The consequences of a spinal cord injury are devastating — from permanent loss of sensation and function of the arms and/or legs to restricting one’s ability to breathe without assistance. Many spinal cord injury victims are unable to return to work and require lifelong medical care and assistance, which can be a physical, emotional and financial burden. When a spinal cord injury is caused by another’s negligence, it takes a highly capable personal injury attorney to help lift that burden.
The Law Office of Robert Purzak has been fighting for spinal cord injury victims on Long Island with distinction for over 35 years. Backed by a proven history of achieving successful outcomes at the negotiating table or inside the courtroom, our team has the skills and resources that are crucial for handling spinal cord injury claims. Regardless of the cause of your injury, we will work to help you receive the medical care that you need and the compensation you deserve.
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What is a spinal cord injury?
A spinal cord injury occurs when there is damage to:
- The spinal cord
- Nerves in the spinal canal
Typically the result of a traumatic blow to the spine or a violent wound that severs the spinal cord, bleeding, swelling and fluid buildup in the spinal cord is likely to occur. Moreover, if the nerve fibers in the spinal column are damaged, muscles and nerves below the injured area will likely be impaired.
A severe injury can lead to paralysis while less serious injuries to the spine may result in partial loss of movement and sensation to the arms, legs, hands and/or feet. An injury in the neck area can impact arm mobility and worse — the victim’s ability to breathe. Finally, an injury to the chest or lower back can affect the torso, legs, bladder, bowel function and sexual capacity.
Despite the poor prognosis — spinal cord injuries are typically life-altering and irreparable — experimental treatments are coming along. There have also been advances in medicine and assistive devices that make it possible for victims of spinal cord injuries to function more independently. Nonetheless, spinal cord injuries remain traumatic for injury victims and their loved ones.
Common Causes of Spinal Cord Injuries on Long Island
Spinal cord injuries are often the result of:
- Traffic accidents — car accidents and motorcycle accidents are the leading cause of spinal cord injuries
- Falls — whether from ladders or other heights, or slip, trip, and fall accidents, falls often result in spinal cord injuries (individuals 65 and older are especially vulnerable)
- Violent crime — usually caused by gunshot or knife wounds
- Sports and recreation injuries — contact sports (e.g. football, soccer, wrestling), and other athletic activities, or diving into shallow water, account for many spinal cord injuries
Classification of Spinal Cord Injuries
Spinal cord injuries are classified by the degree to which the victim loses the ability to control his or her limbs:
- Complete spinal cord injury — all feeling and ability to control movement below the injury are lost
- Incomplete spinal cord injury — some motor or sensory function below the affected area remains (such injuries also vary by degree)
In addition, spinal cord injuries can result in paralysis: quadriplegia occurs when the arms, hands, legs, trunk and pelvic organs are all affected, while paralysis to all or part of the trunk, legs, and pelvic organs is known as paraplegia. Finally, spinal cord injuries may involve the following symptoms:
- Loss of movement
- Loss of sensation
- Pain or intense stinging sensations
- Difficulty breathing
- Loss of bladder or bowel control
- Changes in sexual function
- Extreme back pain
- Pressure in the neck, head or back
- Weakness, lack of coordination or paralysis in any part of the body
- Difficulty balancing and walking
- Twisting of the neck or back
Contact Our Long Island Spinal Cord Injury Attorney
At the Law Office of Robert Purzak, we are dedicated to fighting for the rights of spinal cord injury victims. Knowing the future holds the prospect of living with a disability, we will work tirelessly to help you obtain compensation that considers all of your future medical and financial needs.
While long-term medical care costs may seem insurmountable, you may be entitled to damages such as lost wages, loss of future earnings, medical expenses, and the costs of long-term care, rehabilitation, assistive devices (e.g. braces, crutches, wheelchairs) or required modifications to your residence.
If you or a loved one has been injured in an accident resulting in spinal cord injury, you may be confused and angry and not know where to turn. Remember, we are here to help. Please contact our office today to speak with one of our attorneys. The initial consultation is free and you will not pay any attorney’s fees until we win your case. We help the injured throughout Long Island, including the towns of Brentwood, Coram, Deer Park, Hempstead, Islip, Roosevelt, and Wyandanch.