Spinal Injury Frequently Asked Questions
Q: What is the Spinal Cord?
A: The spinal cord is a bundle of nerves which transverses from the base of the brain down through the spinal column. The spinal cord is responsible for transferring the nerve impulses transmitted from the brain to the various parts of the body.
Q: What is the Spinal Column?
A: The spinal column is a collection of 33 vertebrae separated by intervertebral discs connected by ligaments. The spinal column protects the spinal cord and gives the upper body support and mobility.
Q: What is an Intervertebral Disc?
A: An intervertebral disc is a spongy cushion positioned between each vertebra, which provides a shock-absorbing effect to protect the vertebrae.
Q: What is a Spinal Cord Injury?
A: A spinal cord injury is the destruction of spinal cord nerve cells or spinal cord nerve tract severing. Spinal cord injury can elicit paralysis and loss of sensation.
Q: What are the symptoms of Spinal Cord Injury?
A: Spinal cord injury typically elicits pain, sensory changes, weakness, numbness, spasticity and paralysis.
Q: What are the causes of Spinal Injury?
A: The most common causes of spinal cord injury are motor vehicle accident, sports injury, assault, occupational accident, trucking accident, motorcycle accident and medical malpractice.
Q: What is a Spinal Fracture?
A: A spinal fracture is a break in one or more of the vertebrae. Many different complications can arise from the type of spinal fracture.
Q: What are the symptoms of Spinal Fracture?
A: Spinal fracture can cause bruising, swelling, numbness, loss of reflexes, low blood pressure, loss of mobility and severe pain.
Q: What are the causes of Spinal Fracture?
A: The most common causes of spinal fracture are motor vehicle accident, sports injury, occupational accident, trucking accident, motorcycle accident, slip and fall and assault.
Q: What is Paralysis?
A: Paralysis is the loss of function or loss of feeling in an injured area.
Q: What is Paraplegia?
A: Paraplegia is the loss of motor and sensory function of the lower extremities.
Q: What is Quadriplegia?
A: Quadriplegia is the loss of motor and sensory function of all four limbs and may include the torso.
Q: What are the differences between complete and incomplete injuries?
A: A complete injury allows no motor or sensory function below the point of injury. An incomplete injury allows minimal motor or sensory function below the injury point.
Q: Does a Spinal Cord Injury ever heal?
A: After injury, the spinal cord will swell. Once the swelling subsides, some function may return with an incomplete injury. However, very few people fully recover from spinal cord injury.
Q: Is there compensation available for those suffering from spinal injury due to someone else’s negligence?
A: The types of recovery are regulated by your state’s laws. It is important to consult with an attorney to discuss your legal action. A lawyer can file a lawsuit seeking several types of damages, such as pain and suffering, lost wages, lost future earnings and current and future medical expenses.
Q: Who is liable for Spinal Injury?
A: Anyone who is negligent or whose willful acts led to the spinal injury can be held liable.
Q: What is the time limit to file a lawsuit?
A: Typically, there is a statute of limitation of approximately 3 years from the accident date to file a lawsuit. Periodically this limitation can be extended due to discovery evidence. However, in a severe spinal injury case, it is extraordinarily rare for the statute of limitations to achieve a delayed accrual due to late discovery evidence. If the case is based in medical malpractice the statute is 2 ½ years.
Q: Do you need to retain a lawyer?
A: With the significance of the injury and complexity of the claim, it is imperative to retain an attorney. An attorney will hire experts, investigate and litigate your claim to establish liability and pursue the maximum compensation on your behalf.
If you or someone you love is suffering from a spinal injury, contact our New York Spinal Injury Attorney team with Stephen Bilkis & Associates, PLLC for a free case evaluation. Please call us at 1.800.NY.NY.LAW or online. We have offices located throughout the New York and Long Island area in Manhattan, the Bronx, Queens, Staten Island, Westchester County, Brooklyn, Nassau County and Suffolk County.