The LeadersIn Maritime Law


Work-Related Spinal Cord Injuries

Paraplegia is a condition that some people suffer from after their spines have been severely injured. The spinal cord is basically a column of extremely sensitive nerves that control both the feeling and the motion of all the body's limbs. If these nerves are damaged, a person can lose the ability to feel as well as the ability to move their arms and legs. With paraplegia, it is a total or partial loss of function of just the lower extremities.

Quadriplegia is a total or partial loss of function in all of the extremities. Although injury is not the only cause of this condition, it is the primary one. With rehabilitation, some people with paraplegia can even walk. This is because some people retain control over their leg muscles, although extremely weakened. Many of those people who have lost function of their legs are confined to wheelchairs for the duration of their lives.

The spine is broken up into four different sections. The uppermost section is the neck and those are labeled as the C1 through the C8. The next section of the spine is T1 through T12. Injuries to the spinal column that occur as high as the T1 can cause paraplegia. The next section is the sacral region which is labeled L1 through L5. Finally, there is the S1 through the S5. The "T" stands for thoracic, and any injury that occurs here or below has the potential to cause paraplegia although T1 through T8 injuries most commonly affect the arms and hands.

How Paraplegia is Treated

Due to the fact that this type of spinal cord injury directly affects the lower extremities, it can even mean that a person has to be hooked up to a catheter or confined to a bed pan because they have lost function of their bowels and urinary functions. Paraplegics are confined to sitting or lying down which could mean they are more prone to bed sores and thrombosis. This is why rehabilitative activities are necessary. Such an extreme injury may leave people feeling hopeless, but there are some treatments that could improve health. Many people after rehabilitation have regained some function, but this must be done with vigilance.

Together with the brain, the spinal cord makes up the Central Nervous System. This is the system by which the entire body operates. All sensation originates from this highway of nerves. Sensation is interpreted through these nerves, so if the nerves are damaged, then a person can lose the ability to feel. The reasoning behind paraplegia rehabilitation is again reuniting the brain with the limbs. Since the spinal cord is the medium by which the brain interprets sensation from the limbs, spinal cord damage means that the brain has to re-learn its role.

Did you know that the main purpose of spinal vertebrae is to protect the nerves that lie beneath? If these vertebrae are crushed or fractured in any way, the sensitive nerves are exposed. Depending on the extent of that trauma, the injury will be more or less severe. There are 33 vertebrae in the average human back, 31 pairs of nerves, and 40 muscles that run down our backs. This complicated system can be thrown off balance by a spinal cord injury. Aggressive rehabilitation may be able to restore some function, but it may only be made possible if the medical expenses are provided for. If your accident took place while working, Arnold & Itkin may be able to help.

Types of Injuries

Information Center

Maritime Information

  • September 14 2023

    What Happens to the Environment After an Oil Spill?

  • September 13 2023

    Is Benzene Exposure Dangerous for Offshore Workers?

  • August 29 2023

    Smart Hard Hats & Offshore Head Injury Protection

What is it Like To Work With Arnold & Itkin

Arnold & Itkin represented nearly a third of the crewmembers injured in the Deepwater Horizon explosion.

I encountered professionalism, understanding, compassion… lot of compassion. They really felt for what me and my wife were going through.
~ Deepwater Horizon Crew Member

Work with a lawyer who truly understands Maritime Law.

Because maritime law is so complex and so complicated, it is crucial that you work with an attorney who has an in-depth understanding of how it works and who has proven themselves in similar cases before.

Related Maritime Videos
  • Arnold & Itkin has represented offshore workers nationwide and has recovered billions of dollars. Watch this video to learn how and why that matters.

  • Arnold & Itkin has achieved record-setting verdicts for offshore workers across the country, representing survivors and victims of the nation’s biggest offshore tragedies.

  • At Arnold & Itkin, our success can be traced to one core belief that we've held throughout the years: every case is personal to our team.

  • At Arnold & Itkin, we pride ourselves on giving our clients access to the best lawyers and best legal team possible. Because that's how you get the best results.

  • Our founding partners have worked together for more than a decade.

  • We know this a difficult time. Let us help.

Discuss Your Legal Rights & Options

Free Case Evaluation

  • Please enter your first name.
  • Please enter your last name.
  • Please enter your email address.
  • Please enter your phone number.
  • Please make a selection.