The spinal cord is crucial to our bodily function. It connects parts of the body to the brain, allowing them to communicate with each other to carry out their functions. A spinal cord injury can disrupt this communication and lead to loss of mobility and feeling. Spinal cord injuries (SCI) can leave victims with life-long disabilities that seriously affect their quality of life.
According to the National Spinal Cord Injury Statistical Center, around 296,000 Americans suffer from a spinal cord injury. Every year, there are approximately 17,900 new cases of spinal cord injury. Of this, about 78% of the new cases are male. Auto accidents (39.3%) are the leading cause of SCI, followed by slips and falls (31.8%) and violence (13.5%).
What Are Spinal Cord Injuries?
Spinal cord injuries are results of trauma to the spinal column. It affects the sensory, motor and autonomic functions of the body, leading to paralysis, autonomic dysfunction, and loss of senses.
Below are the two categories of spinal cord injuries:
- Complete Spinal Cord Injuries – These injuries result to complete loss of function of the body parts below the injury.
- Incomplete Spinal Cord Injuries – In these injuries, the victims can still feel or move a little below the point of the spinal cord injury. Victims with incomplete SCI have a higher chance of recovery compared to those with complete SCI.
What Are The Common Causes of Spinal Cord Injuries?
Spinal cord injuries can have varied causes, but some causes are more prevalent than others. Here are the top causes of spinal cord injuries.
- Auto and Vehicular Accidents
- Slips and Falls
- Violence (Gunshot wounds)
- Sports and Recreational Activities
- Medical Malpractice and Negligence
Other causes of spinal cord injuries include construction site accidents, pedestrian accidents, workplace accidents, developmental disorders, tumors, and swimming pool accidents. Bike, truck, and motorcycle accidents can also cause spinal cord injuries.
When you or a loved one gets involved in a vehicular accident, it is important to contact a Michigan personal injury lawyer. Spinal cord injuries have severe and long-term effects on the victims, resulting in costly medical and rehabilitation expenses.
Personal injury claims also have limitations, where the complainant must file the claim within a period of time. For this, reliable personal injury lawyer can help gather documents necessary to make a personal injury claim in accordance with Michigan state laws.
What You Should Know About Spinal Cord Injury Damages
The damages and costs that come with a spinal cord injury depend on the severity of the injury. Spinal cord injuries are classified as follows in terms of severity, with their equivalent lifetime costs.
- High Tetraplegia (damage is above the neck) – $5,162,152
- Low Tetraplegia (damage is at the lower part of the spine) – $3,771,791
- Paraplegia (paralysis of the trunk, pelvic organs, and legs) – $2,524,270
- Incomplete Motor Function – $1,724,594
Living with the effects of spinal cord injuries is not easy. Its effects can totally hinder the victim from living normally, affecting his quality of living.
Because of this, depression is common among victims of spinal cord injuries. People suffering from SCI may also have to deal with chronic pain, changes in bladder and bowel function, respiratory problems, and fertility problems.
Damages due to spinal cord injuries will be either monetary or non-monetary. Common damages that can be claimed in a spinal cord injury case may include:
- Medical and hospital bills
- Lost wages (present and future)
- Rehabilitation and therapy costs
- Pain and suffering
- Disability benefits
- Loss of companion
An experienced Michigan personal injury lawyer can help car accident victims get the financial compensation they deserve. Insurance companies and the other party may try to undervalue the expenses and sufferings that the victim experienced. A personal injury lawyer will conduct their own investigation, gather medical records, and seek the professional opinion of medical experts to establish a strong case.
Contact The Clark Law Office for your Legal Needs in Michigan
The Clark Law Office is a leading firm based in Okemos and Lansing, Michigan focused on personal injury cases. We are dedicated to helping individuals get the compensation that they deserve. For over three decades, we have served the residents of Michigan, provided aggressive representation, and worked to give them the best results possible.