After a motor vehicle collision or a slip and fall accident, hospitals and physicians often discharge people with a diagnosis of a back sprain or back strain. As the days turn into weeks, the pain often stays the same or gets worse. Doctors send their patients for physical therapy and eventually an MRI which finds disc damage between the spinal bones. The reality is that a back injury is often a permanent injury to the spinal column.
The spinal column is made up of 24 moveable vertebrae bones protecting the soft tissue within it. Just as a person’s brain is soft tissue, so is the spine. The spinal column is divided into three parts, the neck area called the cervical spine, the thoracic area which is the mid back, and the lumbar spine which is the lower back.
The spinal cord is central to the body’s internal communication system, a bundle of nerves running the length of the back and conveying signals between the brain and the rest of the body. Damage to this vital structure can disrupt or even prevent these signals from reaching their destination, with life-altering physical, emotional, and financial consequences. The brain communicates with one’s body through the spinal cord. And the body communicates pain back to the brain through the spinal cord. The brain, spinal cord, and nerves make up a person’s neurological system. So an injury to one’s spinal cord and discs between the vertebrae is a serious injury requiring not only competent and skilled doctors but also requires knowledgeable and skilled lawyers.
Few lawyers truly understand the severity of a back injury. Although spinal fractures sound serious, quite often the more serious injury is to the nerves leading to and from the spinal column or the spine itself. The injury lawyers at Davis, Saperstein & Salomon, P.C., help injured people sue for the maximum settlement dollars for their permanent spinal injuries, financial losses, pain and suffering, and past and future medical bills.
We have been delivering results for our clients since 1981 and are committed to helping injured people in New Jersey pursue the compensation they need for injuries that weren’t their fault. We also believe that financial circumstances should not prevent anyone from securing our services. That is why we charge no fees unless we win a settlement or a jury verdict at trial.
Let Davis, Saperstein & Salomon, PC, and its 28 licensed injury lawyers fight hard for the financial security you deserve. Contact us today for a no-obligation, free, confidential case review with one of our New Jersey spinal cord injury lawyers. We look forward to hearing your story and finding out how we can help.
Spine and Back Injuries in New Jersey
Spinal cord injuries usually result in some degree of disability. Our attorneys have handled cases of paraplegia, quadriplegia, and other types of paralysis. We consult with a wide range of medical experts and other specialists to determine the impact of the injury on your life and on your family.
Our in-house medical professionals can evaluate your case and monitor your medical treatment. We use our state-of-the-art mock courtroom to make sure our clients are fully prepared and to make certain we have prepared a compelling case for our clients. We even have used the Internet to allow paralyzed clients who could not be moved to participate remotely in their cases.
If you or a family member have suffered a spinal cord injury, contact the law firm with the necessary resources to handle your case. Reach out to the New Jersey office of Davis, Saperstein & Salomon, P.C., to schedule a free initial consultation to talk with an experienced spinal cord injury attorney.
Herniated Disc Injuries
People injured in car crashes and falls often suffer injuries to the discs in their neck and back. These injuries are commonly called herniated discs or ruptured discs, or even slipped discs, but they are all the same.
The medical term disc refers to the rubbery structure between the bones of the human spine. The disc serves as an important shock absorber. Inside each disc is a gel-like substance called the nucleus pulposus. It is protected and held in place by a tough ring called the annulus.
Herniation occurs when the annulus tears because of trauma, causing the disc material to leak. This causes pressure on the nerves, which causes pain. Disc injuries are permanent, and painful, and often require pain management injections or surgery to repair. People suffering disc injuries caused by another’s carelessness or negligence are entitled to sue and be paid monetary damages for their pain, suffering, and financial losses.
Dedicated to Providing the Highest Quality Representation to Accident Victims
Our clients come to us for justice in the form of money for their harm, losses, pain, and suffering from injuries suffered in incidents such as:
- Auto accidents
- Motorcycle accidents
- Boat and Jet Ski accidents
- Truck accidents
- Falls from scaffolds or ladders
- Construction site accidents
- Swimming pool accidents
- Sports and amusement park accidents
- On-the-job injuries covered by workers’ compensation
Our New Jersey lawyers help people with spinal cord injuries suffered in accidents like these. We also handle cases involving serious back injuries, many of which require multiple surgeries and can result in a lifetime disability. The cost of such serious injuries can be significant and includes medical bills, rehab, and durable medical equipment. In the case of both spinal cord injuries and back injuries, we work to obtain the money that accident victims need in order to recover from their injuries as fully as possible or to improve the quality of their lives.
If you or a loved one has been left with a spinal cord injury after an accident caused by negligence, contact an experienced lawyer with the knowledge and resources to help. At Davis, Saperstein & Salomon, P.C., we serve people from the New York metro area, including New Jersey communities such as Newark, Elizabeth, Paterson, Trenton, and Teaneck.
Spinal Cord Injury Statistics
The National Spinal Cord Injury Statistical Center estimates that nearly 18,000 new spinal cord injury cases are diagnosed yearly in the United States. Although the severity of spinal cord injuries can vary, many victims of severe spinal cord injuries suffer permanent paralysis.
Data from the New Jersey Commission on Spinal Cord Research indicates close to 300 New Jersey residents are diagnosed with traumatic injuries or diseases that damage the spinal cord every year.
The Christopher & Dana Reeve Foundation data shows that the lifetime costs associated with paraplegia can exceed $2 million, and the lifetime costs associated with quadriplegia can reach $5 million or more.
Common Causes of Spinal Cord Injuries
The United Spinal Association estimates the most common cause of spinal cord injuries is motor vehicle accidents, accounting for 39.3 percent of all spinal injuries in the U.S. Falls, violence, and sports injuries are also leading causes of spinal cord injuries. Other common causes of spinal cord injuries include:
- Workplace accidents
- Bicycle accidents
- Pedestrian accidents
- Swimming pool accidents
- Medical malpractice
- Nursing home neglect
Did you sustain a spinal cord injury in an accident caused by someone else? You could be entitled to significant compensation. Our experienced New Jersey spinal injury lawyer can review the circumstances surrounding your claim and advise you of your legal options.
Potential Short-Term and Long-Term Side Effects of Spinal Cord Injuries
The potential short-term and long-term complications associated with a spinal cord injury (SCI) vary depending on the severity of the injury. Medical professionals categorize spinal cord injuries into the two following types:
- Incomplete– An incomplete spinal cord injury occurs when the bundle of nerves protected by the spine suffers some damage but can still transmit messages back and forth between the body and the brain. In most incomplete SCI cases, patients retain some motor and sensory functions.
- Complete– A complete spinal cord injury occurs when the spinal cord suffers extensive damage or is completely severed. A complete SCI results in a total loss of communication between the brain and body below the injury site. Complete spinal cord injuries are permanent and typically result in some form of total paralysis and loss of function.
The short-term complications of an incomplete spinal cord injury can include some loss of mobility, motor function, and sensation. Many spinal cord injury sufferers experience significant pain and discomfort as they move toward recovery. The recovery process can be complicated, requiring extensive rehabilitation and occupational therapy.
The long-term complications of a complete spinal cord injury are much more profound. A complete SCI results in a total loss of function and sensation below the injury site. Complete SCIs are permanent since the nerves in the spinal cord cannot regenerate like other tissues when damaged.
How Do I Prove Liability for a Spinal Cord Injury? Primary vs. Secondary Negligence
Spinal cord injuries are often appropriately called catastrophic injuries. Proving cause and responsibility for an accident that causes a spinal cord injury requires a thorough investigation to uncover all possible contributing causes. The cause of the spinal injury often is not what it appears to be. An investigation often discovers that the primary event may not have caused the spinal cord injury. Secondary negligence either caused the injury, failed to protect a person from it, or failed to discover the injury. Here are some examples.
Example 1: Ralph is struck by a car while crossing the street. He is thrown 25 feet and hits his head on the ground fracturing his vertebrae. He is able to move his arms and legs and feel sensation. A police officer untrained in first aid decides to move him and pulls him off the road unaware of the fracture and disrupts the fracture into the spinal cord causing quadriplegia. The primary negligence may have been the auto collision, but the secondary negligence of the police officer caused the quadriplegia. The city employing the police officer may likely be responsible for the full measure of Ralph’s harms, losses, and damages.
Example 2: Sue was injured while skiing when another skier ran into her. She was later transported to a hospital where she gradually started to feel a loss of sensation in her legs. She continued to complain, yet it took 9 hours for the emergency room staff to examine her. She immediately required surgery; however, the surgery was too late and the damage was done. The primary negligence may have been the recklessness of the skier, but the secondary negligence was that of the hospital and they will likely be sued for medical malpractice.
Example 3: Jessica was stopped at a red light when a drunk truck driver struck the back of her car. The collision was so violent that the back of her seat broke. She suffered an injury to her spinal cord resulting in paraplegia. Although the drunk driver was the primary negligence, both the bar that overserved alcohol to the drunk driver and the manufacturer of the car with the poorly designed seat are secondarily responsible for her injuries. When sued for negligence four defendants may be held accountable: the driver, the bar, the trucking company, and the auto manufacturer.
Example 4: Emma, a high school senior, was invited to Nicole’s house for a pool party while Nicole’s parents were away for the weekend. At the party Emma served her friends alcohol while some of the boys went to a liquor store that sold 4 bottles of vodka to the underaged teens who served it to the girls. Emma decided to dive into the pool and suffered a fracture to her neck causing paralysis. The primary negligence may be Nicole’s parents as owners of the home and for their negligent supervision of their child. The secondary negligence will be the liquor store owner, the boys that brought the alcohol to the party, and the pool installer for lack of warnings. All defendants likely will be held accountable for Emma’s injuries.
Gathering the evidence to prove your case can be difficult when you’re already trying to recover from a life-changing injury. Our skilled New Jersey spinal cord injury lawyers are ready to investigate your case for you to recover valuable evidence before it is lost or destroyed.
Some possible sources of information and evidence that could strengthen your case include the following:
- Police reports
- Eyewitness statements
- Medical records
- Cell phone records
- Forensic analysis and expert testimony
The sooner you discuss your situation with our spinal cord injury attorneys, the sooner our professional legal team can build a compelling case demonstrating liability and your right to recover maximum compensation from the at-fault party.
What Compensation Can I Recover Through a Spinal Cord Injury Lawsuit?
At Davis, Saperstein & Salomon, P.C., our trained spinal cord injury lawyer understands that every case is unique. The value of your particular case can vary depending on several factors, including who or what caused the accident that injured you and the severity of your SCI.
Although all cases are different, many successful SCI claims include compensation for the following:
- Past, present, and future medical expenses
- Rehabilitation costs
- In-home assistance
- Accessibility modifications to the home and vehicles
- Lost past, present, and future income
- Loss of earning capacity
- Loss of quality of life
- Emotional distress
- Pain, suffering, and hardship
- Damages suffered by a spouse responsible for future care
Our legal team takes the time to closely review the circumstances of your case before calculating the full and fair value of your claim.
Is There a Deadline for Filing My Spinal Cord Injury Lawsuit?
Yes. You have limited time to file a personal injury lawsuit and seek compensation for a spinal cord injury in New Jersey. State law gives you two years from the accident date to file a civil lawsuit against an at-fault party. If you miss the deadline to file, the court will most likely dismiss your case, which means you lose your opportunity to seek compensation in court. However, the deadline to file for a minor is up to their 20th birthday. Special rules apply if a New Jersey city, county, or state employee such as a police officer, fireman, or EMT caused or contributed to the injury. These claims are called suits against public entities and they require legal action within the first 90 days by giving special notices call an Intention to file a Tort Claims Notice. Failure to follow this rule may likely result in the claim being dismissed.
To avoid problems with the statute of limitations for personal injuries in New Jersey, your best option is to contact a spinal cord injury lawyer at Davis, Saperstein & Salomon, P.C., as soon as possible. The sooner you contact our law firm, the sooner we can get started building a solid case for you.
Contact an Experienced New Jersey Spinal Cord Injury Lawyer
After a spinal cord injury, your life can change in profound ways. At Davis, Saperstein & Salomon, P.C., we know you need emotional support and sound legal advice now more than ever. Our compassionate team wants you to know we are here for you. We are committed to aggressively pursuing compensation for you so you can focus on your mental and physical health.
We have secured more than $800 million in verdicts and settlements for deserving clients across New Jersey and New York. Let us put our experience to work for you.
Contact our office today to arrange a free, confidential consultation and discuss your situation with our attentive team.