Last week our Cape Coral injury lawyers reported on the risks and complications associated with traumatic brain injury in the wake of the tragic shooting of Gabrielle Giffords. As we said, most brain injury cases are caused by falls and auto accidents, not by assault.
Another type of catastrophic injury associated with car accidents, falls and other types of trauma, is spinal cord injury. Depending on how high in the spine an injury occurs, lower extremities or both lower and upper extremities may be impacted. A high injury near the neck may result in tetraplegia or quadriplegia, which affects arms, truck, legs and pelvic organs. While an injury lower in the spine may result in paraplegia, which affects all or part of the trunks, legs and pelvic organs.
A spinal cord injury may be complete — meaning no feeling or function survives below the injury site, or partial, meaning the victim may retain some sensory or motor function below the site of the injury.
Leading causes of spinal cord injuries include:
-Motor Vehicle Accidents: Leading cause responsible for nearly half of all spinal cord injuries.
-Violence: 16 percent are caused by violence, including knife and gunshot wounds.
-Falls: Spinal cord injuries in those over the age of 65 are most often caused by a fall.
-Sports and recreational activities: Are responsible for about 12 percent of all spinal cord injuries.
These injuries frequently result in the need for long-term care and can have life-long medical complications, including respiratory and circulatory problems, problems with muscle tone and control and sexual dysfunction, according to the National Institutes of Health.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports about 200,000 people are living with a spinal cord injury in the United States. About 20,000 new cases occur each year.
The average lifetime medical costs for someone with a spinal cord injury is $500,000 to $3 million, depending on the severity of the injury.
Like with any type of catastrophic injury, seeking experienced legal help is critical. Insurance companies and their attorneys know what is at stake and will often make a fast settlement offer, sometimes even bringing a check to a victim’s home or hospital room. Please do not make any statements or sign any documents until speaking to an experienced and well-qualified law firm.
Associates and Bruce L. Scheiner, Attorneys for the Injured, is a law firm dedicated to representing accident victims in personal injury and wrongful death claims throughout South Florida, including Fort Myers, Cape Coral, Naples, Port Charlotte and Sebring. Call for a free and confidential consultation to discuss your rights. 1-800-283-2900.