Have You Sustained A Spinal Cord Injury In An Accident in New Jersey or New York?
Spinal cord injury (SCI) is a term used to describe any injury to the spinal cord that results in a loss of sensation or function of the body. Approximately two million people worldwide and nearly 200,000 in the United States live with a spinal cord injury.
Our attorneys and staff at Metro Law have aided the victims and families of spinal cord injuries for decades. We are not “fast settlement” lawyers. We take extra care to ensure that clients with debilitating injuries receive the total compensation they will need to recover their losses.
We hire only the best medical and financial experts to develop a life care plan that anticipates surgeries, physical therapy, medical equipment and other health care needs. We also seek damages for the loss of earning potential and loss of enjoyment.
Our firm meets with victims throughout New York and New Jersey in their homes or hospitals to make the process as easy as possible.
What Causes Spinal Injuries?
Any trauma that compresses, pushes sideways or cuts the spinal cord may cause SCI. Whiplash is a common injury in car accidents that results from sudden backward and forward motion. It can cause chronic pain, reduced range of motion and may lead to spinal injury.
Some of the most common causes of spinal cord injuries we see in New York and New Jersey include:
Falls: Fall accidents are a critical part of traumatic spinal cord injuries. Nearly 66% of patients over the age of 65 suffer spinal cord injuries as a result of a slip and fall accident. However, fall accidents can happen to any person of any age. We see many people suffer spinal cord injuries due to falls that take place as a result of negligent property owners. Falling due to a slipper or damaged surface can give rise to a personal injury claim being filed.
Motor Vehicle Collisions: Every year since 2010, motor vehicle accidents have been the leading cause of spinal cord injuries in the United States, according to data provided by the National Spinal Cord Injury Statistical Center (NSCISC). Nearly 38% of spinal cord injuries reported each year are a result of an auto wreck. Accidents involving pedestrians, semi-trucks, and motorcycles drastically increase the chances of victims suffering these severe injuries.
Sports Accidents: Contact sports are one of the leading causes of spinal cord injuries in our country. However, nearly any sport can lead to a life-changing injury to the spine. Sports that have the highest risk of these injuries include ice hockey, football, rugby, cheerleading, snowboarding, skiing, wrestling, and diving.
Trampoline Accidents: Around 20% of spinal cord injuries are a result of injuries to the head or neck area. Jumpers on trampolines often suffer these injuries by colliding with each other, falling on the springs or frame of the trampoline, or falling off the trampoline and landing on a hard surface. Many spinal cord injuries caused by trampoline accidents result in paralysis.
Acts of Violence: Around 15% of spinal cord injuries can be attributed to acts of violence. In fact, violent acts are the third leading cause of spinal cord injuries in the United States. When people are stabbed, shot, or assaulted, they can suffer severe damage to the spine that can be permanent.
Birth Injuries: There are many instances where people suffer spinal cord injuries due to accidents during the birthing process. These injuries can affect mothers who are giving birth or their newborn children. Mothers can suffer spinal cord injuries due to medical malpractice. When mothers are improperly administered epidural medications, they risk suffering irreversible injuries.
Newborns can also sustain spinal cord injuries if doctors strain their necks during the birthing process. These incidents occur when a child’s neck is twisted or pulled. Birthing tools can drastically increase the chances of spinal cord injuries to newborns.
In most instances, insurance companies and negligent parties are obligated to provide victims with compensation for their injuries but insurers often avoid payment. We will help you defray medical bills and provide for lost potential income. The issue of who caused the accident may or may not be relevant, depending on your state.
If you have suffered a spinal cord injury as a result of another person’s negligence, you must seek legal guidance right away. Our team at Metro Law can review the circumstances surrounding your accident and help you take legal actions against all liable parties. Contact our law firm today to get started on your case.
Symptoms of Spinal Cord Injuries
Spinal cord injuries can have a variety of symptoms. The true impact of your spinal cord injury can be greatly different from someone else’s, and the location of the injury will determine what part of the body is affected. Both the location and the type of injury will also contribute to the severity of the symptoms.
Immediately after suffering a spinal cord injury, your spine may suffer from shock. This can result in a complete loss or a significant decrease in feeling. Some victims lose the ability to move their muscles and do not have any reflexes. As the swelling lessens, these symptoms may fade. However, there are cases where the severity of symptoms increases.
In general, spinal cord injuries in the neck and head area have some of the worst symptoms. The higher the injury is located on the spinal cord, the more severe the symptoms that come with it.
Injuries to the first and second vertebrae (C1, C2) or any mid-cervical vertebrae (C3, C4, or C5) can impact your ability to breathe. These injuries can impact the respiratory muscles, which can be life-threatening. Injuries to the lower back, or the lumbar vertebrae area, may impact your ability to control your bowel, bladder, legs, and even sexual functions.
Spinal cord injuries can lead to paralysis, which can be permanent or temporary. The two types of paralysis that victims of spinal cord injuries suffer from include:
- Quadriplegia: resulting in the loss of function of both the arms and the legs of victims.
- Paraplegia: Resulting in the loss of function of only the legs and lower body of victims.
The extent of the injury to the spinal cord will determine whether the injury suffered by the victim is complete or incomplete.
Complete Spinal Cord Injuries: Complete injuries to the spinal cord mean that there is a complete loss of movement and feeling below the location of the injury. These injuries indicate that there is a complete sever of the spinal cord that is not able to be repaired.
Incomplete Spinal Cord Injuries: These injuries mean that there is still some level of feeling and movement below the location of the injuries. Incomplete spinal cord injuries usually indicate that there was not a complete sever of the spinal cord and therapy may be possible to help regain full control.
Some of the most common symptoms of spinal cord injuries include:
- The loss of bowel function
- The loss of bladder function
- Breathing problems
- The loss of voluntary muscle movements in the legs, arms, and chest
- Muscle weakness
Spinal cord injuries are considered to be catastrophic in nature. These injuries dramatically impact nearly every aspect of a person’s life. If you suffer a spinal cord injury, you will likely have extreme difficulty walking, lifting, and performing various tasks.
Most spinal cord injury victims are unable to return to work and are left permanently disabled. In many cases, victims require assistance to perform various tasks forever. Not only are spinal cord injuries physically painful, but the mental and emotional impacts can be challenging to overcome.
Other Spinal Cord Injuries We Handle
Victims who suffer spinal cord injuries often endure the loss of their ability to use limbs. Some victims are left paralyzed. However, it is important to understand that there are various other types of debilitating spinal cord injuries suffered by victims in the New York City metro area every year.
Our Lawyers at Metro Law handle personal injury claims for suffers from various types of spinal cord injuries, including:
- Hemiplegia: Losing the ability to move either the left or right side of the body. This condition causes weakness in the affected limbs.
- Monoplegia: The loss of the ability to move one region of the body or a specific limb.
- Cervical Spinal Cord Injuries: An injury that damages the top section of the spine. This injury occurs in either the neck or the region of the spine directly below it.
- Thoracic Spinal Cord Injuries: These injuries are damaging to the midsection of the spine. Victims can suffer impacts on one or both sides of their bodies.
- Lumbar Spinal Cord Injuries: These injuries impact the area of the spine that is located between the Sacral and the Thoracic regions. These injuries are not usually life-threatening and can result in weakness. These injuries can be treated over time.
- Sacral Spinal Cord Injuries: These injuries occur at the end of the spinal and impact the lower half of the body. Sacral injuries can be the most severe of all spinal cord injuries and result in extreme pain.
- Ruptured and Herniated Discs: There are instances where discs separate the spinal from other backbones. These injuries can be painful and often result in permanent nerve damage if they are not treated.
- Degenerative Disc Disease: This condition occurs in the area between vertebrae. When the discs degenerate, the cushion between the vertebrae of the spine becomes thinner. This injury can also result in fragmentation or herniation of the cushioning. These injuries are often a result of extreme trauma to the spine and can leave victims more susceptible to other severe injuries.
No matter how severe your spinal cord injury, our lawyers at Metro Law will fight for you. We will help to protect your legal rights and provide you with the best chances of recovering.
How Much is My Spinal Cord Injury Case Worth?
If you have suffered a spinal cord injury as a result of another person’s negligence, you may wonder how much your personal injury claim is worth. It is important to understand that no two cases are alike. There are various factors taken into consideration when it comes to determining how much your injury is worth.
In general, spinal cord injuries can be extremely costly to treat. For this reason, victims are able to recover the compensation they need to cover both immediate and long-term care costs. Additionally, victims are able to recover compensation to cover various economic damages they face following their accidents. These include:
- Lost wages
- Lost earnings
- Property repairs or replacements, whenever applicable
Additionally, victims are able to obtain compensation for some of the non-economic damages they face. These include:
- Loss of consortium
- Loss of enjoyment of life
- Pain and suffering
- Mental anguish
Our team will review the circumstances surrounding your accident and help you get the maximum amount of compensation available.
Metro Law Can Help You
It is important that you consult with an attorney immediately if you know or suspect a spinal cord injury. As you set out on the long road to recovery, having the assistance of a compassionate and highly knowledgeable spinal cord injury lawyer from Metro law can be invaluable. Our team will take on the legal battles you face and fight to ensure you are able to recover compensation.
The law imposes a statute of limitations, or time limit, to pursue your legal claim. Our personal injury lawyers at Metro Law are available to take your call and help you build the strongest case imaginable.
For over four decades, our team has fought aggressively to help injured parties hold wrongdoers accountable for their pain and suffering. We are committed to taking all of the legal work off of the hands of our clients so they can get the medical care they need without worry.
If you have suffered a spinal cord injury, contact our personal injury law firm in New Jersey to see how we can help you. Call 973-344-6587, or email us to set up a free consultation.