Spinal Cord Injuries: What You Need to Know

The spinal cord plays a vital role in how the human body functions. It follows that any damage to this bundle of nerve tissues and support cells critical to the body’s central nervous system is a serious cause for alarm. Such an injury is sure to leave profound consequences that are sure to affect a person’s basic bodily functions, particularly causing issue to one’s motor, sensory, and automatic abilities.

According to the National SCI Statistical Center, roughly 276,000 people are currently living with a spinal cord injury or SCI in the United States. The average age for SCI patients since the year 2010 is at 42, and most of these patients are men. For majority of these patients, their spinal cord injury came as a result of having been involved in a devastating accident. Common causes of such an injury include car wrecks, slip and fall accidents, physical assault and other acts of violence, as well as accidents that occur while participating in contact sports.

An injury to the spinal cord is sure to cause some form of disability that may be temporary or permanent. In any case, patients that have been diagnosed with a spinal cord injury are sure to find their basic bodily functions and ability severely compromised. Paralysis is also a great concern. The Law Offices of Mazin & Associates notes on its website that severe damage to the spinal cord can lead to either paraplegia or quadriplegia.

Paraplegia refers to partial paralysis, where a patient loses function and control of the lower extremities. This happens when the lower part of a patient’s spinal cord is damaged. Meanwhile, quadriplegia refers to total paralysis, where a patient loses function and control of their torso and both upper and lower extremities. This is due to the fact that the area of damage is much higher up in the spinal cord, affecting a significant portion of the nerves and tissues vital for movement and control.

The consequences of spinal cord injuries move beyond physical control and abilities, as well. A lot of SCI patients also suffer from emotional and psychological trauma. On top of these issues, they also have to deal with the financial burden caused by their condition.

Top 6 Reasons for Car Accidents

Hundreds of car accidents occur in the U.S. every day. It is reported that up to 40,000 people are killed annually in car crashes. While there are a number of factors that cause these fatal accidents to occur, distracted drivers, driver fatigue, drunk driving, speeding, aggressive driving, and weather are the main six reasons for vehicle collisions.

Distracted driving includes a number of behaviors that remove the driver’s focus from the road. Common sources of distraction include electronic devices, other passengers in the vehicle, scenery, and other accidents on the road. Police officers often report multiple vehicle accidents occurring at once due to distracted drivers that “rubberneck” watching the initial accident, therefore causing another accident to occur.

Driving on the road while tired is dangerous and causes around 100,000 accidents every year according to the U.S. National Traffic Safety Administration. Exhausted drivers suffer from heavy eyelids, loss of concentration, and suddenly falling asleep behind the wheel. This dangerous situation endangers the driver and other vehicle operators or pedestrians in the surrounding area.

Drunk driving, speeding, and aggressive driving behaviors are all negligent driving habits that can lead to serious injuries or fatalities. Heavy consumption of alcohol severely inhibits necessary functions required to safely operate a vehicle. Speeding and aggressive driving further limits the driver’s control over the car and increases the likelihood and severity of injury of an accident occurring.

While the majority of car accidents are due to poor driving decisions, there are cases in which weather conditions are at fault for serious incidents. Rain, hail, snow, and heavy fog increase the difficulty to maneuver a vehicle on the road.

A victim of another driver’s negligence is due compensation for the emotional and physical injuries sustained in a car accident. The financial costs of car accidents are often thousands of dollars and injuries require extensive medical bills. If you or a loved one was involved in a car accident, consult a personal injury in your area to discuss your legal options.

Discrimination at Work

A California prison guard filed a lawsuit against the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation (CDCR) for discrimination at work based on his race and religion. The plaintiff is a Muslim and a native of Sudan, and alleges that he has been the recipient of racist and derogatory comments at work. He had filed a complaint with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) which he alleged aggravated the discrimination even more as retaliation. The U.S. Department of Justice did not act on the EEOC’s finding that discrimination may have occurred in the CDCR, which prompted corrections officer of 12 years to file a suit in federal court, seeking unspecified damages.

Workplace discrimination or any type of discrimination is considered a violation of an individual’s civil rights, and renders the tortfeasor (the individual or entity acting in a wrongful manner) liable in civil court. While the case above names a government entity as the defendant (this is allowed in California), civil rights violations are actionable in the private sector as well. In fact, discrimination is one of the few exceptions to the at-will employment regulations.

All US citizens are protected by the Constitution against discrimination in general, and workplace discrimination is a particularly touchy part of the law. However, proving discrimination in employment can be difficult, and plaintiffs are generally required to seek administrative relief by filing a case with the EEOC first prior to filing a case in civil court. This can take time, and many people are afraid to take action for fear of retaliation as alleged in the above case.

If you believe that you are a victim of discrimination because of your gender, race, religion, or any of the protected classes of people, then you may be able to get compensation for it.

Regain Control of your Financial Future through Chapter 7 Bankruptcy

A sudden major change in one’s financial situation due probably to loss of job or the need to pay child and/or spousal support can be financially crippling, especially if you are paying a mortgage, credit card bills and others bills on top of monthly utility charges. This is a very common scenario involving thousands of American wage earners, who end up being faced with overwhelming debts.

A debt crisis is a major stress, and unless one finds an acceptable way of rising up from surmounting debts, this crisis will continually haunt the person through phone calls at home at the most inconvenient hour of the day or at the office demanding to speak with you to ask you to pay your debts, emails and text messages, and letters from collection firms warning you of the possible lawsuit you can be faced with if you do not start paying immediately.

Those are just some of the harassing tactics employed by creditors, collection firms and agents to make you pay. Scary and embarrassing, definitely! Yet, this proved effective, at least before, when many never knew that there are legal ways that will not only save them from the debts, but which will also put a stop to all forms of harassment; one of these is through Bankruptcy.

Bankruptcy is a legal declaration (either by an individual or by a business firm) of the inability to further pay debts that have worsened to an unmanageable amount. It is one of the legal means that will help individuals (and businesses) rise up from debts and regain control over their finances.

There are different chapters in the Bankruptcy law, each designed to address the specific needs and financial situation of the individual. With the help of a knowledgeable and experienced bankruptcy lawyer, one can effectively assess his/her financial situation and choose the right bankruptcy chapter that can erase some of his/her debts (dischargeable debts, such as personal loans, credit card bills and medical bills which the court may release you from) and render paying the non-dischargeable ones (like alimony, child support, student loans, court fines, and mortgage) in a more affordable scheme.

One particular bankruptcy chapter that a person may be advised to file is Chapter 7. Chapter 7 of the Bankruptcy law can immediately stop all forms of harassment and save the person from all debts to enable him/her to start a new financial life.

Chapter 7, which is a liquidation bankruptcy, is best for people who own a business or who have properties, but whose salary or income falls below this chapter’s stipulated limit. While the court may erase the person’s dischargeable debts, the liquidation of some of his/her properties would be required in order to pay the non-dischargeable loans.

After a court-appointed trustee sells the properties that the debtor is willing to give up, he will then distribute the amount earned to the creditors in payment of the debts; whatever remains from the amount will be returned to the debtor.

Before qualifying for Chapter 7 bankruptcy, however, the applicants will need to take a means test to ensure that his/her income is not above the limit prescribed by this chapter. The business owned by the debtor (if he/she runs a business) may also be required to discontinue operations (unless otherwise decided by the appointed trustee) as the company’s assets will need to be sold.

Other Side Effects of Xarelto

Uncontrollable bleeding is the most common cause of severe injuries that drive patients that have been prescribed with the anticoagulant drug Xarelto (rivaroxaban) to file personal injury lawsuits against US distributor Janssen Ortho LLC, a division of Johnson & Johnson, and German manufacturer Bayer Corp. However, there are other side effects that occur less commonly but can nonetheless be severe and can cause harm or injury. Some of these other side effects of Xarelto that may be severe can be found on the website of lawyers Williams Kherkher but these are still manifestations of bleeding.

Side effects that may not necessarily be caused by bleeding include:

  • Back pain
  • Bowel or bladder dysfunction
  • Tingling sensation
  • Breathing or swallowing difficulties
  • Dizziness
  • Headaches
  • General weakness or numbness
  • Painful urination
  • Blurred vision
  • Fever
  • Halitosis

Some of these side effects may dissipate over time and would not require medical intervention. However, there is no question that these can affect quality of life even if they are not in themselves life-threatening. Consultation with the prescribing physician is recommended, who may then decide if alternative medication is necessary.

Xarelto is part of a class of anticoagulants that act on the factor Xa (10-a) of the coagulation cascade, preventing the formation of blood clots. It is approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for patients who are recovering from hip or knee replacement surgery, suffer from atrial fibirillation, or at risk for deep vein thrombosis or pulmonary embolism. Janssen is currently looking to expand approval to include three other medical conditions but FDA has so far denied the application. In light of the lawsuits being filed for Xarelto, which has no reversal agent to circumvent uncontrollable bleeding, this circumspection is perhaps not surprising. If you have suffered Xarelto side effects that have led to serious injury or harm, you may be eligible to file a lawsuit yourself.