The spinal cord acts as a sort of highway along which messages are transported to and from the brain to different parts of the human body. If damaged, messages carried via the nerve bundles that comprise the spinal cord aren’t able to transmit past the injury site. Consequently, depending on the location and severity of damage suffered to the spinal cord, an individual will experience partial to full loss of feeling and movement below the injury impact site.
Motor vehicle accidents are among the leading causes of spinal cord injuries. Damage suffered to the spinal cord is permanent and for those individuals both directly and indirectly impacted, the resulting physical, emotional and financial hardships can be difficult to accept and bear.
According to the Christopher & Dana Reeve Foundation, depending on an individual’s age and type of paralysis, lifetime costs associated with a spinal cord injury can range from roughly $1 to $4.5 million dollars. These costs include both immediate and ongoing medical care, rehabilitative care, mobility-related equipment, housing modifications and assisted nursing care.
In addition to suffering the loss of movement and function of one’s legs and, in the case of a quadriplegic, arms; many individuals who suffer spinal cord injuries also develop secondary health and medical conditions and problems. For example, both bladder and bowel functioning are likely to be effected as may one’s ability to be intimate with a spouse or significant other.
Injuries that impact the spinal cord are among the most serious and life-altering of all injuries. For individuals who suffered a spinal cord injury due to the possible negligence of another driver, compensation may be awarded to account for medical expenses, disability and loss of income.
Source: WebMD, “Spinal Cord Injuries Directory,” July 9, 2015