Spinal Injuries

New York
Spinal Injury Lawyers

The spinal cord acts as the main information pathway between the brain and the rest of the body. Therefore a spinal cord injury can have significant physiological consequences. The segment of the cord that is injured, and the severity of the injury, will determine which bodily functions are compromised or lost.

Most spinal injuries do not completely sever the spinal cord. Instead, an injury is more likely to cause fractures and compression of the vertebrae.

Spinal injury can take on several forms as follows:

  1. "Complete" Injury which causes an absence of motor or sensory function below the occurrence.

  2. "Incomplete" injury which results in partial sensation or movement below the level of injury.

  3. Soft tissue injuries (eg: for example "whiplash", sports injuries, etc.).

"Complete" spinal cord injuries usually cause permanent disability or loss of movement (paralysis) and sensation below the site of the injury. This often results in quadriplegia which involves the majority of the body including the arms and legs. Spinal cord injuries which affect only the lower body are often referred to as paraplegia.

Catastrophic falls, such as being thrown through a windshield, falling at a construction site, being struck by heavy machinery or other kinds of physical trauma that crush and compress the vertebrae in the neck can cause severe damage at the cervical level of the spinal cord and below.

There are over 10,000 cases of spinal cord injury reported in the U.S. each year. The majority are due to auto accidents, or work related injuries, however, any form of severe trauma can cause an injury to the spine.

Common types of spinal injuries result from:

  • Auto and motorcycle accidents

  • Pedestrian Accidents

  • Work related accidents

  • Violent Crimes

  • Machinery related accidents

  • Recreational accidents

The effects of injuries to the lumbar or sacral regions of the spinal cord are often decreased control of the legs, hips and urinary system.

Determining the exact level of injury is critical in making accurate predictions about the specific parts of the body that may be affected:

  • Cervical vertebrae (1-7) are located in the neck

  • Thoracic vertebrae (1-12) located in the upper back (attached to the ribcage)

  • Lumbar vertebrae (1-5) are located in the lower back

  • Sacral vertebrae (1-5) are found in the hip area

  • Coccygeal vertebrae (1-4 fused) are located in the tailbone

Common Systems of Spinal Injury

  • Loss of sensation and motor function below the level of injury

  • Problems breathing

  • Pneumonia

  • Irregular heartbeat

  • Blood pressure instability

  • Blood Clots

  • Pressure sores due to lack of movement

  • Bowel and bladder problems

  • Sexual dysfunction

  • Muscle atrophy

Stimulated by significant federal and private funding over the past several years, spinal injury research has produced a wealth of promising discoveries. This is good news for the thousands of Americans who sustain traumatic injuries in the U.S. each year.

You may have the right to receive compensation for injuries which result in damage to the spine.

If you or a loved one has been seriously injured in a recent accident we can help.

Don't wonder about your rights!

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