What starts out as a normal day for any New Yorker can end in disaster in a matter of seconds. A car accident can happen in the blink of an eye, but the damage the victim and his or her family may experience can last a lifetime. This is particularly true if the victim suffers a spinal cord injury.
The spinal cord runs from the base of the brain all the way down one’s spinal column. It is made up of nerves that are responsible for motor and sensory control. When damage is done to the upper portion of the spinal cord, one’s entire body, below the head, may become paralyzed. If damage occurs at the bottom portion, one’s lower body may lose motor and sensory functions. A person who is said to suffer a complete spinal cord injury has lost all motor function and all feeling, whereas a person who is said to have suffered an incomplete injury may still have some sensory and motor control.
Injuries to the spinal cord generally happen when the spinal column takes a significant hit which causes one or more vertebrae to dislocate, compress, fracture or completely crush. The effects of such an injury may be felt immediately or the full effects may not be felt for days or even weeks. A few signs and symptoms of this type of injury include:
- Weakness or paralysis
- Back and/or neck pain
- Difficulty balancing
- Inability to control one’s bladder and bowels
- Impaired breathing
Automobile accidents are said to be the leading cause of spinal cord injuries in the United States. Medical treatment should be sought immediately following such an accident if this type of injury is thought to have occurred. Waiting to seek care can have a negative impact on one’s prognosis.
New York residents who have suffered spinal cord injuries in automobile accidents may have the right to seek compensation for their losses. Under the right circumstances, a personal injury claim can be filed in civil court against the individual or individuals deemed responsible for the car accident. Through negotiations or litigation, maximum compensation for all damages deemed recoverable in accordance with applicable laws may be achieved.