Construction-related paralysis typically occurs due to severe damage to the spinal column within a person’s back. The spine contains bundles of nerves responsible for physical sensation and movement throughout much of the body, including arms, legs, and torso. If the spine is damaged so severely that nerves within it are severed or traumatically crushed, then paralysis can occur as a result of the injury. Certain types of construction accidents are more likely to cause this type of injury or paralysis than others, so special caution should be taken to avoid these situations.
Slips and falls are among the most common types of accidents on a New York construction site, and a serious fall can cause spinal damage and paralysis. Falls from great heights onto hard surfaces, especially if a person lands on his or her back, can result in severe damage to the spine. Slips and falls on stairs can be especially dangerous, since a person is likely to fall backwards and have the corner of a step strike the back and spine.
Impacts from heavy machinery, such as forklifts, can also result in spinal damage and paralysis. A direct blow to the back from a large and powerful machine can cause enough blunt-force trauma to crush the bones of the spine and damage the nerves within. This type of injury may not seem catastrophic at first, since there may not be a noticeable wound, but the internal damage can still be very severe.
Falling objects such as collapsing scaffolding or cranes can also strike a person in a way that causes neck and spine injuries. A direct blow to the neck, or impact on the shoulders, can damage the nerves within the spine at that location. Injuries so high up on a person’s body can result in complete paralysis from below the neck, which makes day-to-day living quite difficult and can end up being very expensive.
When one of these types of accidents occurs, with damage to a person’s neck or back, it is very important to not move the person if at all possible. While it may be necessary to remove someone from additional danger if there are falling objects, it is otherwise best not to move someone who has suffered a spinal injury. Sudden motion and shocks can result in additional or worse injuries.
If you or someone you know has suffered a paralysis-related construction accident, then you need a lawyer to represent you and protect your rights. At Wingate, Russotti, Shapiro, Moses & Halperin, LLP, we have experience in personal injury and worksite accidents. Call us today at (212) 986-7353 to go over your case and explore the options available to you.