Healing from bodily injuries can take a lot of time and can be financially costly. For injuries to the spine, the damage is often among the most severe and serious of injuries. This is because injuries to the spinal cord tend to affect the nerves that relay messages between the brain and body, which can cause complications leading to loss of day-to-day functions, muscle spasms, and even paralysis. The spinal cord is the major bundle of nerves carrying impulses to and from the brain to the rest of the body. When trauma to the backbone occurs, which can sever the spinal cord, cause fractures and compressions of the vertebrae, and destroy nerves, the range of damage and subsequent injury can vary greatly. Symptoms of this type of injury, as with most injuries, depend on the location of the injury on the body and its severity. The area below where the injury occurred on the spinal cord will dictate where the beginning of loss of mobility or sensation and other symptoms are. Severity of injury is categorized as either complete, when almost all feeling and ability to control movement is lost, or incomplete, when an individual still has some motor or sensory function below the area of injury. Regardless of whether a spinal cord injury is complete or incomplete, it can be extremely painful, greatly affect the quality of someone’s life, and lead to permanent disability.
Spinal cord injuries result from direct trauma to the nerves or indirect damage to the bones or tissue surrounding the spinal cord. The majority of these injuries, specifically forty-six percent (46%), occur due to motor vehicle accidents. Falls account for another twenty-two percent (22%) with falls by those over sixty-five years old making up the majority. Another sixteen percent (16%) of spinal injuries come from violence including gunshot and knife wounds, twelve percent (12%) are due to sports incidents, and the rest are made up by uncategorized causes.
Injury and damage to the spinal cord is irreversible. Researchers are continually working on new treatments, including prostheses and medication that can promote nerve cell regeneration or improve the function of nerves, but at the moment, there is no real guaranteed treatment or cure. Psychological damages can also occur as victims struggle to cope with their injury. Ongoing care can help prevent secondary problems from the injury, such as deconditioning muscle contractures, ulcers, respiratory infections and blood clots, but the current irreversibility of this type of injury and the seriousness of spinal cord injuries make it all the more severe. Additionally, the treatment and care of spinal cord injury victims is very expensive. The annual medical cost can range from $15,000.00 to $30,000.00 per year. This calculates to $500,000.00 to $3 million in estimated lifetime costs depending on severity of the injury.
The financial burden as well as the serious nature of spinal injuries can cause many difficulties for victims, their families, and their loved ones. Our law firm handles cases involving physical injuries on a contingency fee basis, which means no legal fees are owed if we do not obtain compensation on your behalf. If you or someone close to you has suffered a spinal injury that you believe was due to the negligence or fault of someone else, please call us at Willoughby Brod, LLP for a free case evaluation, right away. A spinal cord injury claim or lawsuit could help you obtain the funds you need to pay for current and future medical and rehabilitation needs, and to help recover the compensation you deserve.