Spinal cord injuries should never be underestimated. If your spinal cord is severed or severely damaged, the consequences of this trauma can lead to permanent injuries (paraplegia or quadriplegia) that significantly limits movement. These developments can drastically change your quality of life. This is why you should contact an attorney if this situation has happened to you.
When you hire a Melville spinal cord injury lawyer they will investigate the cause and aftermath of the incident. We can prove why you should be compensated for the injury you have to live with now. At Cellino Law, you will find our lawyers to be understanding, passionate, and very experienced when it comes to recovering compensation for spinal cord injuries. We put all our skills to use for our clients, especially when they face a mountain of debt due to someone else’s negligence.
Of course, we are unable to change the traumatic experience you went through. But this does not mean we cannot help you to move forward. As a compassionate law firm that goes the extra mile for every client, we will gladly help you with the claim process, representation, and getting the compensation you deserve. Reach out to our Melville personal injury firm for a free consultation by calling (800) 555-5555.
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How Serious are Spinal Cord Injuries?
In basic terms, a spinal cord injury means the vertebrae of the spinal cord has been damaged in some way or another. When this happens, the list of possible health problems is extensive. Also, there is a good chance that these problems are permanent. Seeing as the spinal cord is such an important part of the body, health issues can vary dramatically, from respiratory and urinary problems to gastrointestinal and even musculoskeletal complications. To make matters worse, a spinal cord injury can make a person depressed and mentally volatile to their situation. Based on studies that have been done, the average medical cost of living with permanent spinal cord injuries can range between $500,000 and $3,000,000, if not more.
What are the Typical Causes of Spinal Cord Injuries?
The list of causes is as long as it is extensive. In some cases, simple fun like doing a backflip on a trampoline can lead to a spinal cord injury. But even though an array of accidents can cause this particular type of injury, some scenarios are more likely than others. They include the following:
Even though there are many cars that can boast with the best safety features, these features mean nothing when car accidents happen at high speeds. And all it takes is one speeding car to turn a fender-bender into a devastating scene. If you are the victim of another reckless driver, you have the right to hold that driver responsible for your pain, suffering, and medical expenses.
Slip and Fall Accidents
Another common cause of spinal cord injuries is slip and fall accidents. This is especially true for senior citizens. But there are circumstances when a slip and fall accident can be blamed on another party. For example, property owners have a responsibility to ensure the building is safe. This includes maintaining the stairs as well as installing adequate lighting. And when a spinal cord injury is suffered due to the negligence of the property owner, he or she can be held liable.
Cyclists are particularly vulnerable on the road because a helmet can only protect so much. Simply put, there is no protection for the spinal cord or neck when you ride a bicycle. This leaves any rider vulnerable to the risk of sustaining a serious spinal cord injury. And even if you implement the safest ways to cycle through the streets, you cannot control the actions of a reckless driver. If this happens, the reckless driver should be held accountable for your expenses and suffering.
It is general knowledge that high-contact sports come with great risk. Due to the frequent hits a player has to take the odds of sustaining a spinal cord injury significantly increase. But non-contact sports also hold a level of danger, such as diving. When the water is too shallow and the diver strikes the bottom, there is no telling how bad the injury is going to be based on the violent compression of the spinal cord. However, this type of accident can also occur when there is a lack of supervision or proper training, which means the negligent party can be asked for compensation.
Spinal cord injuries as a result of violent acts are somewhat different. This is because physical confrontations and using firearms are not considered accidents. In turn, it makes the process of identifying the party who should be held liable easier. Keep in mind that additional criminal charges can be brought in such a case, which is exactly why you should use an experienced attorney to represent you. More importantly, you want a lawyer that knows how much you can recover from a situation like this.
What Are Some Common Signs of Spinal Cord Injury?
Take note that suffering from a spinal cord injury is nothing short of an emergency. Hence the reason for seeking medical help as soon as possible. In terms of the symptoms associated with this type of injury, it can vary depending on how/where the spinal cord was damaged. Common symptoms include:
- Loss of feeling near or below the area of the injury
- Spasticity (increased muscle tone)
- Lack of bladder/bowel control
- The inability to walk
- Sensory changes
If the injury was sustained in the lower neck region, there is a good chance it will influence your arms and legs. A spinal cord injury in the higher neck region can lead to breathing problems, while an injury in the chest area causes known problems such as blood pressure, profuse sweating, and difficulty maintaining healthy body temperature.
How Are Spinal Cord Injuries Diagnosed?
Diagnosing a spinal cord injury can be problematic. And if a person is experiencing any of the following, a medical assessment is recommended.
- Penetrating injuries close to the spine
- Pelvic fractures
- Head injuries, which usually occur due to trauma to the face
When any of the above-mentioned symptoms surface, there is a possibility of a spinal cord injury. The next step is to call emergency services. Odds are the responders will immobilize you or the individual with the injury because moving can make the injury worse. From there, the injured party is likely transported to an emergency room or trauma center for treatment.
What follows is a series of tests, along with a physical exam to determine the exact location of the injury by medical experts. Additional tests might be necessary, which consist of:
- MRI (Body scan that provides a clearer picture of the problem)
- X-ray/Myelogram (Dye is injected before taking the X-ray)
- EMG (Electromyography for monitoring muscles and nerve control)
- CT (Cat) Scan
The results of these tests are likely to be influenced by the time lapse between sustaining the injury and seeking treatment. This is why you or the injured party should get medical help right away if you want to try and avoid the long-term consequences.
Spine Injury Treatment
There are several options in terms of treatment. Some of the most popular treatments are:
- Medication that helps to control inflammation
- Traction, which aids in stabilizing the spine
In addition to treatments, there are surgery options as well depending on the severity of the injury.
- The removal of foreign objects
- Fuse broken vertebrae
- Spinal brace implants
- Removing tissue or fluid in an attempt to relieve pressure
- Remove disc or bone fragments
The average rehabilitation time for recovering from a spinal cord injury is 36 days according to the National Spinal Cord Injury Statistical Center. And it starts while in hospital. Here are some of the rehabilitation treatments currently being used:
- Occupational therapy to get motor skills back on track
- Vocational therapy for getting back to work using assistive devices
- Physical therapy for recovering mobility, muscle use, and improving communication skills
- Training to properly use assistive devices (wheelchairs, walkers)
Another estimate by the National Spinal Cord Injury Statistical Center states that about 30% of people that suffer a spinal cord injury have to go back to the hospital a second time, if not more. And the second stay lasts an average of 22 days. But if a patient does not regain feeling/sensation or the ability to move without support within 6 months, there is a good chance the consequences are permanent.
Different Paralysis Injuries and Estimated Costs for Care
It is not just the person with paralysis that has to cope with the trauma and challenges. Families have to adjust their lives as well. The question is who will pay for all the expensive treatment and care?
Paraplegia is a situation where the injured party has lost his/her motor function of their lower limbs, but they retain upper-body mobility. In other words, the individual can still be mobile when using a wheelchair. This happens when the injury is sustained in the lower area of the spine.
The cost of care for an injury of this nature can easily amount to more than $500,000 in just the first year. But it does not stop there. Annual costs after the first year need to be taken into account as well, which comes to about $70,000 per annum. To get some perspective on the cost of care throughout a person’s life, consider that a 25-year-old spinal cord injury victim that is paraplegic will likely pay $2.5 million and upwards.
Quadriplegia and Tetraplegia
In circumstances where mobility is lost in both the upper and lower body, it is referred to as quadriplegia or tetraplegia. There are two different ways it can form, and the exact location of the injury will determine restrictions of movement and sensations.
For instance, a patient diagnosed with low tetraplegia can have some mobility or movement in his or her upper body. Patients diagnosed with high tetraplegia, on the other hand, will most likely have to hire full-time support from caregivers indefinitely.
With this in mind, it is not surprising that care costs for low tetraplegia patients can run higher than $800,000 just in the first year. For high tetraplegia patients, the average care cost per year is closer to $1 million and more. Lifetime care costs for a 25-year-old individual with these diagnoses easily range between $3.5 million and $5 million.
Add to all these financial costs the emotional and mental challenges you face, which only make recovery harder. But this is why you should contact our knowledgable spinal cord injury lawyers in Melville, NY. We aim to protect your interests and decrease your financial stress, among other things.
What Are the Typical Costs Incurred From Spinal Cord Injuries?
It is safe to assume that living with spinal cord injuries is expensive. Considering 43% of these injuries are paraplegic and 57% quadriplegic, some type of medical or living assistance will always be necessary. And neither of these come cheap.
The fact is different factors play into the ultimate costs. For instance, the severity of the injury and the age of the patient play determining roles regarding the costs. From an optimistic point of view, a 50-year-old patient that loses motor function will have to pay around $450,000 over the course of their lifetime. As for a 25-year-old high quadriplegia patient, the cost of care amounts to about $3 million.
Reasons for Calling a Buffalo Spinal Cord Injury Attorney
The reality is that a person suffering from spinal cord injuries will not just recover and move on. On top of all the pain, suffering, and emotional distress, the injured party has to stare big medical bills in the face. Not to mention the after-care costs. And even though legal representation from Cellino Law cannot bring back motor function, it can help with recovering your financial losses.
According to more estimates from the National Spinal Cord Injury Statistical Center, 36% of spinal cord injuries are related to vehicle accidents. At Cellino Law, we have highly experienced accident lawyers that know every angle and nook regarding New York’s traffic laws. This puts us in a position to find any traffic violations that could have led to the cause of the injury. This is why we urge you to get legal help if you or your loved one has been part of such an event.
Further estimates reveal that 28.5% of spinal cord injuries are associated with falls, 14.3% with violence, and 9.2% with sports. In many of these cases, it is the negligence of another party that caused the injury.
For example, if you sustain a spinal cord injury during a fall, it could be because the building owner failed to do proper maintenance or he/she did not follow regulations.
Whether you got the injury on a private, commercial, or public property, our lawyers at Cellino Law will dedicate themselves to identifying whether it was due to another party’s negligence.
In case you sustained the injury due to a violent act, let the lawyers at Cellino Law be the first people you call. We can help you hold the guilty party responsible and create the opportunity for an injury settlement.
The same can be said when you get injured playing sports because the owner of the property you played on could have been negligent in some way. The best course to determine whether the property owner was negligent is by calling us at Cellino Law.
Spinal Cord Injury Compensation
We only work with leading experts when it comes to proving your case. And our goal is to claim maximum damages during the trial. This is based on the fact that spinal cord injuries have devastating effects, and not just for the injured party. And things are made worse due to all the indefinite medical expenses, lost wages, rehabilitation and assisted care, as well as the physical and emotional pain.
The compensation you can receive for a spinal cord injury will cover:
- All future medical expenses ranging from regular checkups to surgery
- Pain suffered
- Lost wages
- Other kinds of recovery depending on the situation
Our Trial Experience With Spinal Cord Injuries
When you call Cellino Law, take note that we have fought hundreds of spinal cord injury cases. And we do it with help from specialists like:
- Medical professionals to prove the extent of your injuries
- Economic professionals to prove the financial damage
- Lifecare planning professionals to prove the extent of recovery, rehabilitation, and overall aftercare costs
- Vocational rehabilitation professionals to prove complications of working in a different profession or vocation
Along with the family of the injured party, these experts help us to build the strongest possible case in your favor.
Call Our Melville Spinal Cord Injury Lawyers Today
Our Mellville personal injury lawyers‘ reputation speaks for itself. We have recovered millions for people who suffered unnecessary injuries. At the same time, we understand this is a hard time for you and your family, which is why we want to help. We want nothing more than to help you carry on with your life without worrying about all the medical expenses. So, if you have sustained a spinal cord injury because of another person’s negligence, call us today at (800) 555-5555.