Spinal Cord Injuries
A spinal cord injury (SCI) occurs when a traumatic event results in damage to cells within the spinal cord or severs the nerve tracts that relay signals up and down the spinal cord. The most common types of SCI include contusion (bruising of the spinal cord) and compression (caused by pressure on the spinal cord). Other types of injuries include lacerations (severing or tearing of some nerve fibers, such as damage caused by a gun shot wound), and central cord syndrome (specific damage to the corticospinal tracts of the cervical region of the spinal cord). Severe SCI often causes paralysis (loss of control over voluntary movement and muscles of the body) and loss of sensation and reflex function below the point of injury, including autonomic activity such as breathing and other activities such as bowel and bladder control. Other symptoms such as pain or sensitivity to stimuli, muscle spasms, and sexual dysfunction may develop over time. SCI patients are also prone to develop secondary medical problems, such as bladder infections, lung infections, and bed sores.
The leading causes of SCI vary by age. Among persons under age 65, automobile and other motor vehicle crashes are the leading cause. Among persons over 65, falls cause most SCIs. It is estimated that there are between 225,000 to 296,000 people living with spinal cord injuries. A study conducted in the 1970s estimated that 11,000 SCIs occur in the U.S. every year. Approximately 77% of people who suffer SCIs are male. Most injuries occur between the ages of 16 and 30. Other causes include:
- Workplace accidents
- Diving accidents
- Electric shock (see burns)
- Construction Accidents
- Bullet or stab wounds
- Extreme twisting of the trunk
- Sports injuries (landing on head)
- Horseback riding accidents
We may need to retain experts to photograph, document, or test the condition that caused your injury or the location of the accident. It may be important to conduct the investigation as soon as possible. The party responsible for your injury may correct the defective condition soon after your accident. If this happens, testing at a later time may prove less effective. The experts will also be familiar with relevant codes (for example building codes) that may provide a guideline for the appropriate level of care. Accident reconstruction experts may need to photograph and measure evidence that may not remain long after the accident (for example skid marks fade).
We strongly urge you to read about personal injury to get a better understanding of some of the issues that may be involved.Experience
Our attorneys worked for major insurance companies as well as the City of New York before becoming plaintiff's lawyers. They know how insurance carriers and municipalities investigate, work up, negotiate and defend lawsuits. After approximately a decade of defense representation the attorneys began representing people who suffered serious injuries. They have been representing injured parties for 10 years.A Sampling of Cases We Have Handled
A man went to the hospital complaining about severe back pain radiating into his legs and difficulty walking. The ER doctors gave him a morphine injection and told him to follow up with his private doctor. He said that he still could not walk and that the pain was intense. They gave him a second morphine shot and he was able to walk with great difficulty. An MRI was not done. Later that night, he could not feel his legs. He was taken to a different hospital by ambulance. At the second hospital they performed an MRI that revealed that his bladder was expanded beyond its limits and that he had a cauda equine syndrome. Emergent surgery was necessary. Following the surgery, he lost the ability to control his bladder and bowel functions, he has a foot drop and requires a walker or cane, his legs have become severely swollen, he lacks penile sensation and is unable to achieve an erection.
A man was hit from behind while driving his pick up truck. The impact was so severe, that the bed of his pick up was bent. He developed back pain that became increasingly severe. He experienced radiating pain into his legs. Surgery was necessary to fuse 2 of his vertebrae. The disc between 2 of his vertebrae had herniated or ruptured and was compressing the spinal cord causing numbness, tingling and weakness in his legs
A man was hit from behind while stopped at a light. He had previously had a partial laminectomy and discechtomy. He had not had any problems with his back for 10 years. As a result of the auto accident, he developed a drop foot and the muscles in one of his legs began to atrophy. We actually have several cases with similar facts. The usual course is conservative therapy followed by epidural injections and in some cases surgery.
A man fell from a poorly secured plank that he was told to use as a scaffold. He fell 2 stories to a sidewalk shed, striking his head on the "Q-decking" below. He suffered multiple injuries to his head, his neck and his lower back.Helpful Links
- National Spinal Cord Injury Association, NSCIA
- NSCIA resources listed by state
- Spinal Cord Injury Resource website
- Helpful agencies
- SCI info network
- Natl. Institute Neuro Disorders
- Mayo Clinic
Our firm understands that your immediate goals after going through such a traumatic experience are to get the best medical care possible, make sure that your medical bills are covered, and make sure that you do not suffer financially through any lost wages. Our experienced attorneys will discuss your situation and go over the options available to you, as well as work with insurance companies and other parties involved in your case to make sure all your needs are handled quickly and appropriately. Time is short, do not delay, contact us or call us.How We can Help
Our firm represents clients located in Brooklyn, The Bronx, Queens, Manhattan, Staten Island, New York State and many other states (New Jersey, Connecticut, Pennsylvania, Massachusetts, Georgia, Florida, Colorado, North Carolina, and California, and we will handle a case in any state provided we can do so in full compliance with court rules regarding multijurisdictional practice, association of local counsel and/or admission pro hac vice) who have suffered injuries or death as the result of Spinal Cord Injuries.
If you or a loved one has been injured, CONTACT US ONLINE OR CALL US AT (516) 742-8897= (516) PIATTYS in Long Island, (212) 267-9377= (212) ANSWERS In Manhattan TO SET UP A FREE CONSULTATION. If you can't come to us, we will come to you in the hospital or we will visit you in our mobile office.