Long Island Spine Injury Lawyer
Somewhere around 11 million people in the U.S. are living with spinal cord injury, facing daily challenges as they cope with their injury and adapt to life with paralysis as best they can. The majority of spinal cord injury victims received their trauma in a preventable car accident caused by negligence, such as distracted driving. At Giuffré Law Offices, we have decades of experience helping New York auto accident victims recover compensation after the most severe and catastrophic injuries. Call our Long Island spine injury lawyers if you or a loved one has suffered a spinal cord injury after a crash in Nassau County or anywhere in New York City.
Facts about spinal cord injuries in New York car accidents
One-half of all spinal cord injuries happen in auto and motorcycle accidents. Falls, such as from construction accidents, are the second-leading cause of spinal injury. Any type of crash can cause a back or spinal injury; even a relatively low-speed impact from a rear-end collision can damage the spine. If a seat back failure contributed to causing the injury, the victim might have a product defect claim against the automaker in addition to a negligence claim against the at-fault driver.
To recover compensation from a negligent driver in New York, the victim must suffer a “serious injury,” defined as one of the following:
- Significant disfigurement
- Loss of a fetus
- Permanent loss of use of a body organ, member, function or system
- Permanent consequential limitation of use of a body organ or member
- Significant limitation of use of a body function or system
- Medically determined injury or impairment of a non-permanent nature which prevents you from performing substantially all of the material acts which constitute your usual and customary daily activities for not less than 90 days during the 180 days immediately following the occurrence of the injury or impairment
Unless one of these criteria is met, the victim can’t sue the negligent driver and is limited to no-fault insurance benefits. An injury to the spinal cord, however, most often results in a significant limitation of use of a body function or system that qualifies for a tort claim and full recovery of damages for medical bills, lost wages, and pain and suffering.
Medical costs of a spinal injury can include surgery and vocational rehabilitation. Beyond initial treatment, persons living with spinal cord injury are prone to complications, such as diabetes, bedsores and infections, and must continue to receive on-going care. Some persons require in-home care from home health aides, while others may need more support, such as residence in a skilled nursing facility.
Those living at home may require modifications to their home environment and adaptations to their car, along with a variety of assistive technology and adaptive devices to increase their mobility, independence, self-care and quality of life.
At Giuffré Law Offices, we work with doctors, economists and other experts to develop a comprehensive life care plan that takes into account the lifetime of additional costs a spinal cord injury inflicts on its victim. With the facts in hand, we are ready to push a compelling argument for the full amount of compensation from the negligent driver who caused this injury through their distracted driving or other reckless behavior.
Types of spinal cord injuries
The spinal cord connects to the brain and runs down the length of the spine, connecting to peripheral nerves that reach every part of the body. The spinal cord is the pathway by which signals are sent and received to and from the brain and the rest of the body. These nerves are responsible for sensation/feeling and motor function, as well as vital autonomic functions such as breathing and swallowing.
Some of the major types of spinal cord injury are:
Compression – Pressure on the spinal cord causes lost or diminished function
Contusion – The spinal cord is bruised
Laceration – The spinal cord is cut or torn
When the spinal cord is cut through, all the nerves in the body below the injury stop functioning. Therefore, the higher up on the spine the injury occurs, the more catastrophic, limiting and life-threatening the injury is to the body. Spinal cord injuries can result in a range of functional limitations, including:
- Tingling, numbness or pain
- Weakness in the hands, diminished coordination
- Paralysis – inability to feel or move fingers, toes, hands or other parts of the body
- Paraplegia – loss of use of the legs
- Quadriplegia (tetraplegia) – loss of use of both arms and legs
- Loss of sexual function
- Incontinence, loss of bowel and bladder control
- Difficulty breathing or swallowing, possibly relying on ventilators/respirators and feeding tubes to stay alive
Get the Care and Compensation You Need After a Spinal Cord Injury in a Long Island or New York City Car Accident
Persons living with spinal cord injury can still lead productive, fulfilling lives with the right care and support. At Giuffré Law Offices, we do everything we can to help you through this difficult time and get the best care and compensation you need and deserve. If you’ve suffered a spinal cord injury from a car accident in Nassau County or throughout Long Island or New York City, call Giuffré Law Offices at 516-802-9912 for a free consultation.