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What Is A Spinal Cord Injury?

Spinal cord injuries (SCI) are among the most severe and life-altering injuries one can sustain. SCIs not only affect the physical capabilities of an individual but also have profound psychological, financial, and social implications. 

What Is A Spinal Cord Injury?

A spinal cord injury occurs when there is damage to any part of the spinal cord or the nerves at the end of the spinal canal (cauda equina). This damage can result in a loss of function, such as mobility or sensation, below the level of the injury. The spinal cord, a critical part of the central nervous system, is responsible for transmitting signals between the brain and the rest of the body. When this pathway is disrupted, the consequences can be severe and permanent.

Types of Spinal Cord Injuries

Spinal cord injuries are generally classified into two types:

Complete Injury

In a complete spinal cord injury, there is a total loss of motor and sensory function below the level of the injury. This means that the individual has no sensation or voluntary movement in the affected areas.

Incomplete Injury

In an incomplete injury, there is some preservation of motor or sensory function below the level of the injury. The extent of impairment can vary significantly from person to person, depending on the nature and location of the injury.

Common Causes of Spinal Cord Injuries

SCIs are commonly caused by various traumatic events, such as:

The Impact of Spinal Cord Injuries

The impact of a spinal cord injury extends far beyond physical limitations. Individuals with SCIs often face:

Medical Costs

The cost of medical care for spinal cord injuries is exorbitant. This includes emergency care, surgeries, ongoing rehabilitation, and necessary medical equipment like wheelchairs.

Loss of Income

Many SCI victims are unable to return to work or must switch to lower-paying jobs, resulting in a significant loss of income.

Emotional and Psychological Strain

Living with an SCI can lead to depression, anxiety, and other mental health challenges.

Altered Lifestyle

Daily life and routines are profoundly affected, requiring significant adjustments for both the victim and their family.

When Can You Sue for a Spinal Cord Injury?

You can sue for a spinal cord injury when the injury results from another party’s negligence, recklessness, or intentional misconduct. This often includes situations such as a car accident caused by a careless driver or a slip and fall due to unsafe conditions on someone else’s property.

To successfully file a lawsuit with the help of a White Plains medical malpractice attorney, you must establish that the responsible party had a duty of care, breached that duty, and directly caused your injury, resulting in significant damages (e.g., medical expenses, lost wages, pain and suffering, and other related costs).