Four regions where spinal cord injuries occur are the cervical, thoracic, lumbar, and sacral sections of the spine. Spinal cord injuries are among the most expensive to treat and live with. They are often life-altering, catastrophic injuries. Victims could lose their mobility, independence, and even the ability to live in their own homes with their families. Understanding spinal cord injuries and their effects will help you better understand what to expect in the future.
If someone else caused your spinal cord injury, our Long Island spinal cord injury lawyer will assess your legal options. It is often possible to recover a settlement or file a lawsuit to hold the at-fault party legally responsible.
- What Are the Types of Spinal Cord Injuries?
- How Much Does It Cost to Live With a Spinal Cord Injury?
- Who Is Responsible for Your Spinal Cord Injury?
- How an Attorney Will Help You Manage Your Spinal Cord Injury Legal Case
- Discuss Your Spinal Cord Injury Case With Our Team for Free
What Are the Types of Spinal Cord Injuries?
The most serious injuries generally involve one or more of four types of spinal cord injuries. They are defined by where they occur along the spinal cord. The severity of the injury and level of lasting disability depend greatly on the vertebrae involved. Those that involve vertebrae higher on the spinal column could cause a more significant loss of sensation, movement, and function.
The four types of spinal cord injury are:
Cervical injuries affect vertebrae C1 to C7. This is in the neck. A fracture or injury in this area generally means a serious and painful spinal cord injury. These injuries cause loss of sensation, loss of movement, and reduced functioning in the arms, trunk, and legs.
Many people with cervical spine injuries rely on mechanical ventilation because their diaphragm and muscles that support breathing are paralyzed. Those who breathe on their own could still struggle with taking deep breaths, coughing, and clearing their airway.
Those with complete injuries at this level are often unable to manage any self-care tasks on their own, including eating. Some require around-the-clock nursing care. Those with incomplete injuries could retain movement in their upper arms, elbows, and wrists.
Thoracic injuries affect vertebrae T1 to T12, which is in the chest and trunk area. Thoracic spine injuries could affect movement and sensory function in the chest, abdomen, and legs. If the paralysis affects the respiratory system, your doctors must take special precautions to ensure they clear secretions. Patients are often unable to cough or otherwise manage this on their own, leaving them at an increased risk for respiratory infections as a result.
Movement in the shoulders, arms, and hands is often retained, making it possible for spinal injury victims to transfer to or from their chairs with some assistance. Victims will likely need to learn to manage their urinary and bowel functions but could live independently and manage many of their daily self-care tasks on their own.
Lumbar injuries affect vertebrae L1 to L5, which is in the lower back area. These injuries could affect the control of the bowels and bladder, sensation in the legs, and the ability to walk. Many people have significant weakness in their legs, even if they are able to walk. Those with spinal column injuries high in the lumbar spine could live with paraplegia and require a wheelchair.
Sacral injuries affect vertebrae S1 to S5. This is in the buttocks. These injuries often cause loss of bladder control, loss of bowel control, reduced sensory function in the feet, and some movement in the lower extremities.
Spinal cord injuries are classified as incomplete or complete. An incomplete injury occurs when the communication between the brain and body is only partially interrupted. These patients often recover more functionality. In a complete spinal cord injury, no signals pass through the spinal cord below the level of injury. A complete injury will likely cause paralysis that begins at the level of injury and affects the body below that level, causing tetraplegia or quadriplegia.
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How Much Does It Cost to Live With a Spinal Cord Injury?
Spinal cord injuries are one of the most expensive and severe injuries to manage. You will likely need to pay for ongoing medical care and support costs in addition to:
- Home renovations to build ramps, add lifts, and widen doorways
- Medical equipment
- Mobility equipment
- A specially equipped vehicle
- In-home nursing care or other caregiving support
- Long-term care facilities
- Ongoing care from an occupational therapist or rehabilitation team
You could also deal with intangible damages, such as:
- Chronic pain
- Emotional suffering
- Loss of bodily functions
Health insurance should cover some of these expenses, but others are outside of the coverage provided by most policies. Depending on the cause of your injuries, compensation is available through workers’ compensation, a personal injury case, or other options. Our team will review your case and explain your options for free today.
Who Is Responsible for Your Spinal Cord Injury?
There are many circumstances when someone else’s negligence causes serious injuries, including spinal cord injuries. You will be able to file a personal injury lawsuit if your injuries occurred in a:
- Motor vehicle accident
- Construction accident
- Truck accident
- Motorcycle accident
- Slip and fall incident
- Medical professional negligence incident
Our attorneys identify the liable party and hold them responsible on behalf of our clients. If we accept your spinal injury case, we will represent you with no upfront fees.
How an Attorney Will Help You Manage Your Spinal Cord Injury Legal Case
When you hire our team to manage your personal injury case on Long Island or in New York City, trust us to:
- Keep you up to date about your case
- Identify all potentially liable parties
- Communicate with all involved parties for you
- Gather evidence to support your case
- Determine a value for your claim
We often settle these cases by negotiating an appropriate settlement. When necessary, we will sue the at-fault party and take the case to trial.
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Discuss Your Spinal Cord Injury Case With Our Team for Free
Friedman & Simon, L.L.P. provides free consultations for those living with spinal cord injuries. We are passionate advocates for the injured and will fight for the compensation you need and deserve. Our team meets people on Long Island or elsewhere in the New York metropolitan area.
Call for a free consultation or use our online contact form to reach our team today.