Experienced Car Accident and Injury Attorneys for Spinal Cord Injuries in New Jersey
An estimated 11,000 people suffer from spinal cord injuries in the United States each year. An injury to your spinal cord can have a serious impact on your life, and may even cause paralysis. Your spinal cord carries signals back and forth between your brain and the various parts of your body, and an injury to your spinal cord disrupts the ability of your brain to carry out basic physical functions.
A spinal cord injury can vary in severity, and an incomplete spinal cord injury can cause the loss of certain functions while a complete spinal cord injury can cause total paralysis below the spot where the spinal cord was injured. Spinal cord injuries may be the result of a physical impact that fractures or dislocates the vertebrae bones that make up your spine, which then tear into or put pressure on the spinal cord or in some extreme cases sever the spinal cord.
Leading Causes of Spinal Cord Injury
The most common causes of spinal cord injury are:
- Car Accidents: Motor vehicle accidents are the most common cause of spinal cord injuries in the U.S. for people under the age of 65. In many cases, failure to wear a seatbelt or the presence of drugs and alcohol in the system of a driver can result in serious accidents causing spinal cord injury. While insurance may cover some costs of spinal cord injury, a person injured in a car crash may be entitled to additional compensation from the driver causing the accident or even the manufacturer of the automobile involved in the accident if a defect in the car itself played a role in the accident.
- Acts of Physical Violence: Gunshot wounds are the second most common cause of spinal cord injuries in the U.S. Other acts of physical violence such as a beating or stabbing may cause a spinal cord injury. Because spinal cord injuries are often associated with violent acts and high physical impact, it is no surprise that 80% of spinal cord injuries occur in men. While the perpetrator of physical violence may face criminal charges for the act, he or she may also be liable in a civil action for the injuries suffered by the victim.
- Sports and Recreational Accidents: Biking, skateboarding, in-line skating, and participating in high-impact sports like football, basketball or even baseball (e.g., sliding into bases) can cause spinal cord injuries. Swimming and diving can also result in such injuries. Whether the sponsor of an activity or the owner of the property on which the injury takes place may be liable for such injuries depends on factors such as whether safety protocols were carried out and whether the participant assumed any risk of injury.
- Falls: Household falls and other types of falls are the leading cause of spinal cord injuries for those over 65. If a property owner has failed to install proper precautionary measures to prevent such falls (e.g. lack of guardrails, slippery floors, loose objects on the floor, etc.), a person suffering a spinal cord injury from a fall may be able to recover from that property owner in an action for negligence.
Reduce the Risk of a Spinal Cord Injury
In order to reduce the risk of spinal cord injury from the above causes, there are precautionary measures that can be taken:
- Always wear a seatbelt and make sure that others in the car do so as well
- Never ride with an intoxicated driver
- Make sure any firearms in the house are securely locked away, and avoid physical altercations with others
- Wear a helmet and/or other protective gear while engaging in sports and other recreational activities
- Never dive into a body of water without first making sure it is sufficiently deep
- Install rails and other protective items in your home to prevent falls.
Call the Experienced Attorneys of De Frank, McCluskey & Kopp for Help with Spinal Cord Injury Claims
Spinal cord injuries can have a serious impact on one’s quality of life and ability to provide for oneself and one’s family. If you or a loved one has suffered a spinal cord injury, you may be entitled to compensation under the law. The experienced attorneys at De Frank, McCluskey & Kopp will work closely with your medical team to understand the extent of your physical and emotional injuries and help you to identify the maximum compensation that you are entitled to under the law. Contact De Frank, McCluskey & Kopp today for a free consultation.