients in all five boroughs of New York City.
What are Complications of Spinal Cord Injuries?
Victims of spinal cord injuries experience a number of physical ailments and complications which vary depending on the level of injury and whether the injury is complete or incomplete. Some of these effects may include:
- Paraplegia (paralysis of lower extremities)
- Tetraplegia (paralysis of upper and lower extremities)
- Partial loss of feeling and motor function
- Bladder and bowel disfunction
- Deep vein thrombosis
- Breathing and respiratory problems
- Muscle spasms
- Sexual disfunction
- Chronic pain
- Depression and other mental health issues
Due to the extensive health care issues and complications that are associated with spinal cord injuries, it is important that victims choose an experienced NYC spinal cord injury lawyer who understands how to obtain the substantial monetary compensation required to meet their future healthcare needs.
Damages for a Spinal Cord Injury Victim
Most spinal cord injury victims will require extended rehabilitation and long-term medical care to monitor their physical condition and prevent further health problems. Many spinal cord injury victims may also require psychological counseling. We work with medical experts, life-care planners and economists that assist us in detailing your damages, including a complete picture of your economic loss. We can help you recover for all your damages, including:
- Past lost wages
- Future loss of income
- Past and future pain and suffering
- Past and future medical expenses
- Home health care
- Durable medical equipment
- Home accessibility modifications
- Cost of medications
- Emotional distress and psychological trauma
- Loss of enjoyment of life
- Loss of consortium
The O’Connor Law Firm is dedicated to helping you when you need it most. We have the resources necessary to fight the insurance companies to get you what you deserve, including compensation for your pain and suffering and your economic loss. Call us today and let us help you now.
Call a New York City Spinal Cord Injury Attorney Today
If you are a spinal cord injury victim looking for the right lawyer with the skill, determination and experience necessary to get you the compensation you deserve, The O’Connor Law Firm can help. We handle spinal cord injury cases in all five boroughs of New York City, including Brooklyn, Manhattan, Staten Island, Queens and the Bronx. Call us today for a free case evaluation at 212-566-4868 or 718-948-3500. We are available 7 days a week and we can come to you if you are unable to travel to our offices.