Spinal Cord Injury

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Harlem is located in upper Manhattan in New York City, with the Hudson River to the west and Harlem River to the north. The zip codes are 10026, 10027, 10030, 10037, 10039.

Spinal Cord Injury Lawyers in NYC

Severe spinal cord injuries can oftentimes be catastrophic in nature. They can cause chronic pain by way of a tingling, pinching or burning sensation and make day to day activities miserable. Treatment for a spinal cord injury may require long-term hospitalization and rehabilitation to help fully complete one’s medical recovery.

In addition to severe physical, emotional, and mental pain a spinal cord injury may result in long hospital and rehab center stays where bills can add up quickly. If your injury was caused by someone else’s negligence you are going to want to bring action against them to recover for your pain, suffering and financial losses. If an injury is caused by someone other than yourself, you may have recourse for legal action. If a person or business was somehow negligent, reckless, careless, or acted intentionally, that party could be sued. While a lawsuit cannot fix a devastating injury, it can prevent financial devastation and hold wrongdoers accountable.

To learn more, contact Michael J. Redenburg, Esq. PC at 212-240-9465 to schedule a free, no obligation in-office consultation to ensure that your legal rights are safeguarded.

What Is the Spinal Cord?

Your spinal cord is essentially a long tube that runs from the skull base to the waist, transmitting neurological signals from the brain to other parts of the body. The body’s central nervous system consists primarily of the brain and spinal cord. The spinal column protects the spinal cord. The spine itself can be divided into four separate sections (not including the tailbone):

  • Cervical spine (C1-C7): part of the neck
  • Thoracic spine (T1-T12): part of the upper back and attached to the ribcage
  • Lumbar spine (L1-L5): part of the lower back
  • Sacral vertebrae / Sacrum (S1-S5): part of the pelvis

What Is a Spinal Cord Injury?

A spinal cord injury initially begins when the spine absorbs a sudden, traumatic blow. The vertebrae may be fractured or dislocated. It is relatively rare for the spinal cord to be completely severed. Typically, an injury to the spine will compress or fracture the vertebrae, destroying and crushing sensory and motor axons (the “wires” of the nervous system). Depending on the force of a spinal injury and where it occurs, the injury may result in complete recovery, complete paralysis, or somewhere in between.

Spinal cord injury symptoms frequently include changes in strength, sensation, and other body functions below the injury site. Generally, the higher an injury occurs along the spine, the more severe the symptoms. A C1 or C2 spinal cord injury is considered the most severe, resulting in paralysis to a person’s hands, arms, legs, and torso, and also affecting bowel control, bladder control, and the ability to breathe. Some spinal cord injury victims will need around-the-clock care for the rest of their lives. People with spinal cord injuries may not be able to do the most basic tasks without assistance such as getting dressed, preparing a meal, or going to the bathroom.New-onset depression and anxiety are common following a spinal cord injury, especially among younger victims.

Types of Paralysis Resulting From Spinal Cord Injuries

The inability to move part of the body or sense touch is called paralysis. Paralysis occurs when nerves are damaged, taking many different forms including:

  • Paraplegia: Paralysis from the chest or waist down.
  • Tetraplegia / Quadriplegia: Some degree of paralysis in all four limbs. The medical community usually uses the term tetraplegia to refer to this injury, but patients and the non-medical community still continue to use the term quadriplegia.
  • Monoplegia: Paralysis in just one arm or one leg, which may be temporary or permanent. Cerebral palsy is the leading cause of monoplegia, but a spinal cord injury can sometimes cause this type of paralysis.
  • Hemiplegia: Paralysis in both an arm and leg on the same side of the body. Like monoplegia, it may be temporary or permanent. Cerebral palsy is the leading cause of hemiplegia, but a spinal cord injury can occasionally cause this type of paralysis.

The severity and prognosis for a spinal cord injury does not depend on the type of paralysis.

Symptoms of a Spinal Cord Injury

Any spinal cord injury is a medical emergency that must be treated immediately. Patients should be stabilized and not moved until help arrives. Symptoms of a spinal cord injury include:

  • Extreme pain/pressure in the neck or back
  • Loss of consciousness
  • Unnatural positioning of the head
  • Inability to move arms or legs
  • Feelings of tingling or numbness in the limbs

A spinal cord injury may be diagnosed with an MRI, CT Scan, X-ray, or combination of imaging scans. Emergency surgery may be needed to remove pressure from the spinal cord. Recovery from a spinal cord injury may be complicated by other injuries such as multiple bone fractures or in the worst-case scenario, a traumatic brain injury, also known as TBI.

Complete vs. Incomplete Spinal Cord Injury

A total loss of feeling and function below the level of injury is a complete spinal cord injury. With an incomplete spinal cord injury, some feeling and mobility will be present below the level of injury. Many people who regain sensation report chronic pain and a “pins and needles” tingling sensation. Other people report spasticity, which includes sudden, uncontrolled movements that occur in areas most affected by paralysis. A spinal cord does not need to be severed for an injury to be complete.

Secondary Complications of Spinal Cord Injuries

People with spinal cord injuries are at high risk of additional severe health complications, especially pneumonia, urinary tract infections, pressure sores, and life-threatening blood clots in the legs (deep-vein thrombosis) or lungs (pulmonary embolism). These conditions have the potential to drastically shorten lifespans. The mortality rate for a spinal cord injury is highest in the first year following an injury.

Compensation for Spinal Cord Injuries

Citing ongoing research studies throughout the world, the Mayo Clinic reports many scientists are optimistic that medical advances will someday make recoveries from spinal cord injuries possible, with spinal cord injury recovery eventually becoming routine. Today, spinal cord injury treatments and rehabilitation allow many people to lead productive, independent lives. Such medical care, however, can be exorbitantly expensive. Individuals who sustained spinal cord injuries due to someone else’s negligence, carelessness, or maliciousness, have the right to hold that person (or entity) responsible via a civil lawsuit. Compensation for a spinal cord injury lawsuit may be substantial, and can include:

  • Medical expenses for emergency treatment, diagnostic tests, and initial hospitalization
  • New therapies like stem cell treatments and gene therapy to regenerate nerve tissue
  • Adaptive equipment like mobility devices, hospital beds, transfer equipment, positioning devices, ventilators, and continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) machines
  • Costs for additional surgeries
  • Costs for ongoing future specialist visits
  • Costs needed for full-time, in-home health care (if required)
  • Lost earnings from being unable to work
  • Lost earning capacity
  • Handicap-accessible vehicles and home modifications
  • Pain and suffering

Compensation recovered in a spinal cord injury can provide comfort and ease financial burdens for victims and their families. It also holds the negligent party accountable and may deter and prevent future incidents that could hurt other individuals.

If you have been injured in Harlem due to someone else’s negligence, contact the Harlem Spinal Cord Injury Accident lawyers at Michael J. Redenburg, Esq. PC and get the wheels of justice spinning for you. Call 212-240-9465 now!

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