What is the Long-Term Impact of a Spinal Cord Injury?

Spinal Cord InjurySpinal cord injuries are among the most devastating and life-altering types of injuries, often resulting in permanent disability and significant changes in lifestyle. Whether it happens as the result of a car accident, a slip-and-fall or trip-and-fall accident or a construction site accident, there is the potential for long-term consequences. This is because the spinal cord is a critical part of the central nervous system, transmitting signals between the brain and the rest of the body. Damage to the spinal cord can disrupt these signals, leading to a range of physical, emotional, and social consequences.

The Physical Impact to Your Health

The immediate physical impact of a spinal cord injury depends on the location and severity of the damage. Injuries are classified as complete or incomplete, based on whether there is a total loss of sensory and motor function below the injury site. Complete injuries result in full paralysis below the injury, while incomplete injuries retain some level of function. The higher the injury on the spinal cord, the more extensive the paralysis.

People with spinal cord injuries (SCI) often face a range of secondary health complications. These include chronic pain, pressure ulcers, respiratory problems, cardiovascular issues, and urinary and bowel dysfunctions. For instance, those with injuries above the C5 vertebra often require ventilatory support due to impaired respiratory muscles. Additionally, limited mobility can lead to muscle atrophy and osteoporosis, increasing the risk of fractures.

While advances in medical care have improved the life expectancy of individuals with SCIs, they still face a reduced lifespan compared to the general population. The extent of life expectancy reduction depends on the severity of the injury and the presence of complications such as infections and cardiovascular disease.

The Psychological Impact

The abrupt and severe change in physical abilities often leads to significant psychological distress for victims. Depression and anxiety are common among individuals with these types of injuries. The prevalence of major depressive disorder for victims is significantly higher and can be exacerbated by factors such as chronic pain, loss of independence, and social isolation.

Psychological adjustment to a spinal cord injury can be a complex, ongoing process. Rehabilitation programs that include psychological support and counseling can be crucial in aiding this adjustment process and for a successful adaptation.

The Financial Impact

The financial burden of spinal cord injuries is substantial. Initial hospitalization and rehabilitation can cost hundreds of thousands of dollars. Long-term expenses include ongoing medical care, assistive devices, home modifications, and personal assistance services. Health insurance may not cover all these costs, leading to significant out-of-pocket expenses. Employment prospects for individuals with spinal cord injuries are often limited due to physical limitations and workplace accessibility issues. Many SCI victims face challenges in finding and maintaining employment, resulting in lower income levels and financial instability.

Contacting an Experienced Lawyer

A victim who has suffered a spinal cord injury as a result of someone else’s negligence (carelessness) may be able to seek compensation from at-fault parties for damages including, but not limited to, medical expenses, lost wages and benefits, hospitalization, rehabilitation, permanent injuries, disabilities, past and future pain and suffering, etc. Families that have lost loved ones in such accidents can seek compensation for damages such as lost future income, medical and funeral costs, pain and suffering, etc.

If you or a loved one has been injured in a car accident or pedestrian accident, or if you have lost a loved one in an auto accident caused by a negligent (careless) driver, the experienced New York personal injury attorneys at the Law Offices of Kenneth A. Wilhelm can help you better understand your legal rights and options, and also fight hard to recover just compensation for you.

For over 52 years, our skilled accident attorneys have established a proven track record of helping injured victims get fair compensation for their losses. We recently recovered $5,600,000 for a bicyclist who was hit by a van, and $2,550,000 for another victim of a truck accident, and $3,000,000 for a pedestrian who was hit by a car, and $2,000,000 in a hit-and-run accident, and the full $1,000,000 insurance policy for a pedestrian who was hit by a truck, and $4,625,000 for a driver who was in a car and was hit by a van, and $2,500,000 for a man who fell through an improperly secured hole. Also, one of our clients obtained a verdict for $43,940,000 and another of our clients got a verdict for $23,500,000, both in medical malpractice cases.

Please contact us TOLL FREE 24 hours a day, 7 days a week at 1-800-WORK-4-YOU (1-800-967-5496). WE CAN EVEN COME TO YOU. There is no attorneys’ fee unless we recover money for you. We can also help with personal injury, lead poisoning and medical malpractice cases including, brachial plexus palsy (Erb’s palsy) and cerebral palsy cases in New York, New Jersey, Connecticut, Pennsylvania, or Florida. If you have been seriously injured in any of the 50 U.S. states, please call us and we will try to help you with your case.

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