Data shows that, since 2015, the leading cause of spinal cord injuries across the United States is motor vehicle accidents. These incidents can occur in any type of vehicle accident, including those between two traditional vehicles, as well as accidents involving large commercial trucks, motorcycles, bicycles, and pedestrians. Here, our team of Phoenix car accident lawyers share information related to spinal cord injuries caused by vehicle accidents.
How Spinal Cord Injuries Occur Due to Car Accidents
There are various types of spinal cord injuries that can occur as a result of a vehicle accident. Perhaps one of the most common types of injuries associated with vehicle accidents is whiplash. Whiplash is actually considered a spinal injury, and this occurs when the upper portion of a person’s body or their head and neck are whipped either back and forth or side to side, essentially like the cracking of a whip. Severe whiplash can affect the upper portions of a person’s spinal column.
Our experienced team of spinal cord injury lawyers in Phoenix have unfortunately seen how individuals involved in higher-speed accidents, or those involved in incidents involving commercial trucks, motorcycles, bicycles, or pedestrians, are much more likely to sustain severe spinal cord trauma as a result of a collision.
Types of Spinal Cord Injuries
There are various types of spinal cord injuries that can occur, but at the most basic level of defining these injuries, we can consider “complete” and “incomplete” injuries.
- Complete spinal cord injury. A complete spinal cord injury is one that severs the spinal cord at the site of the injury and results in complete loss of function below the level where the injury occurred. This type of injury will affect both sides of the body.
- Incomplete spinal cord injury. An incomplete spinal cord injury is one where individuals retain some level of functioning on both or one side of the body after the injury occurs.
Individuals could sustain various a loss of functioning with either a complete or incomplete spinal cord injury, and the areas of the body affected depend heavily on where the injury occurred on the spinal column. Vehicle accidents that cause injuries higher up on the spine are more likely to affect the whole body than those that cause injuries to the lower portion of the spine.
Can You Recover Compensation After a Spinal Injury From a Car Accident?
Spinal cord injury victims may be able to recover compensation if their vehicle accident was caused by the negligent actions of another party. Unfortunately, spinal cord injuries often result in extreme expenses for a victim and their families.
The NSCISC states that the first year of medical treatment for a spinal cord injury can range anywhere from $375,000 to more than $1 million, depending on the level of the injury that occurred. Additionally, every subsequent year of care will result in anywhere from $45,000 to around $200,000 in medical bills for a victim. This includes every year until the end of their life.
Aside from the medical bills associated with these injuries, individuals often lose income, and their family members may not be able to perform the same type of work if they must become a caregiver for the victim. Other costs associated with these injuries include specialty vehicles or construction to a home to help with mobility.
We suggest reaching out to a skilled spinal cord injury lawyer if you or a loved one have been harmed due to the negligent actions of another driver. A Phoenix personal injury attorney can pursue compensation through either an insurance settlement or through a personal injury jury trial to recover fair compensation for victims and their family members.