Spinal cord injuries (SCIs) are often catastrophic and life-altering injuries. If another party’s negligence or intentional wrongdoing results in an SCI, you should get help from a Rochester spinal cord injury attorney immediately to seek compensation. In the meantime, the following are five things to know about these types of injuries.
1. You Might Not Realize Immediately How Serious a Spinal Cord Injury Could Be
Anytime you have been involved in an accident that has resulted in symptoms or indications of head or neck trauma, it is critical to be assessed by a medical professional for a spinal cord injury. The Mayo Clinic underscores that, in many cases involving head or neck trauma, you should be operating under the assumption that you “have a spinal injury until proved otherwise” for a number of reasons. First, the Mayo Clinic explains, a “serious spinal injury isn’t always immediately obvious,” and if you are not treated for a spinal injury quickly, it will often become more severe. Moreover, “numbness or paralysis can . . . come on gradually.”
For most spinal injury victims, the amount of time that passes between the physical injury and your medical treatment will be “critical in determining the extent and severity of complications and the possible extent of expected recovery.” In other words, you might not realize that a neck injury is serious, but you absolutely need to be evaluated for a spinal cord injury if you are going to receive effective treatment.
2. More People Sustain Spinal Cord Injuries Than You Might Think
The American Association of Neurological Surgeons (AANS) emphasizes that thousands of people sustain spinal cord injuries each year, and hundreds of thousands of people are currently living with spinal cord injuries. Indeed, about 17,000 spinal cord injuries happen every year.
3. Spinal Injuries Frequently Result in Paralysis
One of the primary reasons that spinal cord injuries need to be assessed and treated as soon as possible is because they often result in paralysis. Degrees of paralysis can vary, but a person can experience paraplegia (paralysis of parts of the trunk, legs, and pelvic organs) or tetraplegia/quadriplegia (paralysis of the trunks, arms, hands, legs, and pelvic organs) after suffering a spinal cord injury. Typically spinal cord injuries will be described based on whether they are complete, meaning that a person has lost all motor or sensory function, or incomplete, meaning that some motor or sensory function still exists.
4. Spinal Cord Injuries Can Occur in Nearly Any Type of Accident
Catastrophic injuries like spinal cord injuries can occur in almost any type of accident. The AANS says car accidents, falls, and sports-related or recreational injuries are the most common causes.
5. You Will Need to File a Spinal Cord Injury Claim Quickly
Under New York law, most types of accident cases that result in spinal cord injuries will have a three-year statute of limitations. What this means is that you will have a three-year window from the date of the spinal cord injury to file a lawsuit against the party who caused your injuries. If you do not file a lawsuit within that time window, your spinal cord injury claim will become time-barred. You can avoid a late claim by contacting a lawyer as soon as possible.
Contact Our Rochester Catastrophic Injury Lawyers
Do you need assistance with a spinal cord injury lawsuit? Whether your injury occurred in a car crash, a fall, or another type of accident, one of the Rochester spinal cord injury lawyers at our firm can help. Contact King Law to get started on your claim.