As we’ve mentioned in many of our blogs, different accidents can leave you with many different kinds of injuries. One of those is the injury to the spine, which can lead to temporary or permanent paralysis.
The spinal cord is the conduit between the brain and the rest of the body that sends signals. When any part of it is damaged, the moving signals do not make it through the muscles telling them to move. This damage affects the spinal cord’s nerve fibers and make signal transmission difficult or impossible.
The National Spinal Cord Injury Statistical Center (NSCISC) reports that vehicular crashes are the top cause of spinal cord injuries, with falls in second place (especially after age 65.) Nearly six million people in the US live with paralysis, according to a study by the Christopher & Dana Reeve Foundation. Strokes were the top cause for paralysis, according to the research, with spinal cord injuries in third place.
Types Of Spinal Cord Injuries
Doctors classify these injuries as “complete” and “incomplete.”
A complete injury means that there is a complete lack of sensory and motor function below the injury level. An incomplete injury indicates that the spine still has some ability to communicate with the rest of the body, and that there may be a small amount of sensation.
Paralysis can be just the lower part of the body, or both upper and lower, depending on where the spine was injured.
Cervical area injuries can affect functions in the entire body, including the arms and legs. Injuries to the cervical area can result in quadriplegia, respiratory issues, and loss of sensation including the pelvic organs, and the inability to regulate body temperature. The neck’s flexibility requires a neck brace to prevent further damage.
Thoracic area injures are less common due to the rib cage’s protection. Patients with this kind of injury may have weakness and/or paralysis in their legs, as well as loss of sensation in the pelvic organs.
Lumbar and sacral area injuries can result in weakness or paraplegia in the lower extremities, affect the organs in the pelvic area, and may require surgery and exterior stabilization.
Disabilities From Paralysis
For many people, their accident injuries will heal eventually and they can get on with their lives. But people who experience spinal cord injuries may be permanently injured.
Spinal cord injury is costly, and many individuals living with this injury have no insurance, or their insurance coverage is inadequate.
An accident that results in an individual with a paralysis injury means that he or she will likely be in a wheelchair, or at least walk with assistance. They incur a greater degree of physical difficulty getting around in a city where most people walk and take the subway. The damage may be permanent depending on the severity of the injury.
Paralysis may also prevent an individual from working again, especially a job that requires them to be physical. Construction, retail, restaurant and theater work, police and fire, and other “on your feet” professions, as well as bicycle courier work are no longer available to them, and can limit their ability to earn an income. If the individual is able to use a computer or other equipment, they may be able to re-train to work in a “seated” job. However, this takes time and money to accomplish.
Assistive technology is available for those with spinal cord injuries, as well as locomotor training to help patients regain their ability to walk.
Paralysis Accident Lawyers In Greenwich Village
If you are someone you love has been paralyzed in an accident, don’t let the other party’s insurance company bully you into taking their first settlement. Paralysis is a life-changing event, and you need compensation to take care of yourself for the rest of your life.
Our personal injury attorneys are experienced and have a long history of successfully defending our clients in court, and will help you get what you deserve. Call Hoffmaier & Hoffmaier today at (212) 777-9400 or contact us online for an appointment. We’ll meet with you and let us know what options you have. We don’t get paid unless we win, so your consultation is risk-free.