Spinal cord injuries among the most debilitating of injuries

Imagine never being able to walk again, having trouble breathing on one's own and forever relying on a wheelchair and the assistance of others to accomplish even basic everyday tasks. For individuals who suffer spinal cord injuries, their lives and those of family members are forever changed.

A spinal cord injury is one of the most serious and debilitating of all injuries. According to National Spinal Cord Injury Statistical Center in the U.S., falls and motor vehicle accidents account for approximately 68 percent of all spinal cord injuries. Individuals who suffer a spinal cord injury experience a range of adverse symptoms including extreme pain, loss of feeling and function, difficulty breathing, reduced functioning of internal organs and incontinence.

Injuries suffered to the spinal cord are permanent and individuals who suffer such injuries must adjust to and cope with many physical, personal and lifestyle changes. Depending on the location and severity of the injury, an individual may need to rely upon a wheelchair and individuals who suffer this type of injury frequently require assistance with basic care needs.

Annually in the U.S., an estimated 12,000 people survive suffering spinal cord injuries. The majority of those individuals impacted are typically young adult males. Statistical data from 2012 shows that, for a 20-year-old male, the lifetime costs associated with a spinal cord injury can range from approximately $1.5 million to more than $4.5 million.

Given the many and significant physical and life changes that result from a spinal cord injury, the true costs are nearly impossible to calculate. In cases where an individual's injury stems from a motor vehicle accident, work injury or fall; a lawsuit may help in the recovery of compensation to assist in providing for one's future long-term care needs.

Source: U.S. National Library of Medicine, "Spinal Cord Injuries," May 12, 2015

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