You might take for granted the dangers of driving a car, of the possible life-altering consequences that accompany any turn of the key in the ignition, of the dangers of taking any turn down the block.
Not only could you get into a car accident at any time, but that accident could lead to a spinal cord injury, a medical emergency that very well could change your entire life.
The frightening part of it all is that these types of injuries aren’t all that uncommon. It is estimated that there are 17,500 new cases of automobile accident related spinal cord injuries every single year. And that statistic doesn’t even account for those who die at the scene of these accidents.
A spinal cord injury comes with a whole host of long term physical consequences that burden your quality of life, as well as a new web of financial hassles to deal with.
That is why it’s important to contact the personal injury lawyers of Siegfried & Jensen when faced with an automobile accident caused spinal cord injury. We help remove some of that financial weight off of your shoulders and recover any sort of compensation you might be owed in one of these incidents, something needed when dealing with the long term consequences of these injuries.
Type of Spinal Cord Injury: Complete or Incomplete
The type of spinal cord injury you sustain is crucial to how your quality of life will be altered. An Incomplete Spinal Cord Injury means that your spinal cord was not totally severed in the accident. Much more common than a complete spinal cord injury, incomplete spinal cord injuries, while less severe than complete severing of the spinal cord, come with their own lasting problems and physical changes.
Luckily, with physical therapy and positive lifestyle choices, the prospect of one of these injuries is a whole lot better, and the chances of permanent paralysis are a whole lot less.
Conversely, a complete spinal cord injury happens when the spinal cord is completely severed and is often much more difficult to treat because of it.
Its effect on your life is often much more severe since Complete Spinal Cord Injuries often cause paralysis in one or more of the limbs, and the treatments to lessen the damage done are much less effective.
As well, how close the injury is to the brain will affect your chances of paralysis. Generally, the closer it is to your brain, the more your body will suffer paralysis.
Effect on Bodily Functions
Because spinal cord injuries are so severe, aside from the possible paralysis of one or more of your limbs, you run the risk of having your bodily functions impaired, such as a loss of bowel control. Because of this, a regiment of bowel care will have to be enacted, such as manual removal and enemas. This, along with caring for your urinary system, must be done to prevent further infections and complications, such as sepsis,
As well, you face various other debilitating physical symptoms, such as loss of sexual function, persistent muscle contractions, and consistent nerve pain.
If the injury is high enough up in the neck, the muscles used to breathe may be affected, which can cause them to weaken and lead to bouts of infection or pneumonia. A ventilator might even be necessary if the spine is severed in the wrong place.
Because the recovery from these incidents take such a long time, and usually are following with a lot of sitting and laying, care must be taken to avoid pressure injuries.
These conditions occur because of the constant pressure put on the skin, causing a reduction of blood flowing to that part of the body. This leaves patients susceptible to bed sores, which can lead to even more serious and life-threatening complications.
Because of this, the person recovering from a spinal cord injury must be frequently moved around in bed, to keep the blood flowing.
Effects on Mental Well Being
As if the physical toll alone wasn’t bad enough, spinal cord injuries can weigh even heavier on one’s emotional well being.
Accidents such as these are often traumatic, terrifying experiences for those who survive them. People recovering from these injuries often must heal their traumatized mind in tandem with their bodies, balancing their mental therapy with their physical therapy. Cases of PTSD can occur, which ends up becoming another new everyday struggle for patients.
As well, these injuries can alter one’s lifestyle completely, which can lead to patients suffering from depression. Having your everyday routine transformed so completely can send shockwaves through your emotional well being, and cause feelings of frustration, sadness, and hopelessness.
Effects on Financial State
Any injury comes with a cost, and spinal injuries happen to come with a very heavy toll. It is estimated that these types of injuries end up costing $1,079,412 in the first year, and another $180,000 every year thereafter. Being hospitalized, medical care and treatments, as well as years of physical therapy, the staggering costs can add up very quickly. This becomes a massive burden for someone recovering from one of these accidents, as additional financial debt can accrue from the accident that caused the injury.
As well, the after effects of a spinal cord injury often cause people to have to leave their jobs, robbing them of not only their financial income but also their place and purpose in life.
The Salt Lake City, Utah’s Personal Injury Lawyers For You
We at Siegfried & Jensen understand that the accidents that cause spinal cord injuries can be as emotionally traumatic as they are financially debilitating. They are a left turn in life that no one sees coming, a titanic shift that affects not only the person suffering but also their families and loved ones.
You are owed legal representation, as well any compensation that is able to remove some of that financial debt and burden from you and your family.
Contact us today, and let us help you rebuild your life.