The month of September is Spinal Cord Injury Awareness Month, and The Becker Law Firm is proud to play a part in helping promote a greater quality of life for people with disabilities resulting from injuries to the spinal cord.
Designated by the U.S. Senate, National SCI Awareness Month also encourages education through sharing information about spinal cord injuries, their potential for severe and lasting effects, and the need to support treatments and resources for victims.
What Is a Spinal Cord Injury?
Spinal cord injuries are typically caused by sudden, traumatic blows to the spine. Most injuries don’t completely severe the spinal cord, but instead cause fractures or compressions of the vertebrae that damage axons, the nerve cells which transport signals up and down the spinal cord and allow us to control our limbs and essential movements.
Depending on whether an injury damages a few, many, or nearly all of these vital nerve cells, victims may completely recover or may experience paralysis. This includes:
- Complete paraplegia (paralysis of the lower body and legs)
- Incomplete paraplegia (with some function below injury)
- Quadriplegia (complete or incomplete) (paralysis of all four limbs)
Complications caused by spinal cord injuries include:
- Irregular heartbeat and low blood pressure
- Blood clots
- Pressure sores
- Bowel and bladder problems
- Problems with sexual function
Spinal Cord Injury Statistics
- There are more than 12,000 new cases of spinal cord injury each year in the U.S.
- Motor vehicle accidents account for over 46% of spinal cord injuries.
- Other leading causes of spinal cord injuries include falls, violence, and sports injuries.
- Spinal cord injuries are most common among adults ages 16-30, and among males, who account for nearly 81% of all reported cases.
The Cost of Living With a Spinal Cord Injury
Spinal cord injuries have an overwhelming potential for creating long-term if not life-long setbacks in victims’ lives, particularly when it comes to the costs of living with such an injury.
According to the Christopher and Dan Reeves foundation, there are many expenses associated with spinal cord injuries:
- First year: Victims may face extensive costs associated with medical treatment required in the first year of their spinal cord injuries, ranging from $300,000 to over $1 million in medical bills for direct medical treatment, recovery and rehabilitation, and new medical needs.
- Yearly expenses: Beyond the first year, victims face tens of thousands of dollars in medical expenses, and as much as $100,000 per year annually for the most severe forms of paralysis.
- Lifetime costs: Living with a spinal cord injury is costly. The average 25-year-old can face expenses anywhere from $1.5 million to $5 million or more over the course of his or her life.
- Lost wages: Many spinal cord injury victims are unable to perform the same work they did prior to their accidents. Calculating lost wages and lost future earnings is different for every individual, but can add up to significant sums over the course of years – especially if victims are unable to work and earn any meaningful wages.
A Firm That Fights for the Seriously Injured
The Becker Law Firm has earned national recognition for our work in complex personal injury and medical malpractice lawsuits involving seriously injured victims. This includes victims who’ve suffered spinal cord injuries due to:
- Preventable car accidents
- Chiropractic malpractice
- Birth injuries, including mechanical trauma
- Surgical errors during spinal procedures
- Intubation errors that damage the spinal cord
- Failures to immobilize the spine after an accident
Our attorneys know victims with severe injuries face considerable physical, financial, and emotional damages, as well as extensive future needs. This is why we devote extensive resources to litigating their claims and pursuing the maximum compensation possible.
If you or someone you love has suffered a spinal cord injury and would like to learn more about your right for pursuing a recovery of your damages, contact us to speak confidentially with a lawyer.