Every day, 46 Americans suffer a spinal cord injury. That’s about 17,000 spinal cord injuries every year. These injuries are usually caused by car accidents (36%), violence (28.9%) or falls (21.2%). And for some, the odds of a spinal cord injury are naturally higher.
The expenses and costs of a spinal cord injury can be considerable and overwhelming. If you’ve been involved in an accident and suffered a spinal cord injury, you may be entitled to compensation. Protect your rights by speaking with a qualified personal injury attorney immediately.
Odds of an injury go up if:
- You’re male.
- You’re between the ages of 16 and 30.
- You’re older than 65. Falls cause most injuries in older adults.
- You engage in risky behavior, such as diving in shallow water or playing sports without safety gear.
- You’re suffering a bone or joint disorder.
The spinal cord can be divided into four sections: cervical, thoracic, lumbar and sacral. Spinal cord injuries, their type and severity, depend on: 1) the spinal section that’s been injured; and 2) the injury’s completeness or incompleteness.
The six types and levels of spinal cord injury are:
- Cervical spinal cord injuries: Affects the head and neck above the shoulders.
- Lumbar spinal cord injuries: Affects the hips and legs.
- Thoracic spinal cord injuries: Affects the chest, back and abdomen.
- Sacral spinal cord injuries: Affects the hips, thighs, buttocks and pelvic organs.
- Complete spinal cord injuries: Permanently damages the spinal cord, resulting in paraplegia or tetraplegia.
- Incomplete spinal cord injuries: Partially damages the spinal cord. Movement and feeling vary.
According to the National Spinal Cord Injury Statistical Center, the yearly expenses and lifetime costs of a spinal cord injury vary based on education, neurological impairment and pre-injury employment history. Estimated costs are:
- For high tetraplegia: First year – $1,065,980 / Each subsequent year – $185,111.
- For low tetraplegia: First year – $770,264 / Each subsequent year – $113,557.
- For paraplegia: First year – $519,520 / Each subsequent year – $68,821.
- Motor functional at any level: First year – $347,896 / Each subsequent year – $42,256.