Important Information to Know About a Spinal Cord Injury Lawsuit
A spinal cord injury lawsuit is very complex and hence, you need a highly qualified law firm with long standing experience in this highly specialized area of law to handle your case. Spinal cord injuries, commonly abbreviated SCI, are collected, managed and analyzed by the National Spinal Cord Injury Statistical Center (NSCISC). According to their most recent report the following statistics are noteworthy:
- About 12,000 people suffer from SCI in the USA as of February 2012
- It is very significant to note that SCI affects mostly people in the age group 16-41, which means that the lifetime costs involved can be staggering
- Figures shows that for a 25 year old paraplegic (partially paralyzed) the estimated lifetime cost would be in the vicinity of $2,222,000, with the first year expenses averaging $500,000.
- 39.2% of the SCI are caused by motor vehicle accidents
In the United States, 11,000 new cases of SCI occur each year. The annual incidence of traumatic SCI is approximately 40 cases per million population, with an estimated prevalence approaching 250,000 cases. SCI in the United States remains more common in males than in females by a 4:1 ratio. Early mortality is around 50% with <10% of survivors experiencing neurologic improvement. Accordingly, the perioperative care of patients during the acute phase of injury is extremely important. Perioperative strategies that prevent further injury, limit the extension of the existing injury, or salvage even a few dermatomal levels can have a significant influence on morbidity, mortality, long-term disability, quality of life, and health care costs. The distribution of SCI consists of incomplete tetraplegia, 29.5%; complete paraplegia, 27.9%; incomplete paraplegia, 21.3%; and complete tetraplegia, 18.5%. Common causes of SCI include motor vehicle accidents (40% to 56%), falls (15% to 20%), violence (5% to 20%), sports injuries (5% to 16%), and other causes (5% to 10%). Most injuries occur at the mid-cervical (C4-6, C5 most common) or thoracolumbar (T12) region and are often associated with concomitant injuries. Surgical treatment for SCI is aimed at immobilization, medical stabilization, spinal alignment, operative decompression, and spinal stabilization.
Pathogenic correlates of SCI. Primary SCI, caused by the mechanical forces of the trauma, results in direct neuronal disruption and destruction, petechial hemorrhages, and hematomyelia. Histologic changes consist of hemorrhage and protein extravasation into the central gray matter, which spread to the adjacent white matter. The traumatized areas then undergo cavitating necrosis and ultimately glial scar formation. Spinal cord edema is maximal at 3 days and can persist for 2 weeks. Rarely does physical transection of the spinal cord occur. Secondary SCI is caused by the activation of biochemical, enzymatic, and microvascular processes in proportion to the severity of the initial lesion. Damage results from progressive hemorrhagic necrosis, loss of cellular membrane integrity, edema, inflammation, arachidonic acid release, lipid peroxidation, and loss of vascular autoregulation. These processes lead to vascular stasis, decreased blood flow, ischemia, and cell death.
What Can An Experienced Spinal Cord Injury Lawyer Do For You?
Any injury can have devastating consequences for the injured person as well as his family. Not only is there the very sad possibility to become disabled for life, but also the necessity to spend huge amounts of money for suitable medical assistance to ensure the quality of life for the patient. If you or a loved one in your family is ever involved in an accident that resulted in SCI, you need to immediately contact and retain a spinal cord injury lawyer who has extensive experience with spinal cord injury lawsuits to obtain adequate compensation.
The reason why you will need a highly experienced spinal cord injury lawyer to fight for you is that literally your quality (and perhaps duration) of life depends on it. Some of the top benefits from hiring the best SCI lawyer are:
- Access to multiple resources – for best result and maximum compensation your lawyer should have instant access to medical experts, care planning professionals, medical economists, knowledge about latest medical and adaptive technologies, and so on to ensure that the best compensation plan is worked out covering present and future medical expenses that would be needed in your specific case.
- Claiming adequate compensation – Without access to adequate funds, the quality of life can deteriorate drastically given the fact the a SCI affected person – if survived the first year – is expected to live the remaining years of his life, which would mean up to 50 years or more.
- Speed and accuracy of the medical expenses evaluation – the lawyer should be able to put together an accurate compensation plan that covers all involved losses such as:
- Loss of wages due to loss of employment
- Loss of spousal intimacy
- Possible health complications that would increase the medical expenses – such as kidney problems, various infections, bedsores (owing to prolonged bedridden condition), kidney stones and many others
- Cost of personal attendant care, without which many SCI patients cannot survive
- Cost of specialized individual therapy
- Cost of upgrading medical equipment and future adaptation to latest technology on SCI
The first thing you could do in the event you or your family members have suffered from any type of spinal cord injury is to immediately contact a leading spinal cord injury expert who could advise you on the best legal course of action.
Experienced Legal Assistance for your SCI Lawsuit
Representative cases that Avery Law Firm has successfully handled involving spinal cord injuries are from surgical malpractice, plane crashes, auto/truck accidents, ski accidents, and sports injuries, just to name a few. To obtain top quality legal assistance with your spinal cord injury lawsuit, contact Avery Law Firm today at 303-840-2222 or fill out the contact form on this page.
 The University of Alabama at Birmingham: National Spinal Cord Injury Statistical Center – Spinal Cord Injury Facts and Figures at a Glance (February 2012) – https://www.nscisc.uab.edu/PublicDocuments/fact_figures_docs/Facts%202012%20Feb%20Final.pdf