Head, Back & Spinal Cord Injuries

Spinal Cord Injury Lawyer in New Jersey

Back Injury - Neck Injury - Spine Injury

Neck, back, and/or spinal cord injuries can be devastating, often requiring extensive and lifelong medical care. At the Murgatroyd Law Group, our firm provides thorough and attentive representation to clients and families that have been affected by a back injury, neck injury, or spine injury.

The spinal cord is the largest nerve in the body. It is approximately 18 inches long and runs from the base of the brain, down the middle of the back, to the waist. The spinal cord is made up of nerve fibers. These nerve fibers are responsible for the body's communication systems, which include sensory, motor, and autonomic functions. Sensory function means the ability to feel sensations, like pain. Motor function is the ability to voluntarily move your body. Autonomic functions are involuntary body functions, like the ability to sweat and breathe. Around the nerve fibers are protective bone segments called the vertebral column or the spinal column.

A spinal cord injury is any serious injury of the nerve elements within the spinal cord. Most spinal cord injuries result from trauma to the vertebral column. This can affect the spinal cord's ability to send and receive messages from the brain to the parts of the body that control sensory, motor, and autonomic functions. The effect on the body depends on the location and severity of the spinal cord injury. Usually, the nerves above the injury site continue to function normally, but the nerves below do not.

A spinal cord injury can be "complete" or "incomplete."

  • A "complete" spinal cord injury is where the nerve damage obstructs all signals coming from the brain to the body parts below the injury site.
  • An "incomplete" spinal cord injury is where the nerve damage only affects some of those signals.

The closer the injury is to the brain, the greater the loss of feeling and function. A person with paraplegia has lost feeling and is unable to move the lower parts of the body. A person with tetraplegia (formerly known as quadriplegia) has lost feeling and is unable to move both the upper and lower parts of the body. In some cases, the spinal cord is only bruised or swollen and the nerves may begin to work again.

In addition to affecting the spinal cord, back and neck injuries can consist of broken vertebrae, herniated or bulging discs and sprained or strained ligaments and muscles.

When a herniated disc presses on a nerve root, a person will experience pain. In low back herniated disc cases, the person will often experience a sharp, shooting pain in the low back. The pain will often radiate into the lower leg (sometimes both legs). A person may also experience numbness or tingling or burning in the legs and feet. In the case of an upper back or neck herniation, the same symptoms will occur, except the person will experience those symptoms traveling from the upper back into the arms and hands.

Like traumatic brain injury, the leading causes of spinal cord, back, and neck injuries are motor vehicle crashes, falls, and sport-related accidents. The key to reducing injuries to your neck, back, or spinal cord is through prevention.

Free Consultation

If you or someone you care about has been the unfortunate victim of a back, neck or spinal cord injury, contact our staff at the Murgatroyd Law Group today to schedule your free consultation.