Traumatic accidents that result in a severed or injured spinal cord tend to leave those affected in a state of despair and significantly alter their lives. The trauma of a damaged or severed spinal cord can result in completely disabling and permanent injuries like quadriplegia or paraplegia – two conditions that restrict mobility and leave most people wheelchair-bound. If you have suffered spinal cord injury or know someone who has – consider hiring a spinal cord injury attorney’s services and let them help you seek retribution.
A Long Island spinal cord injury lawyer can help you get through the repercussions of a grave injury that’s left you disabled. Our attorneys have the skills, knowledge, and resources needed to ensure that victims, like you, recover the compensation they need to lead a financially-secure and comfortable life.
At Cellino Law, we understand that it’s impossible to change what has already happened. Nevertheless, we believe that everybody deserves to live a good life, which is why we do our best to provide a compassionate and personalized service that’s devoted to ensuring that your best interests are honored. If you want help seeking compensation for your injuries, call our Long Island injury firm at (800) 555-5555 and schedule a no-obligation, free-of-charge consultation with one of our competent personal injury lawyers.
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What’s a Spinal Cord Injury?
Spinal cord injury is when a person’s spinal cord gets damaged. Our spinal column is made up of vertebrae, which, when injured, may lead to a host of health issues with far-reaching effects. In some cases, these issues affect the nerve responsible for controlling various body systems such as the gastrointestinal, urinary, musculoskeletal, or even respiratory systems. In most cases, spinal cord injuries will hurt the victim’s mental well-being and lead to them becoming depressed or causing anxiety.
According to various studies, the associated costs of treating spinal cord injuries can be throughout the patient’s lifetime, ranging between $500,000 to $3,000,000.
What Causes Spinal Cord Injuries?
While our spinal cords are quite strong, they still are fragile; and all it takes is one hit in the wrong place to find yourself with a spinal cord injury. Simple things like doing a backflip or jumping on a trampoline could end up leaving you with serious spinal cord injuries if you are not careful. However, it’s worth noting that injuries to the spinal cord are more likely to occur in some instances more than others. Some of these instances include:
Auto accidents can be quite devastating for all involved parties and are responsible for a variety of injuries, including injuries to the spinal cord. Since most accidents happen at high speeds, there isn’t much even the best state-of-the-art protective measures can do to prevent some injuries. Supposing the accident was the result of another driver’s negligence. In that case, they could be held liable for the suffering and pain experienced by the victim and the associated costs of treating the injuries.
Slip and Fall Accidents
Slip and fall accidents can be very dangerous, especially for seniors, and may lead to all sorts of injuries, including spinal injuries. Depending on what caused the slip and fall, there’s a chance for another person to be held liable for the accident. For instance, if a landlord fails to light the stairs in their property properly or allows them to fall into a state of despair, they can be held responsible for any injuries, including injuries to the spine, that result from their neglect and negligence.
Bicycle-related injuries are some of the most severe since the person riding the bike has minimal protection when riding at high speeds. While helmets are important, they offer no support to the neck and back, which means they are left to the mercies of whatever forces/impact they experience during an accident. While exercising responsible riding can minimize your risk of getting injured, most bike accidents are generally caused by the reckless actions of other road users. If, as a rider, you are struck by a motorist, you can have them held liable for your injuries and the resulting costs of treating them.
Injuries to the spine may also occur while playing different sports with the most notorious being high-contact games where players slam into each other a lot. Another sporting activity that’s been known to cause spinal cord injuries is diving. Diving related injuries are often the result of plunging into a shallow pool. In such an instance, the diver might end up hitting the bottom of the pool, violently compressing their spinal cord. Improper supervision and training could also lead to spinal cord related injuries. In such an instance, the responsible party can be held liable for their lack of care.
Violent acts like the use of firearms and physical fights could also lead to spinal cord related injuries. It’s a lot easier to identify the liable parties for injuries that result from violent actions since most of them aren’t accidents but deliberate acts. In such cases, proving liability and negligence in court is best handled by experienced attorneys who understand the costs that you can recover through a civil lawsuit apart from criminal charges against the responsible party.
Spinal Cord Injury Symptoms
Injuries to the spine are categorized as medical emergencies that require immediate attention and treatment. Spinal cord injury symptoms vary and may include:
- Loss of feeling at and below the point of injury
- Weakness or paralysis
- Sensory changes
- Loss of bowel and bladder control
- Spasticity (increased muscle tone)
If spinal cord injury occurs in the neck, the symptoms may affect the victim’s legs and arms. If it’s higher up in the victim’s neck, muscles that regulate breathing may get affected too! If the injury happens around the chest area, the person may start to experience abnormal sweating, blood pressure problems, and difficulty maintaining body temperature.
How are Spinal Injuries Diagnosed?
Identifying spinal cord injuries isn’t always easy. The victim might need to be assessed if they experience any of the following injuries:
- Pelvic fractures
- Injuries from falls
- Head injuries, especially if there’s trauma to the face
- A penetrating injury close to the spine
If you are experiencing any of the symptoms mentioned earlier after sustaining any of the injuries as mentioned above, there is a chance your spinal cord might be injured. If that’s the case, call (or have someone call) emergency responders right away. First responders typically immobilize the victim of a suspected spinal injury to prevent further damage as they transport them to a trauma center or emergency room.
Once a person with a suspected spinal cord injury gets to the hospital, the healthcare providers on duty first perform a physical examination to determine the location of the injury(s). Other tests conducted include:
- CT (CAT) Scans
- X-Rays or Myelograms (This is where dye is injected to the spine before it is X-rayed)
- Electromyography (EMG): This is used to check muscles and the nerves that control them
- MRI: These are used to provide a clearer “picture” of the victim’s spinal injury
It’s worth noting that the outcome of a spinal cord injury can be affected by the amount of time that passes before it is treated. To help ensure the effects of such damages do not have far-reaching effects, make sure the problem is addressed as soon as possible.
Treatment for Spinal Cord Injuries
Spinal cord injury treatment options involve the following:
- Traction to stabilize the backbone
- Medication to reduce inflation
Depending on how severe the trauma was, surgery may involve:
- Removing tissue or fluid to lower pressure
- Implanting spinal braces
- Removing disc or bone fragments
- Fusing broken vertebrae
- Removing foreign objects
According to the National Spinal Cord Injury Statistical Center (NSCISC), all injuries of the spine typically result in hospital stay with the typical rehabilitation period being thirty-six days.
Spinal cord injury rehabilitation typically includes:
- Physical therapy to help improve muscles, mobility, and communication skills
- Occupational therapy for motor skills
- Learning how to use different assistive devices such as walkers or wheelchairs
- Vocational therapy to help people resume work and how to perform different duties using assistive devices
If a spinal cord injury victim fails to recover movement or feeling in the area affected after six months, chances are their loss of function is permanent. According to the NSCISC, about 30 percent of people suffering spinal cord injuries get re-hospitalized several more times, with the average hospital stay being 21-days.
Paralysis Caused by Spine Injuries
Victims who become paralyzed due to spinal cord injuries and their loved ones, not only need to learn how to cope with the different challenges of their new lifestyle, but they also have to cater to the medical treatment and assistive care, which can be very expensive.
When a person’s lower spine is injured, they experience something known as paraplegia. This condition generally involves loss of motor function in the victim’s lower limbs. Fortunately, people with paraplegia still have upper body function, which allows them to use a wheelchair for partial mobility.
The first year of caring for paraplegia injuries in New York typically costs well over 500,000 USD – and that’s not including an annual expenditure of about 70,000 USD after the initial year. A 25-year old victim’s lifetime care costs could easily exceed 2.5 million USD.
Tetraplegia and Quadriplegia
Paralysis of both the lower and upper body is what’s referred to as tetraplegia or quadriplegia. This type of paralysis may occur in two different forms, and the limitations in movement and sensation tend to vary depending on where the injury occurred.
Tetraplegia patients with lower back injuries may experience limited upper body function. In contrast, those suffering from upper back tetraplegia tend to rely on personal caregivers for the rest of their lives exclusively.
The cost of managing low tetraplegia typically exceeds 800,000 USD in the initial year, while the cost of caring for high tetraplegia easily exceeds 1 million USD. If someone aged 25 suffers from either one of these injuries, they could face a lifetime care cost that ranges between 3.5 million USD and 5 million USD.
Because of the massive financial burden that these injuries cost over the lifetime of a victim, coupled with lost wages and associated pain and suffering, victims must seek the help and legal counsel of a trust Buffalo, personal injury attorney, and have them represent their interests.
What are Some of the Costs Associated with Spinal Cord Injuries?
The costs of living with spinal injuries are generally very high. About forty-three percent of people who suffer these injuries become paraplegic, while about fifty-seven percent end up being quadriplegic. Therefore, this means that most spinal cord injury victims will need living and medical assistance for the entirety of their lives.
The projected lifetime costs of treating spinal cord injuries normally vary depending on the severity of the injury and the age at which the victim got injured. The lifetime costs for individuals that lose motor function as a result of a spinal injury at the age of 50 are, on the lower end, about 450,000 USD. The lifetime cost of managing high quadriplegia in a 25-year old can get to as high as 3 million USD.
How Can a Long Island Spinal Cord Injury Lawyer Help My Claim?
The harm and problems caused by spinal cord injuries can have far-reaching effects. In most cases, spinal injuries lead to lost wages and financial hardships. As a spinal cord injury victim, it’s essential that you consider hiring a professional and experienced personal injury attorney from Cellino Law.
According to NSCISC, 36.5 percent of all spinal cord injuries are linked to vehicular accidents. Cellino Law personal injury attorneys understand New York’s traffic laws very well and can help you pursue any violations that played a role in you getting injured. If you, or someone you know, are looking for professional legal representation, give us a call, and we’ll be more than happy to help you seek justice.
NSCISC further states that 28.5 percent of all spinal injuries are due to falling, while 14.3 percent are due to violence, and 9.2 percent are due to sports. In these cases, there is a chance some of them were the result of another party’s negligence.
If your spinal cord injury was the result of slipping or falling, chances are it was caused by insufficient maintenance or someone’s failure to comply with set safety regulations.
If you fell and injured yourself while on a commercial piece of property, public space, or private residence, the personal injury lawyers at Cellino Law can help you identify legal violations or instances of negligence. Our attorneys are also experienced when it comes to slip and fall accidents.
If the cause of your injuries is an act of violence, don’t hesitate to get in touch with injury attorneys at Cellino Law. The person or persons responsible for causing your harm are probably liable and need to be held accountable for their actions.
If you suffered a spinal injury while playing a game/sport, the property owner could be held liable for negligence. If you think the property owner is responsible for your injury, reach out to our attorneys and let us handle your case.
What do Spinal Cord Injuries Claims Cover in New York?
At Cellino Law, we do everything we can to ensure you get well compensated for your injuries. In most cases, we utilize the assistance of industry experts that can help us prove liability against the responsible party so they can be held accountable for their actions. Spinal injuries are generally devastating, considering that the victims have to deal with prolonged physical and medical therapy, rehabilitation expenses, severe conscious suffering and pain, and lost wages.
Here is a list of things spinal injury victims can expect to be compensated for through a spinal cord injury claim:
- Lost earnings
- Future medical expenses, including physical therapy, surgery, and other medical costs
- Past, present, and future pain and suffering
- Other kinds of recovery, depending on the specifics of the case
How Our Network of Experts Can Help
The attorneys at Cellino Law have, over the years, handled dozens of spinal injury claims throughout New York. We work with leading experts in different fields to build rock-solid cases that lead to our clients being compensated for their injuries and suffering. Some of these experts include:
They help us prove our victim’s spinal injury and include orthopedic spinal surgeons and neurosurgeons.
These financial experts help us prove both past, present, and future wages, salary increases, fringe benefits, the value of household services, retirement benefits, union benefits, and other related economic damages.
Lifecare Planning Professionals
These professionals help us create care plans for our clients. These plans often outline the care the patient will need for the rest of their life and include prescription medications, physical therapy, medical visits, and 24-hour rehabilitation, amongst other considerations and factors. Claims can be made for past, present, and future medical and life care planning costs that the patient and his or her family required, has to pay or will have to pay as a result of their injuries.
Vocational Rehabilitation Professionals
These experts help explain why the victim is no longer able to work in a different vocation or profession.
These professionals, plus the victim’s family, play a major role in explaining how the spinal cord injury has had a devastating impact on the patient’s life.
Get in Touch with Cellino Law and Schedule Your Free Initial Consultation!
At Cellino Law, we have, over the year, successfully recovered millions of dollars for our clients seeking compensation for the injuries they suffered due to the negligence of another person. There is a reason we are considered one of the most experienced law firms in New York – and it is our commitment to fighting for our clients’ rights. In fact, our firm has been the proud recipient of some of the biggest settlements and top verdicts in New York’s history.
We understand that life can get very hard after suffering a devastating spinal cord injury. It can be incredibly hard to meet the most basic needs and expenses after you’ve suffered a catastrophic back or spinal injury. Our personal injury lawyers in Long Island always do their best to ensure that our clients get adequately compensated for their injuries, pain and suffering so that they have an easier time recovering lost wages and managing their medical bills and other expenses. To schedule a free consultation with one of our personal injury attorneys so you can get to discuss your rights and options, dial (800) 555-5555 now!