Spinal Cord Injuries – An Aftermath of Negligent or Reckless Behavior

In 2005, new cases of spinal cord injuries (SCI) in the U.S. was 11,000. Nine years after, in 2014, new cases for this type of injury increased by 1,500, while the number of those already suffering from it was estimated at 276,000 (including children and adults).

According to the National Spinal Cord Injury Statistical Center (NSCSC), the latest records show more alarming numbers, with 17,000 new SCI cases each year and an estimated 282,000 persons children and adults already with this type of injury.

The spinal cord, which is a bundle of nerve tissues and support cells, is responsible for sending messages from the brain to the different parts of the body and vice-versa. Due to these messages, a person is able to feel pain, move his/her limbs, and so forth. The spinal cord forms the central nervous system with the brain and is one of the human body’s most delicate and sensitive parts. While the brain serves as the command center of the body, the spinal cord serves as the pathway for all messages to and fro the brain.

An injury to the spinal cord, whether traumatic or non-traumatic, can damage the ligaments or spinal column disks, the vertebrae, or the spinal cord itself. A traumatic spinal cord injury is characterized by a fractured, crushed, dislocated, or compressed area of the vertebrae. This can result from a sudden, forceful blow to the spine, a knife wound or a gunshot would that pierces and cuts the spinal cord. A non-traumatic spinal cord injury, on the other hand, may be due to disk degeneration of the spine, inflammation, infections, arthritis or cancer.

A spinal cord injury can have devastating effects due to the very important function it plays. The most common consequence of SCI is paralysis, either partial or total, depending on the specific area affected by the injury. Partial paralysis, or Paraplegia, is impairment in motor or sensory function (loss of movements and/or sensation) of the lower extremities or the legs. Total paralysis, or Quadriplegia (also called tetraplegia, the term more commonly used in Europe), on the other hand, is spinal cord injury that result to some degree of paralysis in all four extremities or limbs – the legs and arms.

Causes of spinal cord injury include: falling from a significant height; a sporting event accident; electrical accidents; a violent attack, such as a stabbing or a gunshot; and motor vehicle accident, which is actually the leading cause of this injury.

While the New York City personal injury attorneys of Hach & Rose, LLP, knows that serious injuries are often results of accidents which, of course, are never intended by those at fault, they also know that these accidents are, more often than not, results of negligent or reckless behavior, for which those at fault can be held totally liable under the law. SCI, specifically, requires regular and continuous treatment which is not only costly, but which can also cause financial burden in the long run. This costly medical treatment, which is too important for a victim not to undergo, is just one of the many reasons why the liable party will have to be held liable for the consequence of his/her irresponsible behavior. Maybe pursuing legal action against this at-fault person, through the help of a seasoned personal injury lawyer, is necessary in order to claim compensation for the damages he/she has unjustly caused.

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