Paralysis Spinal Cord Injury Lawsuits, Lawyers and Claims
Injuries to your neck and spinal cord can change your life – permanently. When the spinal cord running from your brain and neck down your back is severed or sustains catastrophic damage, you may find yourself paralyzed – unable to move your arms and hands and/or your legs and feet. Imagine not being able to pick up and hold your infant, play with your child, or engage in the leisure activities you enjoyed. Imagine requiring care and assistance in order to bathe, dress yourself, move about from one place to another, or even feeding oneself. Paralysis resulting from a spine or neck injury is a catastrophic injury with repercussions that will impact the remainder of your life.
Few spinal cord injury incidents are “accidents” – instead, many are the result of careless and unreasonably dangerous or risky behavior that results in the paralyzing injury. Obtaining compensation for past and future expenses following a spinal cord injury is essential to securing your and your family’s financial future.
What is the Spinal Cord and How Does Paralysis Occur?
The spinal cord is a cylindrical bundle of nerves and tissues that begins at the brain stem and continues down through the spinal column. These nerve fibers and tissues connect the brain with the rest of the body and are essential for movement and activity as well as being able to interact with one’s environment through the sensations of touch and pain. Because the spinal cord is a fragile structure, it is encased within the spinal column – vertebrae which surround and enclose the spinal cord in a healthy individual.
When the spinal cord is severed, brain signals cannot travel down to the affected body part and sensations from the body part cannot travel to the brain. This is commonly known as paralysis. In general, the location of the spinal cord injury will dictate what body parts are affected. For example, a spinal cord injury in the lower back (below the shoulders) will affect body parts from that location and lower, like the person’s legs and feet. If the spinal cord is severed in the neck (above the shoulders), then the individual will be unable to use his or her arms and legs.
Top Causes of Paralyzing Spinal Cord Injuries
Because the spinal cord is protected by the spinal column, minor injuries and accidents generally do not result in spinal cord injuries. It will usually take a significant amount of force in order to cause a paralyzing injury. These types of injuries can be sustained in:
- Falls: Falls from heights – such as fall off of a roof, down a flight of stairs, or a fall from a ladder – can cause paralyzing injuries to a fall victim. This is especially likely if the person lands on his or her back, if he or she is older, and/or if he or she has a preexisting condition that has made his or her spine weaker. For this reason, employers in the construction industry must provide appropriate fall-restraint devices for their employees.
- Car crashes: The forces involved in a car crash can be sufficient to permanently damage a person’s spinal cord. While a spinal cord injury can potentially occur in any car crash, wearing a seatbelt does reduce the risk of a permanent spinal cord injury.
- Birth injuries: A newborn baby is vulnerable and susceptible to serious injury before and during birth. A spinal cord injury can occur if the obstetrician applies too much force during delivery or misuses a medical device designed to assist in delivery. Alternatively, certain conditions (such as cerebral palsy) can develop before or after birth that can impact the manner in which brain signals are sent or received and can result in paralysis.
- Intentional injury: Permanent, paralyzing spinal cord injuries can also be inflicted intentionally, such a person striking another person in the back with a weapon or a gunshot wound. When an injury is inflicted intentionally, the defendant may be held responsible not only for compensatory damages but also punitive damages as well.
A Spinal Cord Injury and Paralysis Law Firm is Available to Assist You
Spinal cord injuries that result in paralysis can easily end up consisting victims and their families thousands (if not tens of thousands or more) of dollars in medical bills, home healthcare assistance costs, prescription drug or medical device costs, lost past and future earnings, pain and suffering, loss of enjoyment of life, and other similar losses. Even where it is clear that another person caused these losses through reckless or careless actions, however, obtaining the compensation you need is not always easy or guaranteed.
Employing the services of the experienced spinal cord injury and paralysis law firm of Stern Law, PLLC can provide you with the legal knowledge and resources you need to have the best chance at prevailing in your case. Call Stern Law, PLLC today at (800) 462-5772 if you have been paralyzed in a spinal cord injury accident to learn what rights you may have and how our firm can assist you in asserting those rights.