Bronx Spinal Cord Accident Lawyer
Bronx residents who suffer spinal cord injuries often face permanent disabilities (including paralysis) and need costly treatment and care for the rest of their lives. Although some spinal cord injuries do heal, the majority never recover their full bodily functions. Unfortunately, the spinal cord’s importance as part of the body’s central nervous system makes even minor injuries dangerous. The Journal of Spinal Cord Medicine reports more than 250,000 people live with a disability related to a spinal cord injury in the United States, and more than 11,000 people suffer spinal cord injuries that require hospitalization each year.
A spinal cord injury is one of the most expensive injuries a person can sustain. By-and-large, patients cannot work while receiving medical treatment. Some spinal cord injuries can be so catastrophic that they rob the victim of the ability to hold down almost any kind of employment. This is often the case when a spinal cord injury causes tetraplegia, full paralysis from the neck down.
No amount of money will turn back time and give you any of your lost functions back, but seeking compensation for a spinal cord injury caused by another party can provide the funding you need to afford the treatment required for your injury.
If you or someone you love has suffered a spinal cord injury as a consequence of someone else’s wrongful actions, New York law permits you to seek compensation for damages. The Bronx personal injury lawyers from Jacoby & Meyers, LLP, can help you through this difficult time. Contact our Bronx office today for a free case evaluation to discuss the events that caused your spinal cord injury and determine the best path forward for your circumstances.
About Jacoby & Meyers
The award-winning legal team at Jacoby & Meyers, LLP, has more than 40 years of experience representing injured Bronx residents, including those who have been diagnosed with a spinal cord injury. Our firm’s passionate commitment to client advocacy and seeking justice has led to the recovery of millions in damages for our clients through successfully-negotiated settlements and court-awarded damages.
Some recent case results include:
- $500,000 verdict for a client who suffered injuries as a result of a contractor’s unsafe renovations
- $525,000 settlement for a client who suffered a broken neck, facial fractures, and knee fractures in a motorcycle accident
- $525,000 settlement for a pedestrian multiple leg fractures after a pizza delivery van hit him
- $1,100,000 settlement for a pedestrian struck in a crosswalk
- $2,000,000 settlement for a client who suffered injuries in a trip and fall accident
- $2,533,000 verdict for injuries from a car crash caused by a driver who double-parked on a busy road
- $5,000,000 settlement for a client who sustained injuries in a multi-vehicle collision
These examples do not guarantee a specific outcome for your spinal cord injury case. Each case has unique facts and circumstances that can add to or detract from the value of a claim. Rest assured, however, that the skilled spinal cord injury lawyers at Jacoby & Meyers, LLP, have the resources and experience to investigate the circumstances that caused your spinal cord injury, and to build the strongest possible case on your behalf.
“It is a great firm and I highly recommend it to anyone with an injury case.” -Carolina V.
Most Spinal Cord Injuries Occur in Traffic Collisions
You might have suffered a spinal cord injury for an unknown cause, but it’s more likely you know exactly what led to your injury. The National Institutes of Health (NIH) say that four types of incidents cause approximately 91 percent of all spinal cord injuries.
- According to the NIH, traffic accidents cause 40.4 percent of all spinal cord injuries, making them the leading cause for those under 65. Traffic crashes that occur at high speeds release an immense amount of force upon impact, causing all types of dangerous, sometimes fatal injuries. Spinal cord injuries that occur during high speed crashes have a higher likelihood of being severe enough to cause permanent damage and paralysis.
- Unintentional falls lead to 27.9 percent of spinal cord injuries, making them the second leading cause of spinal cord injuries. Yet, falls are the leading cause of spinal cord injuries for older adults. Those over age 65 are more vulnerable to falls as they go about their daily lives. Other places people might suffer a fall include stairways, escalators, construction sites, and businesses that fail to clean up spills or to remove snow, ice, or debris from parking lots and storefronts.
- Violence, mostly gunshot wounds, leads to 15 percent of spinal cord injuries across the nation. Other types of violence can also cause spinal cord injuries, such as knife violence.
- Sports lead to 8 percent of the nation’s spinal cord injuries, with teens at especially high risk. Full contact sports such as hockey, boxing, football, rugby, and martial arts can lead to spinal cord injury. Skiing, snowboarding, climbing, skydiving, and other extreme sports can also cause spinal cord injuries.
Specific Injuries That Can Damage the Spinal Cord
You might think your spinal cord is one big nerve running down the middle of your back, but your spinal cord is actually a dense bundle of nerves. If you think of an electrical extension cord with a bunch of smaller wires on the inside or a cable for your television or computer, you can get an idea of the structure of your spinal cord.
The spinal cord, along with your brain and 31 branches of nerves from the cord, make up your central nervous system. Your brain sends signals to those branches through your spinal cord. A spinal cord injury interrupts or blocks these messages, causing different types of functional limitation or loss. A completely severed spinal cord is highly unlikely; most injuries occur because of a spine injury. When the vertebrae or cartilage that make up the spine are damaged in an accident, pieces can break off and cause a spinal cord injury when they get embedded into the cord.
The following examples of specific injuries can damage the spinal cord result in a range of functional loss that might be temporary or permanent.
- Compression fractures along the spine
- Ruptures, collapsed, and herniated discs
- Spinal nerve damage
- Cut or partially severed spinal cord
Spinal Cord Injuries Damage Victims for Life
The long-term impact varies greatly for those who suffer spinal cord injuries. The biggest distinction that medical professionals make among spinal cord injuries is between complete versus incomplete injuries. Doctors have found that those with incomplete issues are far more likely to recover partially or fully from their injury, while those with complete injuries have permanent damage and, typically, little hope of regaining lost function.
To make a proper diagnosis and offer a diagnosis, doctors divide areas of the spinal cord to correlate with sections of the spinal cord. Each section of the spinal cord is responsible for different body functions. The general rule is that injuries closer to the brain are more severe, in that they cause more loss of function, than those that occur on the lower part of the spinal column. The potential long-term effects of spinal cord damage in each region of the spinal column are:
The cervical region of the spinal cord is protected by the eight vertebrae of the neck. This area of the controls signals to the diaphragm and upper extremities from the brain. Spinal cord injuries in the cervical region are the most dangerous and often result in catastrophic injuries. Victims might experience tetraplegia, sometimes still referred to as quadriplegia, which is total paralysis from the neck down. Other complications with spinal cord injuries in the cervical region include a victim requiring machines to breathe, loss of movement in extremities, and reduced function in the hands.
The thoracic region of the spinal cord lies in the upper and middle back. In this region, the spinal cord controls messages from the brain to the trunk of the body and to parts of the arms. Those who suffer a spinal cord injury in the thoracic region of their spine might face reduced movement in their torso because their stomach muscles don’t function the same as they did before the injury.
Lumbar and Sacral Regions
The lumbar and sacral regions of the spine start in the middle of the back and extend down to the tailbone. Damage this low in the spinal column isn’t typically catastrophic, but spinal injury victims might still face permanent damage. A spinal cord injury in the lumbar region can create a loss of function or struggles with hips, legs, and feet, and might even cause paralysis from the waist down. Injuries that occur in the sacral region and the lower portion of the lumbar region typically do not cause paralysis.
Recovering Losses After a Spinal Cord Injury
Spinal cord injuries are among the most costly of all injuries. Victims not only have ongoing medical expenses, but cannot work, and might never be able to work again. The financial burden of a spinal cord injury can devastate households and lead to bankruptcy, foreclosure, vehicle repossessions, the accumulation of large amounts of credit card debt, and difficulties meeting daily needs and paying monthly bills.
If you choose to file a personal injury suit against the party responsible for your spinal cord injury, you might receive compensation for the following expenses and losses related to your injury in a settlement or as a result of court-awarded damages.
- Medical treatment costs including ambulance and emergency services, emergency department visit, hospitalization, diagnostic imaging, surgery, repeated doctor visits, and medications
- Future medical expenses that include ongoing treatment for permanent damage and can also include long-term healthcare costs for spinal injury victims who need around-the-clock care in a nursing care facility
- Rehabilitation costs that include ongoing physical therapy to help victims regain lost function and avoid muscle atrophy, but can also include occupational therapy to help a spinal cord injury victim learn new ways to do things as a result of their permanent injury
- Assistive devices that can include wheelchairs and canes, but might also include special internal or external technology to help with communication, pain, and a variety of other things
- Lost wages for time away from work due to a spinal cord injury and treatment
- Future lost wages, sometimes called lost earning capacity, when a spinal cord injury causes permanent damage preventing victims from returning to their job
- Home modification expenses to make a living space more accessible for a spinal cord injury victim, including installing wheelchair ramps, installing handrails, and building a main floor addition
- Service costs to replace chores and activities the victim was responsible for before the injury, such as a cleaning service, lawn service, snow removal service, or a handyman
- Physical pain and suffering from the injury
- Emotional pain and suffering from the injury
- Loss of quality of life
- Loss of consortium with a spouse
- Exemplary damages when intentional harm or gross negligence led to a spinal cord injury
Get the Legal Help You Need From a Bronx Spinal Cord Injury Lawyer
If you or a loved one has suffered a spinal cord injury because of another party’s negligence and you live in the Bronx, contact the compassionate and skilled spinal cord injury attorneys at Jacoby & Meyers, LLP, to help you with your injury claim. We advocate for clients through the lawsuit process, giving them the space and time they need to focus on rehabilitation and adjusting to a spinal cord injury.
You can contact us online, call us at (718) 294-0813, or visit our Bronx office at 656 East Fordham Road to schedule a free case evaluation and learn about the best way forward after suffering a spinal cord injury.