You can’t walk. You can’t support your family. You can’t play with your kids or help them with a science fair project. You need help to do the most basic tasks of everyday life, from eating to bathing to going to the restroom. In an instant, a spinal cord injury can make all those things part of your new reality.
Thousands of Lives Upended by Spinal Cord Injuries Every Year
Your spinal cord is essential to almost all of your physical movement. It is what allows your brain to communicate with the rest of your body. When a spinal cord is injured or broken, the part of the body controlled by the affected area may lose its ability to function, resulting in permanent disability or paralysis. This can leave the lower extremities non-functioning (quadriplegia) or impact all four limbs (paraplegia).
Sadly, the lives of thousands of people are turned upside-down every year by devastating spinal cord injuries. According to the National Spinal Cord Injury Statistical Center:
- There are approximately 17,700 new spinal cord injury cases in the U.S. every year
- Approximately 288,000 Americans are currently living with a spinal cord injury
- The average yearly cost of treatment for those with paraplegia is $537,271 in the first year, and $71,172 every year thereafter
- The average life expectancy for individuals with spinal cord injuries is significantly lower than life expectancies of those without such injuries
Spinal Cord Injuries Devastate Entire Families
Those statistics don’t reflect the fact that spinal cord injuries change the lives of not only the injured individuals but also their families who must adjust to the all-consuming responsibilities and challenges of caring for a loved one with new physical limitations. Overwhelming financial burdens, emotional and psychological trauma, intense and long-term rehabilitation, and an entirely new way of life make the impact of a spinal cord injury truly catastrophic.
Causes of Spinal Cord Injuries
Automobile accidents are by far the single largest cause of spinal cord injuries, followed by slips and falls, acts of violence, and sports and recreational injuries.
While not all spinal cord injuries are the fault of other people, many do involve the negligent or intentional conduct of others, whether they are a reckless or intoxicated driver of a car, a property owner who fails to keep his premises in a safe condition, or a person committing a violent act. When others are responsible for the pain and loss of a spinal cord injury, they need to be held accountable.
Our Attorneys Fight for Families Struggling with Spinal Cord Injuries
At Hiden, Rott & Oertle, our San Diego workers’ compensation and personal injury attorneys understand the hardships faced by those living in the aftermath of a spinal cord injury. We fight tirelessly to help victims and their families obtain the compensation that can help them move forward with their lives, including resources to pay for medical bills and future rehabilitation, lost wages, and the pain and suffering which all follow in the wake of a spinal cord injury.