Spinal cord injuries are among the most devastating injuries to experience. Both the victim and family suffer financially as well as emotionally in an accident that can become life-altering in an instant.
Your spinal cord injury is likely to result in costly medical and living expenses for years to come, if not for the rest of your life. Receiving fair compensation for your injuries is vital to the financial future of you and your family.
Contact our personal injury lawyers at Nunez & Associates, where we’ll work aggressively and diligently to get a fair judgment for your injuries.
Types of Spinal Cord Injuries
Spinal cord injuries are either complete or incomplete. The extent of injury varies widely and is dependent on the level of the spinal cord that was traumatized, as well as the specific area of the injury.
“Incomplete” refers to an incomplete lesion or partial damage to the cord. Some sensory or motor function remains. Some victims may have some feeling, but little to no function or movement. The effects depend on where the lesion occurred: anterior, posterior, central, or injury to nerves.
A “complete” spinal cord injury means that the victim is a quadriplegic. The victim has complete and total loss of any ability to send and receive sensory and motor nerve impulses to the muscles. Bladder, bowel and sexual function are permanently lost.
Spinal cord injuries include:
- Crushed vertebrae
- Compressed vertebrae
- Fractured vertebrae
- Blow to the spine
- Cut of the cord by knife or bullet
- Complications from Spinal Cord Injuries
- Spinal cord injury victims suffer a variety of complications:
- Pneumonia and asthma from respiratory difficulties
- Blood clots from reduced blood flow due to immobility
- Pressure sores
- Slow heart rate and very low blood pressure
- Urinary and bowel difficulties
- Nerve or neuropathic pain
- Sexual impotence
- Extreme depression
Statistics from the National Spinal Cord Injury Statistical Center indicate the following:
- Auto accidents are the leading cause of spinal cord injuries followed by falls, acts of violence and sports or recreational accidents
- There are 12,500 new spinal cord cases each year
- 80% of spinal cord accident victims are male
- The average age of injury is 42 years old
- Over 99% of victims suffering a spinal cord injury have a permanent residual injury of some kind, such as partial loss of motor or sensory function
- After one year post-injury, only 12% of victims are back to work
- Life expectancy is significantly decreased for spinal cord injury victims
- Average lifetime medical costs range from $1.5 million to $4.5 million
- The average age of victims has increased over the years from 29 to 42.
Bringing a claim based on a spinal cord injury can be complex. Of course, in any injury case, liability must first be established. A skilled personal injury lawyer can explore potentially responsible parties, which can result in increased compensation, before tackling the issues in proving catastrophic damages to the maximum amount available.
In many of these cases, victims are left with insufficient compensation because of the enormous medical and assistive living costs. However, an experienced attorney can help you navigate your personal injury claim to make sure you receive the appropriate award for your damages.