Spinal Trauma After An Accident
Spinal trauma, unlike most other wounds or damage to the body, may have long-lasting and life-altering outcomes. When vertebrae are separated or traumatized, one may experience various effects such as swelling, back pain, and temporary or permanent paralysis.
If you are involved in an accident or intentionally injured, there is the possibility of suffering spinal trauma. Since these wounds are very delicate, it is important to get medical treatment immediately as they could alter the way the body operates. Treatment usually requires surgery and rehab and possibly long-term assistance. There are many types of injuries that can lead to spine damage, which will require costly hospitalization and health care.
Spinal Damage Statistics
There have been varying degrees of spinal damage in both men and women throughout the years. Statistics show that in the last decade, many spinal cord injury victims are between the ages of 16 and 30. Male patients make up a majority of those with spinal damage and at least half are employed at the time of injury. There are approximately 15,000 cases of sustained spinal cord injuries every year. Spinal trauma and other injuries can result from coordination accidents such as slips and falls. When the damage is severe and affects the spine, about 52 percent of victims will become paraplegic with the other 48 percent becoming quadriplegic.
Sources of Spinal Trauma
There are a variety of activities that can cause spinal trauma and injuries. Damage occurs when a quick and forceful impact slams into the spinal cord and causes the vertebrae to crack or rupture. For example, the force from a car accident can traumatize the spinal column. These injuries may lead to permanent conditions. Negligence, usually the main cause of these incidents, is the reason why nearly 40 percent of all spinal cord injuries are the result of motor vehicle accidents.
Coordination accidents (such as slipping and falling on slick surfaces) are the primary cause of spinal injury among senior citizens. The combination of advanced age and medical conditions like osteoporosis often lead to loss of coordination and limb control, which can be quite devastating to the more fragile bone structure of the elderly. This can result in needing long-term care or multiple surgeries to reverse or mitigate the damage.
Among the younger demographic, spinal trauma injuries can be caused by contact sports. From jumping and falling to running and crashing, possibly into other bodies or objects, increase the risk of causing serious harm to the spine when directed at the back. If enough pressure is applied, it can cause the loss of the ability to walk, limb control, and long-term hospital or professional care. Care should be taken with even minor wounds, which can require physical therapy over time to reduce or remove the damage caused by these accidents.
Compensation for Injury
Tort law provides for the pursuit of compensation for medical injuries that are caused by the negligent or intentional acts of others. Driving accidents are the most common but negligence can occur in other situations, as well. Repayment laws state that Injury victims may be able to recover monetary compensation for medical expenses, future medical expenses, prescription drug costs, physical therapy, lost income, lost earning capacity, mental anguish, and pain and suffering.
Seek Legal Representation
When looking for a lawyer, it is best to ensure he or she has the necessary knowledge and experience to aggressively pursue the case. You may also want to consider retaining medical experts to help provide information to the judge or jury about the nature and extent of the injury, additional medical treatment that may be necessary, and information on the limitations that you, as the injured party, will likely face.
If the damage was caused by an attack, your lawyer may need witnesses and additional documentation from the police or medical examiners to help substantiate the case. Negligence cases require the legal representative to establish all of the elements of the negligence claim by the preponderance of the evidence.