Cataloged as a sensitive injury, spinal cord injuries can bring long-term consequences, affecting the individual and their families. The incapacity that people who get their spinal cord hurt may cause definitive dependence on others, which may cause financial burden and psychological stress.
When this catastrophic injury is provoked by a negligent party, they are liable for the financial burden that it may cause in the present and future, but to prove that they are liable you need the advice, help, and representation of a New York spinal cord injury lawyer. The Ward Law Group, PL is committed to assisting people in personal injury lawsuits to recover from damages that a negligent third party may cause.
What is a Spinal Injury?
Spinal injury is one common and terrible type of injury that people can get when they are involved in accidents, they are trauma in the spinal cord or the structures surrounding it like vertebrae, discs, ligaments, or nerves.
The spinal cord is a long, thin, tubular bundle of nervous tissue that extends from the base of the brain down through the vertebral column, or spine. It serves as a vital part of the central nervous system (CNS) along with the brain.
The spinal cord is responsible for transmitting sensory information from the body to the brain and relaying motor commands from the brain to the rest of the body.
When an accident occurs and you hurt your back, you need to seek medical treatment right away, then you should contact your spinal injury attorney as there are a lot of things to do when you are injured, someone is responsible and needs to pay for all the incoming expenses that you will have.
Types of Spinal Cord Injuries
There are 2 types of spinal cord injuries, they depend on the location, severity, and how wide the injury is.
- Complete spinal cord injury
- Incomplete spinal cord injury
The incomplete spinal cord injury there are other types which are the following:
Anterior Cord Syndrome:
The injury typically affects the front portion (anterior) of the spinal cord. Predominantly affects the anterior 2/3 of the spinal cord, and often involves the central portion of the spinal cord, including the gray matter and the anterior and lateral white matter
- In anterior cord syndrome, the front portion of the spinal cord is damaged, typically as a result of trauma or a lack of blood supply to that area.
- This type of injury often leads to significant motor deficits, including paralysis or weakness below the level of the injury.
- Sensory loss typically involves pain and temperature sensation, as the pathways carrying those sensations are disrupted
- Preservation of light touch and proprioception (the sense of body position) is observed due to intact dorsal columns at the back of the spinal cord
Central Cord Syndrome:
This type is the most common form of an incomplete spinal cord injury. It is associated with damage to the large nerve fibers that carry information directly from the brain’s cerebral cortex to the spinal cord. Some facts about central cord syndrome are
- Central cord syndrome is commonly associated with hyperextension injuries, such as those caused by falls or motor vehicle accidents.
- This type of injury results in greater impairment in the upper extremities compared to the lower extremities.
- Weakness or paralysis in the arms is a prominent feature, while leg function may be less affected.
- Sensory loss and bladder/bowel dysfunction can also occur, although they may vary in severity.
This type of incomplete spinal cord syndrome is a very rare neurological condition, the prognosis for individuals with BSS varies depending on the cause of the disorder, facts regarding BSS are
- The brown-Sequard syndrome is characterized by damage to one side (hemisection) of the spinal cord.
- It often occurs as a result of penetrating injuries like stab or gunshot wounds.
- The symptoms typically include weakness or paralysis on one side of the body, accompanied by loss of pain and temperature sensation on the opposite side.
- Light touch and proprioception are usually preserved on the same side as the injury.
Posterior Cord Syndrome:
Trauma is not a cause of this type of incomplete spinal cord injury, however, for the sake of knowing all the possible types of spinal cord injuries here are some facts about this.
- Posterior cord syndrome is a relatively rare type of injury where the back portion of the spinal cord is affected.
- It is typically caused by conditions such as tumors, infections, or vascular problems.
- The main feature of posterior cord syndrome is the loss of proprioception (sense of body position) and fine touch sensation below the level of the injury.
- Motor function and pain and temperature sensation, which rely on other pathways, are often preserved.
Complete vs. Incomplete Spinal Cord Injuries
Complete Spinal Cord Injury
This is a severe type of injury that causes total loss of sensory and motor function below the level of the injury. When the spinal cord is severely damaged interrupts the communication between the brain and the body below the injury site.
People with this classification of injury typically experience complete paralysis, known as paraplegia or quadriplegia, depending on the level of the injury. It can be from the neck to below or hips to below. People are unable to perceive touch, temperature, pain, and other sensory stimuli in the affected areas of the body.
In addition to that, individuals who suffer from a complete spinal cord injury may have affectations on the autonomic functions of the body. That means that the body can not control or properly regulate blood pressure, heart rate, digestion, and bladder and bowel control.
All of these mean that the injured person will need to be constantly monitored by a medical professional and use medication, therapy, and rehabilitation programs with lifestyle modifications. That implies an economic and psychological burden.
Incomplete spinal cord injury
This next classification is when there is partial damage to the spinal cord allowing some degree of sensory and/or motor function to be preserved below the level of the injury.
The main difference between this one and the complete spinal cord injury is that the injured person may retain varying levels of sensation and movement below the injury site. That means that they are not too dependent on others, even though they will also need medical attention, monitoring, and rehabilitation programs to get better.
Consequences of Spinal Cord Injuries
Spinal cord injuries are known to lead people to other health, economic and social consequences. They are associated with developing secondary conditions that can be debilitating and even life-threatening.
Just to mention a few examples of health problems that a person might develop after a spinal cord injury we have, deep vein thrombosis, urinary tract infections, muscle spasms, osteoporosis, pressure ulcers, chronic pain, and respiratory complications.
When a person is dependent on others, that implies a financial impact because they will require to pay for caregivers and assistive technology to facilitate mobility and communication.
Also, the fact that these people live with a lot of limitations inhibits them from being able to work, and if they are children, most likely won’t be able to attend school, if they do, they are less likely to advance, not to mention that a school for children who suffers special incapacity are twice if not three times expensive than regular schools.
Causes of Spinal Cord Injuries
Motor Vehicle Accidents
Car accidents, motorcycle, and bicycle accidents are common causes of these injuries. Negligent acts by others can cause accidents. Examples include reckless driving, driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs, being distracted, and not following traffic signals.
Slip & Fall Accidents
People can suffer spinal cord injuries from falling from heights. This includes slipping and falling from ladders, stairs, or uneven surfaces. Contributing factors such as the negligence of property owners to maintain secure premises can lead to an injury that may last until the last day of a person.
Certain occupations, such as construction, mining, manufacturing industry, transportation, law enforcement, and security are prone to this and another type of severe injury.
Sports and Recreational Activities
Participation in sports or recreational activities, particularly those with a higher risk of impact or collision, can result in spinal cord injuries. Negligence may occur if proper safety measures, equipment, or supervision are not provided or if participants are allowed to engage in reckless behavior.
What Damages Can I Recover From A Spinal Cord Injury?
We have discussed what it is, how many different types of this injury exist, causes and consequences. Understanding all of this is important because you now know that this is a serious issue that needs to be addressed with caution and professionalism.
As this injury may lead to long-term consequences that will stop you for life from doing activities that you once enjoyed, we are committed to getting you besides de regular economic compensation, to seek also a non-economic damages compensation.
We are experienced and respected spinal injury attorneys from New York and we are here to help you overcome these hard times.
Contact a Spinal Injury Lawyer in New York for Help
Being hurt is not a funny thing, you are stressed by the pain, you may have to deal with emotional distress too and your family may be having a hard time. However, a New York spinal cord injury lawyer who is an expert on the matter will help you in such a case.
We understand the pain you may be experiencing, what we can assure you is that you will have the best professional representation anyone can get in New York City. The Ward Law Group, PL has over 25 years of experience dealing with these traumatic injuries. We are committed to giving you a five-star service and all of our past clients will back up what we say. Call a Manhattan spinal cord injury lawyer for a FREE consultation on your case at 855-DOLOR-55.