The American Spinal Injury Association (ASIA) impairment scale assesses sensory and motor function after a person suffers a spinal cord injury. Suffering a spinal cord injury can have a lasting impact on those with such injuries for the rest of their life. It could change their life physically, which will almost certainly have a tremendously negative impact on their finances as well.
A spinal cord injury lawyer in New York will work to assist you in understanding this exam in more detail so you have the information you require to begin adapting to your injury and healing.
- Using the ASIA Impairment Scale to Test Bodily Functions After a Serious Injury
- What Are the Types of Spinal Cord Injuries?
- What Will a Lawyer do to Benefit Your Spinal Cord Injury Case?
- What Is the Deadline to File a Spinal Cord Injury Lawsuit?
- Learn More About the ASIA Impairment Scale Today
Using the ASIA Impairment Scale to Test Bodily Functions After a Serious Injury
The ASIA Impairment Scale is an assessment of your sensory and motor function after suffering a spinal cord injury. This neurological exam helps your medical provider and/or physical therapy team set goals for your recovery.
The grading scale of the examination is as follows:
- Grade A: Complete impairment. No sensory or motor function below the area of injury.
- Grade B: Incomplete impairment. There is sensory function but not motor function below the injury.
- Grade C: Incomplete impairment. There is motor function below the level of injury but half of the muscles lack strength.
- Grade D: Impairment incomplete: There is motor function below the level of injury, but half of the muscle joints lack strength.
- Grade E: No impairment. All motor and sensory functions are normal and intact.
If you or someone you love suffers a complete or incomplete injury or have involvement in a traumatic event such as a car accident that could result in a spinal cord injury, we strongly urge you to seek immediate medical treatment. Your injury may not show symptoms until days later. The sooner you get medical treatment, the higher the likelihood of a more positive outcome.
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What Are the Types of Spinal Cord Injuries?
According to the National Spinal Cord Injury Statistical Center, there are approximately 12,500 spinal cord injuries in the United States every year. The spinal cord is a bundle of nerves and fibers that run from the brain to the lower back inside the spinal column. An impact or penetration could damage the spinal cord and cause four types of injuries, including:
- Cervical spinal cord injuries: These injuries to the cervical vertebra of the neck typically result in the most loss of function. You could lose the function in your arms and legs, known as quadriplegia.
- Thoracic spinal cord injuries: These injuries occur when an object impacts or penetrates the vertebra in the chest, resulting in abdominal, lower back, and leg (paraplegia) dysfunction.
- Lumbar spinal cord injuries: An injury to the lumbar vertebra above the sacrum typically results in loss of function in the hips and legs, but not the upper body.
- Sacral spinal cord injuries: Though rare, an injury of the sacral spine above the tailbone typically results in loss of function to the genital organs, bladder, and bowel.
Symptoms Spinal Cord Injury Patients Often Experience
The higher up the spinal cord you suffer an injury, the more function you risk losing. If you experience any of the following symptoms of spinal cord injury, please see a medical professional immediately:
- Reduced sensory levels, such as numbness in the hands or feet
- Poor range of motion
- Difficulty breathing
- Pain or pressure
- Loss of bowel or bladder control
- Sexual dysfunction
- Difficulty walking
Again, it is also possible you won’t experience any symptoms of a spinal cord injury immediately following an accident. This is why it is crucial that you seek medical attention as soon as possible so your injury does not worsen and the damage does not become irreversible.
What Will a Lawyer do to Benefit Your Spinal Cord Injury Case?
You have the right to file a personal injury lawsuit if someone else’s negligence is to blame for your spinal cord injury and subsequent financial losses. A lawyer with experience handling spinal cord injury cases will seek to recover compensation on your behalf for damages such as medical bills, lost income, household services, home modifications, transportation, emotional distress, mental anguish, pain and suffering, disability, and diminished quality of life.
Your personal injury lawyer will do this by:
- Investigating the cause of your spinal cord injury
- Determining who the liable party is and whether they were negligent
- Calculating the value of your case
- Gathering evidence to support your claim, including your ASIA exam results
- Negotiating a settlement with the liable party and their insurer
- Filing a personal injury or wrongful death lawsuit
- Assisting you in multiple languages
- Traveling to your location on Long Island or within the New York metro area if you are unable to come to our office.
What Is the Deadline to File a Spinal Cord Injury Lawsuit?
While you have the right to file a personal injury or wrongful death lawsuit to recover compensation for damages after suffering a spinal cord injury, you must file before the statute of limitations expires in your case. The statute of limitations is a deadline, and you only have a limited window of time to file a lawsuit in New York, according to CPLR § 214 (for most personal injury claims,) and EPT § 5-4.1 (for claims of wrongful death.)
Please note that a shorter statute of limitations and other deadlines may apply to your case depending on the facts of your accident. It is best to consult with an experienced personal injury lawyer so you know your time constraints and options for proceeding with a claim and lawsuit.
If you fail to file a lawsuit before the deadline in your case expires, you will forfeit your right to recover compensation through the legal process. We will work to meet all deadlines in your case so you retain your right to financial compensation.
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Learn More About the ASIA Impairment Scale Today
The ASIA impairment scale grades the severity of your spinal cord injury and how much sensory and motor function you have lost. The severity of your injury will impact the value of your case and how much compensation you could recover. A lawyer from Friedman & Simon, L.L.P. will work to recover the compensation you deserve because we are passionate about getting justice for victims like you.
If you want to learn more about the ASIA impairment scale or you want to discuss your spinal cord injury case with us, please call us for a free consultation today.