Spinal Cord Injury: Symptoms, Costs and What You Can Do
According to the National Spinal Cord Injury Statistical Center, approximately 300,000 people in the United States are currently living with spinal cord injuries, with almost 18,000 people suffering new spinal cord injuries each year.
Vehicle crashes are the leading cause of spinal cord injuries, followed closely by slip and fall accidents. Gunshot wounds, sports and recreation accidents, and medical malpractice are also often cited as the cause of spinal cord injuries.
Costs Associated With Spinal Cord Injury
The lifetime costs for medical treatment and adaptive devices for people suffering spinal cord injuries can be in the millions. For example, a 25-year-old who experiences a severe debilitating spinal cord injury could incur costs in excess of $5 million over the course of his or her lifetime. And that is just the out-of-pocket costs for physical survival and care. Pain and suffering, as well as emotional disorders resulting from trauma and adjusting to living life disabled, are also factors to consider when assessing the cost of such a potentially severe type of injury.
If you have questions about how you will pay for the medical bills and other costs you face following your injury, a Colorado Springs personal injury lawyer can help you understand your options.
Why Every Trauma Victim Should Be Checked for Spinal Cord Injury
The Mayo Clinic warns that anyone who experiences significant trauma to their head or neck should assume they have experienced a spinal injury unless a medical professional tells them otherwise.
A serious spinal injury isn't always immediately obvious. Numbness or paralysis could occur immediately or they could come on gradually as bleeding or swelling occur in or around the spinal cord.
If you are in an accident, it is wise to immediately seek medical attention for a possible spinal cord injury even if you are asymptomatic. The time between injury and treatment can be critical in determining the extent and severity of complications and the extent of your expected recovery.
Signs of Spinal Cord Injury
While the signs are not always instantly present, if you experience any of these possible spinal cord injury symptoms following an accident or at any other time, you should be checked for spinal cord damage:
- A loss of movement
- Any loss or altered or reduced capacity to recognize sensation, including the ability to feel heat, cold, and touch
- The loss of bowel or bladder control
- Spasms or other exaggerated reflex activities
- Changes in sexual sensitivity or sexual function and/or fertility
- Evidence of spinal cord nerve fiber damages such as pain or an intense stinging sensation
- Coughing or difficulty breathing
A Colorado Springs Personal Injury Lawyer Can Help
Working with an experienced Colorado Springs personal injury lawyer after an accident will not only help you to understand your options but can also help you collect all available funds to cover the cost of your care both now and in the future.
Call the spinal cord injury attorneys at Levine Law at 719-471-3000 or reach out to us online. Consultations are free.