Spinal Cord Injuries
Spinal cord injuries must always be taken seriously, since the spinal cord contains the central nervous system, and the spine is the primary column holding the body erect. For these reasons, even minor accidents involving this area may be extremely painful and debilitating, and more serious types of harm can cause paralysis. If you or one of your loved ones has suffered a spinal cord injury in Queens or the surrounding area, you may want to contact the accident attorneys at The Cassisi Law Firm to find out if you may be entitled to damages. We proudly serve individuals in the Bronx and Brooklyn as well as the communities within Nassau and Suffolk Counties.Effects and Causes of Spinal Cord Injuries
A spinal cord injury is any event that causes damage to the nerves that communicate between the brain and lower parts of the body. They can affect an individual’s sensory abilities, motor skills, and reflexes. Severe damage can cause paralysis when an injury blocks the ability of neural receptors in the lower part of the body to receive signals from the brain. This blockage can inhibit not only voluntary movement but involuntary responses as well.
Not all spinal cord injuries result in permanent damage, but it is difficult to predict how long it may take an individual to regain function or sensation. Effects may include:
- Pain and discomfort;
- Stiffness and lack of mobility;
- Loss of ability to move certain parts of the body;
- Loss of ability to physically sense anything in certain parts of the body;
- Loss of ability to control bladder and bowel function;
- Muscle spasms;
- Exaggerated reflex responses;
- Problems with sexual function and sensitivity; and
- Problems with fertility.
Many spinal cord injuries happen in motor vehicle collisions, slip and falls, workplace accidents, or other events in which a person or entity acted carelessly. If the harm occurred because someone failed to use reasonable care, an injured person can pursue a negligence claim to seek damages related to the harm.
Proving negligence requires the presence of four separate elements. You must show that the defendant owed a duty of care to the victim, the defendant breached the duty, the breach caused an injury, and the victim was forced to incur damages as a result.
A duty of care can be implied by the relationship between the parties. For example, doctors owe a duty to treat their patients diligently, businesses have an obligation to protect employees and customers, property owners must keep their premises in a reasonably safe condition, and drivers should avoid posing unreasonable risks to others on the road. The duty of care is often defined as the obligation to act as carefully as the typical person or entity would act in similar circumstances. Conduct that falls below this standard, such as violating a traffic rule or failing to clean up spilled food in a supermarket, can be considered a breach. If the victim can draw a direct causal link from the breach to quantifiable costs or losses that he or she incurred, the defendant likely will be held liable for damages.
Types of compensation in a negligence lawsuit may include both objective and subjective forms of harm. In addition to medical bills, property damage, and lost income, victims may be able to seek damages for the pain and suffering that they endured. Punitive damages may be a possibility in cases when the defendant was especially reckless.Explore Your Options After a Serious Injury with a Queens Attorney
In cases involving spinal cord injuries, the resulting financial burden can be oppressive for people in Queens and throughout the region. If you have been hurt because someone else was careless, one of the experienced injury lawyers at The Cassisi Law Firm can investigate whether you may have a valid claim. Call us today at (718) 441-5050 or use our online form to find out if we can assist you. An initial consultation with us is confidential and free.