A vacation might be the last place you would expect to suffer a personal injury. Unfortunately, accidents do not wait until a convenient time for the victim. Traumatic spinal cord injuries and paralysis can result from any occurrence that crushes, fractures, dislocates or otherwise damages vertebrae, including:
- Automobile or truck accidents
- Motorcycle crashes
- Bicycle accidents
- Sports injuries
- Slip-and-fall situations
- Construction site accidents
- Boating accidents
- Work-related accidents
- Accidents aboard a cruise ship
Spinal cord injuries can also result from less-frequent events such as:
- Injury due to product defects
- Gunshot or knife wounds
- Bicycle accidents
- Airline crashes
The cruise ship injury attorneys at Lipcon, Margulies, Alsina & Winkleman, P.A. can help you understand your rights and legal options as an injured cruise ship passenger. We have experienced maritime law professionals who can review your case, identify the liable party, and help you file your claim for damages. We handle all cases with the utmost discretion and confidentiality. Contact us today to consult with a lawyer about your case.
Cruise ship passengers can suffer broken bones, contusions, head injuries, traumatic brain injuries, burns, serious illnesses, unintentional drowning injuries, and violence-related injuries. They may have to spend the rest of their vacation in the ship’s hospital, as well as thousands of dollars on medical bills. One of the most serious potential cruise ship injuries is damage to the spinal cord.
Neck Injuries, Spinal Cord Injuries, and Paralysis
Trauma to the spinal cord can result in lost or impaired function that can be temporary or permanent. Paralysis occurs when motor and sensory signals between the brain and the spinal cord are interrupted, resulting in diminished or lost mobility or feeling. The precise point on the spinal cord where the injury occurred is termed the “level of injury” or “lesion.”
From the level of injury on the spinal cord and below, physicians further classify the damage as complete or incomplete. This denotes whether the injured person has either suffered total loss (in the case of a “complete” injury) or some degree of diminished sensation and muscle strength. According to Wikipedia, recent studies show that people with “incomplete” injuries have over a 95% chance of recovering some degree of locomotion. There are two major classifications for paralysis:
- Paraplegia results from an injury in the spinal cord in the thoracic, lumbar, or sacral regions (below the first thoracic spinal nerve). The degree of loss or diminished mobility can vary depending on the injury, but typically affects the legs and abdominal region.
- Quadriplegia (also called tetraplegia) results from an injury higher up the spinal cord in the cervical region, with loss of muscle strength as well as feeling in both arms and both legs.
Linking a traumatic spinal cord injury to the responsible party who caused the accident is integral to your case. By identifying and working with subject-matter experts – including neurologists, neurosurgeons and orthopedic surgeons – Lipcon’s attorneys have developed highly effective methods for representing victims of neck and spinal cord injuries. If you suffered a spinal cord injury on a cruise ship, we can help.
Medical Resources & Information About SCI and Paralysis
The Christopher and Dana Reeve Foundation has created a significant resource-available in 8 languages–for people suffering from SCI and paralysis. Some of the site’s special features include:
- An extensive, illustrated online tutorial about the central nervous system and spinal cord damage, including a glossary of SCI terms.
- A special web page for the “newly paralyzed”-providing critical information for victims as well as family and friends who may be helping someone deal with the recent onset of paralysis.
- Local listings for SCI and paralysis facilities, where you can search within a specific radius of a zipcode or by state.
- A FREE “Paralysis Resource Guide” (PRG), a 336-page book that you can preview online. To order the guide, call 1-800-539-7309.
- Regular updates on new and ongoing SCI research projects.
- A free specialized web browser with various keyboard and mouse replacement alternatives to help people with physical limitations gain online access.
- A robust lending library of over 3,600 items–including books, videos, CDs, and magazines. Use their online catalog to search using a variety of criteria. Information is also available for children.
In addition, there are other notable resources for learning about or dealing with SCI injuries, paralysis, and rehabilitation.
Causes, Complications, and Stages of Treatment:
- The Mayo Clinic’s website provides easy-to-read information about the causes of spinal cord Injuries, complications that can result from SCI, and what to expect in the various stages of treatment
Choosing a Rehabilitation Center:
- BrainandSpinalChord.org provides recommendations about important factors to consider when selecting an SCI rehabilitation center
- www.SCI-Info-Pages.com has organized SCI rehabilitation centers in a state-by-state directory
Information and Support from Other Paralyzed SCI Victims:
Apparelyzed was founded in 1993 by Simon, a quadriplegic, who has created a very comprehensive resource. He provides well-written and well- organized content that includes:
- A medical overview with links to additional information about SCI, paralysis, and health issues.
- Discussion boards covering a wide range of topics, including spouse and career issues, sports for the disabled, and wheelchair-accessible holiday destinations.
Take advantage of our expertise in this complex yet sensitive area of the law, whether the incident happened on land or at sea. After you’ve reviewed some of our actual cases, give us a call at 877-233-1238 to schedule a free legal consultation.