Texas Vehicle Crashes and Spinal Cord Injuries Lawyer
According to Mayo Clinic, car and motorcycle accidents are the leading cause of spinal cord injury (SCI). Unlike some other types of crash injuries that may heal in a few months, SCI can profoundly disrupt a person’s life and cause permanent disability.
Damage to the spinal cord does not heal. With time and rehabilitation therapy, some people may be able to lessen the effects of the injury, but many people who suffer SCI are paralyzed, with no improvement in their condition.
If you were in a car crash that caused your SCI, or a member of your immediate family suffered an SCI, it’s important to talk to an experienced personal injury attorney right away. The costs of treating such an injury are significant, but you could be entitled to compensation that can help you manage those costs and replace lost wages.
Treatment of Spinal Injuries
SCI is a complex injury that some hospitals may be unable to treat, because they don’t have the right equipment or any staff with spinal cord expertise. Immediately following injury, a person may need to be taken to University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center, in Dallas, which has staff dedicated solely to treating SCI.
According to the National Spinal Cord Injury Statistical Center at the University of Alabama at Birmingham, SCI patients spend an average of 11 days in acute care hospitals, and 35 days in a rehabilitation hospital. But that’s just the beginning of what could be a lifetime of medical care, because less than 1 percent of people recover completely by the time they leave the hospital.
Severity of Injuries
The effects of SCI depend primarily on the specific site of injury. Injuries to the cervical nerves, which run along the seven uppermost vertebrae in the back, are the most serious, because nerves in the neck control the most essential systems in the body. A cervical SCI usually results in complete paralysis, known as tetraplegia or quadriplegia, and can disrupt blood pressure, heart rate, and lung function.
Injuries that occur in lower sections of the spine may cause incomplete or complete paralysis of the legs (paraplegia) and interfere with some bodily functions. About 26 percent of SCI patients have complete paraplegia, and about 19 percent have incomplete paraplegia. Quadriplegia is incomplete in about 26 percent of SCIs, and complete in about 30 percent of SCIs.
Secondary Illnesses and Conditions
Because SCI can disrupt many of the body’s normal processes, people who have suffered an SCI have a risk of developing illnesses, infections, and other complications, some of which could be fatal.
People with complete quadriplegia are susceptible to pneumonia, which often develops due to shallow breathing. Pressure ulcers, lesions on the skin that are caused by staying in one position too long, occur in about 53 percent of people with complete quadriplegia. If not discovered and treated immediately, pressure ulcers can lead to deadly infections.
Deep vein thrombosis is another complication of quadriplegia that is caused by inactivity. Blood clots may form in the legs, and if they break free and move through the veins, they become embolisms. An embolism that becomes trapped in a vital organ can cause serious damage, or even death.
The Financial Impact on Families
Families are rarely prepared for the extreme costs associated with SCI. For example, following an injury that results in paraplegia, the first-year medical costs average $518,904, and every year after that averages $68,739 in medical costs, as people with SCI often are readmitted to hospitals for treatment of secondary conditions.
Help for You and Your Family
Drivers who make bad decisions – like driving under the influence of alcohol, or texting while driving – cause many crashes that result in devastating injuries to innocent people. That complete disregard for the safety of others is inexcusable.
A person who causes a crash in which someone suffers an SCI should be held accountable. When families have an experienced personal injury attorney on their side, they’re in a better position to pursue justice for their injured loved one.
If another driver caused a crash resulting in an SCI for you or your immediate family member, don’t wait to get help. Contact The Evans Law Firm today, either online, or by phone, at 1-855-414-1012.