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The Seriousness of Spinal Injuries

Submitted by jrlaw on Feb 5th, 2010

The Seriousness of Spinal Injuries

Your spinal cord is the nerve center of your body. Essentially the nerves along the spinal cord are the gateway of communication between your brain and all of the rest of your body. According to Medicine Net.com, the spinal cord allows your brain to communicate with your arms, legs, stomach, chest and organs. Nerves along the spinal cord are also responsible for your ability to feel pain, discomfort or temperature.

When spinal injuries occur, these nerves may become damaged. Unfortunately, the spinal cord cannot repair itself and the nerves and tissue do not regenerate when damaged. Thus, when the spinal cord is injured, the affected nerves stop functioning permanently. If the affected nerves are those responsible for controlling your organs, death can result. If the nerves impact the limbs, then you may become paralyzed.

Spinal injuries can be complete or incomplete. When a complete spinal injury occurs, you will lose all feeling and function everywhere on your body below the site of the injury. If the injury is high enough on the spinal cord, this means you may become a quadriplegic and lose feeling in both of your arms and legs. If the spinal injury is incomplete, you may have some ability to function or feel pain, but ability will be impaired.

How Do Spinal Injuries Occur?

According to Sci-Info-Pages, there are approximately 11,000 reported cases of new spinal injuries annually in the United States. Approximately 82 percent of those injured are male.

Injury can occur as a result of trauma, tumors, infection or inflammation. The most common reasons for spinal cord injury include violence, sports injuries, falls and car accidents. In fact, car accidents are responsible for almost 40 percent of all spinal injuries that occur within the United States. Violence, such as gun shot wounds or stab wounds, follows at 28 percent, while falls make up 21 percent of the injuries.

Cost of Spinal Cord Injuries

The Travis Roy Foundation reports that a person who is newly afflicted with a spinal cord injury will spend over $244,000 on care in the first year of their treatment alone. These costs include the hospitalization following the initial injury, as well as time in a rehabilitation facility. When permanent disability results, expenses also include modifications to make the home handicapped-accessible, and medical equipment such as wheel chairs, specialized bathing tools and other durable goods necessary to care for a wheelchair bound individual.

Over half of those afflicted with spinal cord injuries are between the ages of 16 and 30. Costs of care over the course of a lifetime, then, may add up to around $25,000 per year.

Getting Help

If you sustain a spinal cord injury, getting medical help must be your first priority. However, due to the incredible financial drain and the devastating effect such an injury can have on your life, getting legal help may also be essential. If someone caused your spinal cord injury, as a result of an accident or violence, that person should be held responsible for the medical costs you will incur, as well as for your pain and suffering and diminished quality of life. Contact The Rasansky Law Firm today at 1-800 ATTORNEY or complete our form. We offer a free consultation and look forward to answering your questions.