Spinal cord injuries and brain trauma are among the most serious injuries a person can sustain. More than 12,000 spinal cord injuries are sustained across the nation every year, and at any given time there are more than 300,000 people living in America with a serious spinal cord injury. More than three-fourths of all these injuries are experienced by males, most of them younger than 28. Nearly half of all spinal cord injuries are the result of motor vehicle accidents, followed by falls, acts of violence and injuries from recreational sporting activities.
Victims of a serious spinal cord injury are likely to spend more than a month in the ICU, and will undergo a minimum of three months in a rehabilitation unit. Costs associated with spinal cord injuries will, of course, vary according the level of injury, however for a paraplegia injury, initial medical expenses are well over $300,000. The estimated lifetime costs for a victim of paraplegia is well over a million dollars.
The spinal cord averages about 18 inches and stretches from the base of the skull to the waist. Paraplegia injuries result from damage to the spinal cord and cause the loss of muscle movement in the lower extremities while a quadriplegia or tetraplegia injury results in loss of muscle movement in everything below the neck. If a spinal cord injury is suspected, the patient should not be moved until medical personnel arrive. Some of the symptoms of a spinal cord injury include:
Immobilization is the first line of defense when an injury to the spinal cord is possible, preferably at the scene of the accident in order to minimize the damage to the spinal cord. Those who have suffered a spinal cord injury are at a much greater risk for developing pneumonia. In some cases, once the patient is immobilized, the swelling may reduce in the spinal cord area and muscle movement may be regained.
Injuries to the spinal cord can change lives in a mere heartbeat; nearly 7% of spinal cord injury victims must reside in a hospital or group home permanently following their accident, and another almost 6% are confined to a nursing home forever. While more than 60% of spinal cord accident victims were employed at the time of their accident, a year after the accident only 11% of those are still employed. As you can imagine, spinal cord injury victims will face astronomical medical expenses. Often the expenses easily outpace the limits of the victim’s health insurance, leaving them responsible for the remainder of the expenses, which can last a lifetime.
The only way to counteract these expenses is for your Denver personal injury attorney to seek equitable compensation through a lawsuit against the negligent party in your accident. Depending on the circumstances surrounding your accident as well as the extent of your injuries, your attorney may ask for long-term medical expenses as well as future lost wages in addition to current medical expenses and lost wages. Pain and suffering compensation is likely to be a factor, and, depending on the how your accident occurred, you could be entitled to punitive damages as well. If you or a loved one has suffered an injury to your spinal cord, you need experienced, knowledgeable help from an aggressive personal injury attorney whose goal is to protect your rights and your future.
If you or someone you love has sustained a spinal cord injury in an accident, it is important to know the complications and costs you could be facing in the future. An experienced Denver personal injury lawyer can help you assess all of your legal options. Contact the law firm of Fuicelli & Lee, PC, for a free case evaluation. You pay nothing unless you receive a financial settlement or award. Call our office at 303-355-7202 or fill out our confidential contact form at coloradoinjurylaw.com/contact-us.
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