Recovering from injuries after a car accident is never easy. Not only do you have the injury itself to worry about but the financial burden as well. In addition to medical bills, there is often car damage that needs fixing and loss of wages if the injury keeps you from working for a period of time. No matter the injury, recovery can be a challenging road, but for those that suffer spinal cord injuries after an accident, the consequences can be especially devastating and debilitating.
Spinal cord injuries can have a major impact on an individual’s quality of life. Due to the severity of these types of injuries, it is extremely important that the victims and their loved ones receive the compensation that they both need and deserve.
Unfortunately, while most victims of car accidents will be awarded some sort of compensation, it is not always enough to cover all damages. When you work with an experienced personal injury attorney, they can help fight for your cause to get you the maximum amount of benefits.
Car Accidents and Spinal Cord Injuries
The National Spinal Cord Injury Statistics Center (NSCISC) reports nearly 17,000 spinal cord injuries per year, with the majority of those injuries resulting from car accidents. Crashes that result in these types of injuries can change a person’s life forever.
The NSCISC averages $74,509 per year in medical costs for spinal cord injury patients, with these expenses incurring not only the year that injury is sustained but for every year following that the victim continues to need treatment. Spinal cord injuries also have a negative impact on life expectancy, with those victims with the most severe neurological impairments dying within the first year after the accident happens.
What Defines a Spinal Cord Injury?
Spinal cord injuries are defined as those in which there is damage sustained to any part of the spinal cord or nerves at the end of the spinal canal. These injuries typically result in permanent impairments in sensation and strength, as well as loss of function to other areas of the body below the site of the injury.
Symptoms of Spinal Cord Injuries
The symptoms and signs of a potential spinal cord injury can vary depending on the exact location of the injury. However, there are a few common signs to look out for:
- Extreme pain or pressure in your back, neck, or head
- Loss of coordination
- Numbness or tingling in hands, fingers, feet, or toes
- Loss of bladder and/or bowel function
- Difficulty breathing
- Issues with balance
Those with spinal cord injuries not only suffer the above initial symptoms but can continue to struggle with health problems for the rest of their life. Complications from spinal cord injuries include:
- Permanent partial or complete paralysis
- Complete loss of bladder and bowel control
- Abnormal skin sensations
- Problems with circulation
- Trouble breathing
- Loss in muscle tone and strength
- Loss of sexual function
- Chronic pain
- Mental complications such as PTSD and various forms of depression
Treatment for Spinal Cord Injuries
Each individual spinal cord injury case is unique, and unfortunately for those that suffer more severe damage, there is often no cure. Doctor’s will evaluate the patient to determine the best course of action, which can include:
- Physical therapy
- Experimental treatments
However, as mentioned above, there is often no cure for some of the more extreme cases, and the above treatments are sometimes just an effort to minimize damage or enhance the quality of life as much as possible.
Seeking Compensation for Spinal Cord Injuries After a Car Accident
Due to the permanent damage that results from a spinal cord injury and the lifelong complications that come with it, seeking compensation is important. Lifelong physical impairments can be a heavy burden on the victim as well as their loved ones. Not only can a lawsuit help them get the benefits that they need, but it can also give them peace of mind that the guilty party is held accountable.
Damages that spinal cord injury victims and their loved ones can receive compensation for include:
- Medical treatments
- Hospital bills
- Doctor’s visits
- Physical therapy
- Therapy for emotional trauma
- Loss of wages
- Loss of future income due to permanent disability
- Pain, anguish, and emotional suffering
- Loss of enjoyment of life
- Other various expenses relating to the accident and injury
If you’ve been in an accident and sustained a spinal cord injury, you will first need to report the incident and file a claim. However, if you feel that you are not getting the full amount that you deserve or if you feel it’s necessary to file a lawsuit, working with a personal injury attorney is crucial. All too often, insurance companies will fight to reduce claim amounts, which can be devastating for anyone, let alone the victims of a spinal cord injury. Working with an experienced attorney ensures that you have someone on your side, fighting to get you the compensation that you deserve.
Consult an Experienced Indiana Personal Injury Lawyer for Help
Dealing with the emotional and physical trauma of a spinal cord injury is challenging enough – let the team at Crossen Law Firm help you get the justice and benefits that you need to move on as comfortably as possible. With over 20 years of experience fighting for victims of traumatizing accidents, we have the skills necessary and are dedicated to working tirelessly to get our clients the compensation that they deserve.
Contact us today or give us a call for a free consultation. (317) 401-8626