The central nervous system, including the brain and spine, remains an area of limited understanding for doctors and scientists. Although great advances have been made in the last fifty years in brain and spinal cord research, there is still a relatively vast amount that is unknown. This means the future for victims of spinal cord injuries (SCIs) is blind yet hopeful. Although there are new procedures and devices entering the market often, innovative treatments are extremely expensive, and there is often no guarantee they will work.
The lifelong battle that faces victims of SCIs is unimaginable to most uninjured people. While victims would give anything to recover the normalcy of their lives before injury, many of them are left in extreme debt after the medical bills associated with only initial recovery. For many victims of spinal cord injury, it is a financial and emotional struggle just to regain basic functionality and the new equipment needed for such.
Causes of Spinal Cord Injuries
It is estimated that there are 12,000 new cases of spinal cord injury annually in the United States, not including those who die immediately from the injury, according to the National Spinal Cord Injury Statistical Center (NSCISC). Spinal cord injuries can be complete, causing complete paralysis (quadriplegia) or incomplete, causing partial paralysis (paraplegia).
Causes of spinal cord injury can range from gross negligence to no-fault accident. The NSCISC reported that since 2005, SCIs have been reportedly caused by
- Motor vehicle crashes – 40 percent
- Falls – 28 percent
- Violence (mostly gunshot wounds) – 15 percent
- Sports – 8 percent
- Other – 9 percent
Cost of SCIs
The initial and ongoing financial costs associated with spinal cord injuries are enormous. Clearly loss of income post-accident is to be expected, and many SCI victims suffer lifelong disability preventing their return to the workforce. In fact, according to NSCISC, only 11.6 percent of people are able to return to work within a year of experiencing a spinal cord injury.
Medical costs can top $100,000 in the first year alone. Often, post-accident, victims must spend time in expensive rehabilitation centers, learning how to adjust to the impairments of their injury. There are further costs upon leaving the facility including
- Medical equipment, such as adaption equipment for the house and vehicles
- Medical supplies
- In-home assistance
- Physical therapy
Shepherd’s Spinal Clinic
Buck Rogers is on the Board of Trustees for Shepherds Spinal Clinic. Shepherd Center of Atlanta, Georgia is a private, not-for-profit facility specializing in medical treatment, research and rehabilitation of those with spinal cord and brain injuries. It is ranked among the top 10 rehabilitation centers in the United States. With individualized care, state-of-the-art medical care and a services to help each patient throughout their lifetime, it’s no surprise Shepherd Spinal Clinic is ranked so highly.
Buck gives his time to the patients at Shepherds on a regular basis, and Fried Rogers Goldberg hosts a cookout for patients twice a year in the fall and spring. We believe it is important to give back to the community and help support facilities that care for spinal injury patients.
Why Seek Legal Action?
SCIs can occur due to blameless accident, but nearly half of them are the result of a vehicle crash and still others occur due to another person or entity’s irresponsible behavior. Due to the extensive costs associated with SCIs, as well as the physical and emotional losses, victims often choose to pursue a lawsuit against the negligent party who caused the SCI. Reckless driving and disregard for workplace safety are two examples of negligent behavior that can lead to an SCI lawsuit.
Contact a Spinal Cord Injury Lawyer
If you or a loved one has suffered an SCI because of someone’s neglect, one of the experienced attorneys at Fried Rogers Goldberg can help you pursue financial compensation. You can view our verdicts and case results by clicking here. Contact us today for a free consultation to discuss your legal rights and options.