Common Spinal Injuries

Your precious spinal cord is a bundle of nerves that controls your body’s movement between the brain and the rest of your body. SCI, or acute spinal cord injury, is a common trauma that can bruise, partially tear, or completely tear the spinal cord, leading to permanent disability.

Note: A complete spinal injury means there is no movement or sensation below the injury, while, with an incomplete injury, there is still some degree of feeling.

The two most common types of spinal injuries are:

  • Quadriplegia: Also known as tetraplegia, it’s the loss of movement and function in the arms and legs, including hands, trunk, and pelvic organs.
  • Paraplegia: the loss of function in the legs and lower body

In addition to the two above broad overviews of spinal cord injuries, there are more specific “levels” of spinal cord injuries that can occur. The level of spine injury describes the point along the spinal column/cord where the injury occurred. The higher the point of injury (closer to the brain stem), the more serious it will be. The vertebrae are divided into five regions, and these regions are used to describe the level of spinal injury. The five regions of the spine that can suffer injury are:

  • Cervical – most likely resulting in quadriplegia
  • Thoracic – typically resulting in either quadriplegia or paraplegia
  • Lumbar – commonly resulting in paraplegia
  • Sacrum – will likely cause paralysis or weakness in the legs and hips
  • Coccyx – will cause severe discomfort while sitting and strained bowel movements

Any injury that requires advanced medical attention, surgery, or treatment/therapy to the spine can be deemed to be a spinal injury. You can be set back physically and financially from a spinal injury. Proper compensation for all damages is necessary and this includes medical treatment and rehab expenses, lost wages, and pain and suffering.

Common Causes of Spinal Injuries

According to a recent report from the National Spinal Cord Injury Statistical Center (NSCISC), approximately 296,000 people are living with SCI in the United States. The average age at injury has increased from 29 years old during the 1970s to age 43 since 2015. The NSCISC further researched spinal cord injury cases over a four-year time frame to find that these were the most common causes:

  • Motor vehicle accidents (cars, motorcycles, pedestrian)
  • Falls from different heights
  • Sports and recreation injuries
  • Diving accidents
  • Trampoline accidents
  • Violent crimes (gunshot or stabbing)
  • Medical or surgical negligence
  • Infections on the spinal cord
  • Injuries at birth

Any wide range of events can cause a spinal injury. There is never a certain type of accident that determines if an injury may be classified as spinal injury. If you have sustained any long-term and debilitating injury or deformity in a serious accident, then you are owed proper compensation.

Seeking Compensation for a Spinal Injury

The severity of the spinal cord injury will determine the costs and amount of compensation you may be owed. Most spinal cord injuries require extensive treatment, and the bill can be astronomical. The U.S. average cost in the first year of a spinal injury can range from $340, 787 to $1,044,097 and the cost of treatment for subsequent years can be anywhere from $41,393 to $181, 328.

The treatments and costs that go into these figures above include:

  • Immediate care
  • Surgical costs
  • Rehabilitation
  • Assistive devices
  • Living needs
  • Medication

Additional costs should also be considered when suffering a spinal injury. Those costs should include loss of income, inability to earn future wages, and pain and suffering. If the spinal injury occurred at work, you can file both a workers’ compensation claim and a private lawsuit. In the workers’ compensation claim, you are not able to recover from pain and suffering.

We are Here to Help

A spinal cord injury attorney can help fight for your rights and get the compensation you deserve. If you have suffered a spinal cord injury at the hands of someone’s negligence or misconduct, you are entitled to receive just compensation for your medical costs and more. Spinal cord injuries are one of the most expensive medical costs to incur.

The NSCISC also reported that, after a spinal cord injury, the first-year cost of medical care can range from nearly $370,000 to more than $1 million, and, unfortunately, those costs continue long-term. Our Norristown, PA spinal cord injury attorneys at The Weitz Firm are here to help you claim the maximum amount of this money.

We will deep dive into your case, taking advantage of our resources to investigate the cause and research your costs to modify a home or vehicle to accommodate your injury, the costs of medical devices you now need for mobility, any travel expenses to visit spinal cord injury specialists, loss of income, and the immeasurable emotional and mental suffering you and your family are experiencing as a result. We are here to help as soon as possible. Call our offices at 267-587-6240 to get a free consultation.

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