The spinal cord is responsible for several vital functions of the human body. A spinal cord injury can, therefore, have far-reaching effects on one’s life, not to mention substantial financial consequences. If you’ve suffered a spinal cord injury due to someone’s negligence, you should not have to bear the costs of that person’s irresponsibility. At Scaffidi & Associates, our personal injury attorneys have the resources and knowledge you need to win the compensation you deserve.
Why is the spinal cord so important?
The spinal cord is a complex system of nerves and tissues that connects nearly all parts of the body to the brain. It transmits a great deal of sensory information, and so it is responsible for many bodily functions, including:
- Muscle control
- Bladder and bowel function
- Blood pressure and blood flow
- Sensory reception
- Reflex coordination
The spinal cord is like an information superhighway. When it is injured, your brain is unable to relay important messages to vital parts of your body, and vice versa. An injury can, therefore, affect more than just the spinal cord itself.
What are some of the causes of spinal cord injury?
Although the spinal cord is protected by layers of tissue and membrane, it is not immune to serious physical trauma. The following can cause spinal cord injuries:
- Slips and falls
- Motor vehicle and motorcycle accidents
- Construction and workplace accidents
- Swimming pool injuries
- Sports injuries
- Surgeries and medical malpractice
- Firearm injuries, stabbings, and other violent crimes
What are the symptoms?
Every spinal cord injury is different, and ranges in degree of severity from mild to severe. Spinal cord injuries of any kind may result in one or more of the following symptoms:
- Loss of movement, weakness, or paralysis
- Loss of sensation or numbness in the hands, fingers, feet, or toes
- Loss of bowel or bladder control
- Headache or unconsciousness
- Difficulty with balance or walking
- Trouble breathing
- Unnatural positioning of the head or neck
- Pain, pressure, or stiffness in the neck, back, or head
Many spinal cord injuries are not readily apparent and may take some time after an accident to reveal themselves. If you suspect that someone has suffered an injury, do not attempt to move the victim. The victim should receive immediate medical attention and should be monitored for further complications after being taken to the hospital or doctor.
How does a spinal cord injury affect a victim’s life?
In the most severe cases, a spinal cord injury victim suffers some form of paralysis, such as paraplegia or quadriplegia. Victims may need rehabilitative services and therapy, and often require assistance from wheelchairs and walkers. Ongoing medical treatment is almost a certainty. It is often difficult for a victim to adjust to these changes, so psychological counseling is also required.
Depending on the victim’s occupation, a spinal cord injury may mean the end of a career. In less extreme cases, the victim will still find it difficult to work or to work at the same level as before. The person may need assistance with routine tasks or have trouble taking care of him- or-herself. Particularly traumatic cases also cause depression, anxiety, and mood and behavioral disorders.
These effects go beyond the victim to the victim’s family. When someone loses the ability to function, it results in significant financial expense for his or her loved ones. Victims who are the sole providers for their families find it difficult if not impossible to support their spouses and children.
How can an attorney help?
No amount of compensation can return a spinal cord injury victim to the state they were in before the injury. Nonetheless, if you or a loved one has suffered one of these injuries, you need aggressive legal representation. A New York spinal cord injury lawyer can assist with such services as:
Dealing with insurance companies: Insurance companies are businesses and want to minimize their payouts. They may offer a quick settlement before the victim fully understands the extent of the injury. Or the company may attempt to deny coverage. Either way, your number one goal after a spinal cord injury is to recover. Let us handle the insurance companies.
Gathering medical records, photographic evidence, and witness statements: An experienced New York spinal cord injury attorney will gather as much information as possible about the accident. This includes medical records, evidence such as photographs and video from the scene of the accident, and witness statements.
Working with healthcare providers and vocational experts: It is important to understand the nature of your injury and what it means in terms of your future. We work with physicians, surgeons, and therapists to gauge the level of treatment you will need to recover. We also meet with vocational experts to determine how your injuries will affect your ability to work. All of this helps us assess the nature of your loss and the damages you will need in order to be fairly compensated.
Knowing the law: We understand the relevant New York laws and cases that will govern your situation. We also understand when workers’ compensation or no-fault coverage may be an option. In a negligence case, you will need to show that the defendant breached a duty owed to you and thereby caused you harm. We help demonstrate this to a jury and will refute arguments by the defendant to deny or shift responsibility for your injuries.
What Are The Damages That A Spinal Cord Injury Victim Can Receive?
Depending on the facts in your situation, you could be eligible for:
- Medical expenses, past and present
- Future and ongoing medical expenses
- Rehabilitation costs
- Equipment and medical device costs
- Costs for caregivers
- Lost wages and reduced earning capacity
- Pain and suffering
Contact Our NYC Spinal Cord Injury Attorney Today
If you or a loved one has suffered a spinal cord injury, let the dedicated attorneys of Scaffidi & Associates go to work for you today. Contact us now to schedule a consultation.