Since 2010, approximately 38% of the 17,000 spinal cord injuries that occur in the United States each year happen because of vehicular accidents. This makes motor vehicle accidents the most common cause of spinal cord injuries in this country, according to the National Spinal Cord Injury Statistical Center.
How Spinal Cord Injuries Happen in Car Accidents
An injury to the head, neck, or back can result in a spinal cord injury. Any time the spinal cord is stretched, punctured, or torn, an injury can happen. Some of the ways that spinal cord injuries occur from car accidents include:
- Rollover accident roof collapses. If the roof collapses in a rollover accident, the roof can cause a head, neck, or back injury that results in a spinal cord injury.
- Seatbelt failures. If the seatbelt does not hold and do its job, a person may be thrown around violently in the vehicle or outside of the vehicle. The result can be a spinal cord injury.
- Other vehicle defects. The collapse of the seatback or any tire or mechanical defect that causes a driver to lose control can result in a spinal cord injury.
Living With a Spinal Cord Injury Is Expensive
Some spinal cord injuries are irreversible. If you are paralyzed, your injury can affect almost every aspect of your life, and the costs of living with a spinal cord injury can be significant. While the costs for different forms of spinal cord injuries vary, they are all substantial. The National Spinal Cord Injury Statistical Center estimates that on average:
- People with high tetraplegia have $1,065,980 in costs the first year after injury and $185,111 each subsequent year. If, for example, you are hurt when you are 25 years old, your lifetime costs will exceed $4.7 million.
- People with low tetraplegia have $770,264 in costs the first year and $113,557 each subsequent year. If you suffer low tetraplegia at age 25, your lifetime costs may approach $3.5 million.
- People with paralysis have $519,520 in costs the first year and $68,821 each subsequent year. If you suffer from paralysis at age 25, your lifetime costs may exceed $2.3 million.
- People with motor function issues who do not suffer paralysis have first-year costs of $347,896 and costs of $42,256 each subsequent year. Lifetime costs can exceed $1.5 million.
These costs only reflect medical costs and living expenses. They do not include some of your other significant damages including:
- Lost income
- Physical pain
- Emotional suffering
These damages, together with the cost of healthcare and living expenses, should be factors in your recovery
Start Protecting Your Recovery Today
Protecting your recovery is too important to do alone. Given the significant damages, you may suffer from a spinal cord injury, you can expect that the defendant’s insurance company is going to fight hard to minimize your financial recovery. It’s important to be represented by a compassionate lawyer who is going to advocate for your full and fair recovery. Our experienced legal team can help you negotiate a fair settlement with the insurance company or recover a fair verdict at trial.
For more information about your rights, we encourage you to contact one of our Virginia Personal Injury lawyers directly for a free, no-obligation consultation. We provide each of our clients with the care they deserve. Please call us today at 877.652.1553 or reach out to us via this website for more information.