Some Facts about Spinal Cord Injuries
Traumatic spinal cord injuries (SCIs) occur more frequently than is commonly known. Every year, there are at least 12,000 new cases of SCI in the US, 46% of which resulted from motor vehicle accidents. About 200,000 people live with the consequences of SCI at any one time with an average annual cost of $20,000 per patient and a lifetime cost of up to $3 million for the most severe cases. SCI is basically damage to some part of the spinal column, and may either be temporary or permanent. In some cases where the insult to the spinal cord is resolved, the patient may recover fully and resume their regular activities after a period of recuperation. In too many cases, spinal cord damage is permanent and catastrophic. SCI may also be attributed to surgical errors, but more commonly it is due to participation in sports, as a result of being a victim of violence, or from falls. In all cases, the injury is always treated as serious until otherwise indicated. This is because, of course, all spinal cord injuries are serious. The spine is the main relay of information to and from the brain for most of a vertebrate’s body.
When negligence of a third party is suspected, immediate steps are made to determine the circumstances surrounding it to determine who was at fault and to what degree. This is important because each state recognize different rules for fault in personal injury cases. This can be a major problem for an SCI victim who faces a lifetime of high medical bills and lifetime care costs. It is important that if the victim is truly not at fault that it be determined with vigorous investigation.