Spinal cord injuries are painful, can seriously limit range of motion, and are often life-altering. A primary cause of spinal cord injuries in the United States is car accidents, and the associated losses are considerable.
A spinal cord injury resulting from a car accident with a negligent driver makes working with an experienced Plantation car accident attorney essential. Trust the experience of Scarfone Auto Accident and Personal Injury Attorneys for help seeking compensation from catastrophic spine injuries.
Car Accident Spinal Cord Injuries Defined
The Mayo Clinic shares information about how spinal cord injuries affect those who experience them and how these injuries are classified. These injuries generally occur when the spine absorbs a traumatic force, such as the impact of a car accident, that damages the vertebrae that make up the spinal cord in one or more of the following ways:
- Dislocating one or more vertebrae
- Crushing one or more vertebrae
- Compressing one or more vertebrae
- Fracturing one or more vertebrae
- Otherwise damaging one or more vertebrae
Such actions can lead to bleeding, swelling, and severe inflammation that settle around the spinal cord and increase the overall damage. When the victim’s spinal cord is severed or otherwise severely damaged, it causes permanent paralysis, which can be classified into the following two categories:
- Incomplete, which allows the victim some control over bodily movements
- Complete, which affords the victim no control over physical movements
Spinal cord injuries can affect the entire body, which is termed quadriplegia or tetraplegia, or the lower body, which is termed paraplegia.
The Statistics Behind Spine Injuries
The National Spinal Cord Injury Statistical Center (NSCISC) shares all the following primary statistics regarding serious spinal cord injuries in this country:
- Car accidents – and other traffic accidents – are the most common cause of spinal cord injuries, accounting for 38.6 percent of the total each year.
- Serious spinal cord injuries generally require hospital stays of about 11 days and stints in rehab that last about 31 days.
- The employment rate for those who suffer serious spinal cord injuries is about 18 percent after one year of recovery, increasing to 32.1 percent at 40 years post-injury.
- About 30 percent of those who suffer severe spinal cord injuries require rehospitalization in any given year following the injury.
- The life expectancy of people with serious spinal cord injuries is well below the overall life expectancy in the United States.
Serious spinal cord injuries are catastrophic injuries that can affect every facet of your life.
Associated Losses With Spine Injuries
The physical, financial, and emotional losses associated with a serious spinal cord injury in a car accident are included below.
If you’ve suffered a serious spinal cord injury caused by another driver’s negligence, it likely means a lifetime of medical expenses that can include multiple surgeries and hospitalizations related to secondary health care concerns as well as complications that commonly develop.
Additionally, all the following are likely to apply:
- Emergency treatment and transportation
- Extensive medical treatments, tests, and procedures
- Pain management
- Prescription medications
- Ongoing physical therapy
- Occupational therapy
- Extensive rehabilitation
- Adaptive physical devices that may include a wheelchair for mobility
- Adaptations to your home
- Assistance with the activities of daily living
- Home health care
As the statistics shared above relay, a serious spinal cord injury can keep you out of the workforce permanently. If you are able to return to work, however, your career trajectory is very likely to be altered, which can be as challenging emotionally as it is financially. If your career represents a goal you’ve poured your hopes and dreams into, the consequences are likely to be much more difficult to accept.
Pain and suffering
The physical pain endured when an injury of this magnitude is sustained can be overwhelming, but the associated emotional effects can be even more challenging to move beyond. Another driver’s negligence has permanently altered your life, career, and future, making the emotional pain and suffering you’re attempting to handle a heavy burden.
Victims of severe spinal cord injuries can experience PTSD-like symptoms that can include:
- Crippling depression
- Serious mood swings
- High anxiety, which can include panic attacks
- Terrifying flashbacks of the injury-causing accident
- Self-isolation tends to push the much-needed support of friends and family members away
- Sleep disturbances that can include horrifying nightmares
- Difficulty concentrating
A Car Accident Attorney’s Role in Your Case
If you’ve suffered a serious spinal cord injury as a result of another motorist’s negligence, the stakes are high, which makes having a seasoned Plantation car accident lawyer in your corner paramount. Your attorney will ably handle all the following critical tasks:
- Gathering all the available evidence, including eyewitness testimony, in order to build your strongest claim
- Hiring expert witnesses and having professional accident models created in support of your claim
- Engaging in skillful negotiations with the involved insurance company for terms that fairly address your complete losses in each covered category
- Helping you navigate the claims process while making the best decisions for you along the way
- Preparing to file a lawsuit against the insurance company and take your case to court if it is not interested in engaging in just negotiations that fairly address your immense losses.
Discuss Your Spinal Injuries From an Auto Accident With an Experienced Plantation, FL Lawyer
Turn to the Scarfone Auto Accident and Personal Injury Attorneys in Plantation, Florida, who leave no stone unturned when gathering evidence for your spine injury claim. Rocco Scarfone is a skilled car accident attorney who has helped clients like you prevail with the fairest amount of compensation allowable.