Back, Neck & Spinal Cord Injuries
Trauma to the neck, back or spinal cord can result in a severe injury with disabling and sometimes permanent damage.
Whether these injuries stem from a motor vehicle crash, construction accident, a bad fall or a criminal attack, the experienced Boston personal injury attorneys at The Law Offices of Jeffrey S. Glassman are prepared to take on these complex cases.
While it may be possible to settle a case for a substantial sum in the early stages, we also recognize the importance of being well prepared for trial.
Some insurance companies will attempt to take advantage of a victim’s desperation to cover medical bills and other expenses, so they make a low-ball offer right away. But by accepting any money upfront, you may be forfeiting your right later to collect the total compensation you are due.
In some cases, there are going to be multiple defendants, and it’s important to timely identify all potentially negligent parties and file timely action against them. Each case is going to differ, and the more extensive the injuries, the more important it is to seek legal representation.
Back, neck and spinal cord injuries can leave individuals unable to work or, in some cases, confined to a wheelchair or even a bed for the rest of their lives. When it comes to these kinds of catastrophic injuries, it is imperative that victims seek the assistance of a highly skilled and experienced legal team.Spinal Cord Injuries
The Mayo Clinic estimates approximately 11,000 Americans suffer spinal cord injuries annually. Of those, about 35 percent are caused by car accidents, the No. 1 cause of spinal cord injuries.
The spine, a complex structure comprised of bony vertebrae and soft, fluid-filled discs connected by numerous ligaments, is the body’s core support mechanism. It also acts as a critical highway of information from the brain to all the body’s systems.
Damage to the spinal cord can result in devastating injuries to the victim. These may include:
- Paraparesis : Partial paralysis of lower extremities
- Paraplegia: Complete paralysis of lower extremities (and often lower trunk)
- Quadriparesis: Partial paralysis of all four extremities
- Quadriplegia: Complete paralysis of all four extremities
While some damage may be degenerative/chronic, traumatic spinal cord injury results from a sudden, dramatic hit to the spine that causes dislocation, compression, fracture or crush injury. Sometimes a sharp, direct impact to the spinal cord can result in a wound that severs the cord entirely.
Some of the top causes of spinal cord injuries include:
- Motor vehicle accidents
- Falls (particularly for those over the age of 65)
- Sports or recreation activities (i.e., diving, impact sports) results in 9 percent of spinal cord injuries
- Acts of violence , particularly those involving a weapon, account for 15 percent of all spinal cord injuries
Males are more likely than females to suffer spinal cord injuries, but the greater risk factor is age. People between the ages of 16 and 30 are significantly more likely to suffer a traumatic spinal cord injury than those in other age brackets.
Because these injuries tend to strike people in the prime of their lives, they may be entitled to significant compensation where negligence by another was the cause.
Because not all spinal cord injuries are immediately apparent following a traumatic incident, it’s imperative for anyone who has been involved in an accident – even a minor one – to seek immediate medical treatment.
Some immediate symptoms of spinal cord injury may include:
- Tingling or numbness, spreading into an arm or leg
- Difficulty walking, moving arms or possibly even paralysis
- Loss of bladder or bowel control
- Stiff neck pain, neck or headache
- Head in an unusual position
Spinal cord injuries are sometimes synonymous with neck and back injury, but the latter does not necessarily always involve the former.
The neck and back are vital body parts, but they are especially prone to pain and injury from accidents. Risk factors for traumatic injury to the neck and back are much the same as for spinal cord injury, and may include car collisions, sports-related injuries, on-the-job accidents or falls.
Some specific types of neck injuries may include:
- Whiplash. This condition damages the soft tissue in the neck, and is generally caused by violent movement of the head.
- Sprains and strains. This is often seen in sports-related injuries.
- Disc injury. This is when there is damage to the vertebral disc and nerves become inflamed, causing intense pain.
- Vetebral fracture. If vertebra in the neck fracture or break, it is always deemed a medical emergency because this is the type of injury that may lead to spinal cord damage, paralysis and even death. However, the severity of injury may not always be apparent right away. This is why immediate medical attention even when there is only slight pain in the neck or back is so imperative.
When it comes to back pain, there are generally two kinds: Spondylolithesis and cervical radiculopathy. The first is related to damage or fractures to the vertebrae, usually at the base of the spine. The second is characterized by damage to nerve function resulting in pain, weakness or loss of sensation that radiates from the back to other areas of the body. Sprains and strains are also a common problem following an accident.
If you have suffered a neck, back or spinal cord injury in an accident in Boston, please contact the experienced legal professionals at The Law Offices of Jeffrey S. Glassman to learn more about how we can help.
Contact the Law Offices of Jeffrey S. Glassman today for a free and confidential consultation.
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