Catastrophic Spinal Cord Injuries Devastate Thousands of Lives Every Year
Posted on Jun 22, 2018 in Personal Injury
You wake up one morning, walk down your stairs, make yourself some coffee, play with your kids, and get in your car to head off to work. Then, without warning, a distracted driver plows into you. Suddenly, those routine day-to-day activities, basic tasks, and simple pleasures are no longer part of your life. The other driver’s negligence has severely injured your spinal cord. When the shock and pain recede, if they ever do, you are left with overwhelming challenges and a lifetime of struggles you could have never imagined.
A Spinal Cord Injury Changes Everything
Almost all of our physical functioning depends on a working spinal cord. It is the mechanism through which our brain communicates with the rest of our body, transmitting the messages which facilitate all of our movements.
When the spinal cord is injured or broken, the parts of the body controlled by the affected area may lose their ability to function, leaving the victim paralyzed and unable to move their torso or limbs. This paralysis can leave the lower extremities non-functioning (quadriplegia) or disable all four limbs (paraplegia).
Spinal cord injuries change everything for victims and their families. Loved ones’ lives are never again fully their own, as they adapt to the overwhelming realities and responsibilities of caring for someone with severe physical limitations which keep them from earning a living or caring for themselves. Add financial burdens, intense and potentially life-long treatment and rehabilitation, and the emotional and psychological trauma which follows in the wake of a spinal cord injury, and it is easy to see why these injuries are particularly insidious and catastrophic.
A Tragically Common, Costly and Catastrophic Injury
Tragically, thousands of American lives are upended and forever-changed every year these because of spinal cord injuries. According to the National Spinal Cord Injury Statistical Center:
- Every year, approximately 17,700 Americans suffer a new spinal cord injury.
- Approximately 288,000 Americans are currently living with a spinal cord injury.
- The average costs of the first year of treatment for those suffering from paraplegia are $537,271. Every year after that, those costs average $71,172.
- Average expenses for individuals with quadriplegia are approximately $1 million in the first year and $184,000 every following year.
- Just 11.7% of people with a spinal cord injury return to work within one year after the injury. 20 years post-injury, that figure remains low, at 35.2%.
- The average life expectancy for individuals with spinal cord injuries is significantly shorter than life expectancies of those without such spinal cord injuries.
Causes of Spinal Cord Injuries
By a wide margin, automobile accidents are the largest cause of spinal cord injuries, followed by slips and falls, acts of violence, and sports and recreational injuries.
While not all spinal cord injuries are the result of negligence, many do involve the reckless conduct or intentional acts of others, whether they are a distracted or intoxicated driver, a property owner who fails to keep his premises in a safe condition, or a person committing a battery or other violent crime.
When others are responsible for the pain and loss of a spinal cord injury, the New Orleans catastrophic injury lawyers at Bloom Legal stand ready to hold them accountable. We fight tirelessly to get spinal cord injury victims and their families the compensation and resources that can help them through the difficult years ahead.
Please call the New Orleans catastrophic injury lawyers at Bloom Legal today at 504-599-9997 or through our contact form for your free consultation to discuss the details of your spinal cord injury case. We welcome the opportunity to serve as your lawyers and help you obtain the compensation and justice you deserve.