The spinal cord is a vital component of the human body. It delivers messages from the brain to the far reaches of the appendages and sends impulses from the brain to the organs and systems that regulate life. Most Californians do not think about what their spinal cords do until they stop working properly due to injuries.
There are many ways that the spinal cord can be damaged and many levels of injury that a victim can suffer. Severe spinal cord injuries, such as those sometimes suffered in motor vehicle accidents, can leave victims with limited mobility, the inability to work, and extensive costs that can fall on them and their families to cover.
Types of spinal cord injuries
Spinal cord injuries can be classified as complete or incomplete. A complete injury means that the spinal cord has stopped functioning below the site of the injury. An incomplete injury means that the injury did not fully damage the spinal cord and some functionality may be possible. Spinal cord injuries can result in tetraplegia, or paralysis from the neck down, or paraplegia, or paralysis from the trunk down.
Estimated costs associated with spinal cord injuries
Treatment may improve the symptoms of spinal cord injuries in some victims, but not all victims will fully recover from their accidents. According to the Christopher & Dana Reeve Foundation, lifetime costs associated with spinal cord injuries can range into the millions of dollars. For example, a 25-year-old who suffers high tetraplegia, or an injury in one of their top cervical vertebrae, may face lifetime injury costs of more than $4.7 million.
All spinal cord injuries are different, but all victims may suffer losses that are too much for them to carry on their own. Personal injury claims can give victims legal options for seeking their damages and helping themselves and their families find financial support to face their overwhelming medical and financial needs.