Spinal Cord Injuries
Every hour of the day, someone suffers a new spinal cord injury. That means upwards of 18,000 people across the country are forced to deal with the harsh news that a traumatic injury will have life-altering impacts. If you are facing a future that has been transformed by a spinal cord injury, you may be anxious about the changes ahead. If your injury was the result of someone else’s negligence or recklessness, you may also have a healthy dose of anger. Was the accident due to a distracted or impaired driver? Was a stairwell poorly lit, leading to a serious fall? Did an intruder assail you? In instances like this, a local personal injury attorney can help.
Types of Spinal Cord Injuries
There are four main types of injury that can occur along the spine. Each has different effects:
- Cervical Injuries: These injuries impact areas above the shoulders, such as the neck and head;
- Thoracic Injuries: Abdominal muscles, as well as the middle of the back and the upper chest are impacted by these injuries;
- Lumbar Injuries: One’s legs and hips are affected by these injuries;
- Sacral Injuries: Organs in the pelvic area, as well as the backs of the legs are disturbed by these injuries.
Severity of Injuries
There is no such thing as a minor spinal cord injury, but some injuries are more debilitating than others. A complete injury results in permanent damage, resulting in paralysis. Incomplete injuries, however, may leave patients with some feeling and movement, based on the severity of the injury and the individual’s health prior to the injury. In some cases, complications from injuries may lead to early death. Historically, renal failure was a leading cause of death. Medical advances have improved in this area, and currently pneumonia and sepsis are more frequently connected to fatalities.
Causes of These Injuries
Spinal cord injuries occur due to severe trauma, most often the result of motor vehicle accidents. Falls, violent acts, and sports injuries follow in frequency of issues that cause this type of damage.
Costs Associated with Spinal Cord Injuries
Depending on the severity of the trauma, costs range from roughly $350,000 to over $1 million in the first year. Subsequent costs decline, to between $45,000 and $200,000 annually. For a 25-year old afflicted with a spinal cord injury, lifetime costs easily top $1 million, and can be five times that amount in some cases.
While nearly 60 percent of individuals report working during the period when the injury occurred, just over 10 percent are employed within one year of the injury. Roughly one-third have jobs within twenty years.
Dealing With the News
The incredible courage and strength needed to move forward following this type of injury is impossible to put into words. If you or a loved one is facing this battle, your focus should be on moving forward. At the Salazar & Kelly Law Group, P.A., our Kissimmee spinal cord injury attorneys will focus on bringing errant drivers, landlords, or assailants to justice and working to collect the damages you deserve to find success. Contact our office to schedule a free, confidential consultation today.