Whether a careless driver T-boned you at an intersection, your son suffered lacerations and a concussion in a football practice, or a dear relative hurt herself falling on icy stairs outside a Denver restaurant, you want authoritative insight into what you can do about the spinal cord injury. You’d also like to obtain fair and complete compensation for the pain, suffering, medical costs, lost work opportunities and other problems the injury has caused or will cause.
According to the National Spinal Cord Injury Statistical Center in Alabama, approximately 12,000 Americans suffer a serious spinal cord injury (SCI) annually, and as many as 332,000 living Americans must manage some form of SCI. Spinal cord injuries, statistically speaking, tend to be most common in younger adults between the ages of 16 and 30, although the average age of a victim is 42.6 years old. These injuries also preferentially affect men; according to the National Spinal Cord Injury Statistical Center, over 80 percent of victims are male.
Common Causes of SCI
Over a third of SCI cases (36.5%) involve motor vehicles accidents. Falls account for another 28.5% of cases. Violent acts, such as fights or assaults, account for another 14.3% of injuries. Sports, like football, hockey, soccer, rugby, skiing, and skateboarding, account for 9.2%. Other causes, including unknown causes, account for the remaining 11.4% of cases.
Measuring the Costs of Spinal Cord Injury
The extent of the damage to the spinal cord and back, the medical care and therapies provided, the patient’s resilience, the degree to which the SCI prevents the victim from being able to earn a living, and many other factors influence the cost. However, an analysis published on the topic in Spinal Cord Injury Rehabilitation in 2011 found that lifetime costs can exceed $4.6 million for individuals 25 years old or younger afflicted with high tetraplegia (C1 to C4) injuries.
Obtaining Fair Compensation and Building Your Case
Whether the accident happened yesterday or a month ago, begin by compiling as much information as possible about the event that led to the injury.
If a DUI driver hit your wife’s motorcycle, for instance, collect information from the scene, including pictures, witness statements and the police report. In addition, get medical assistance as soon as possible, and follow up with your doctors or therapists. Keep track of progress in a journal. Avoid discussing your case with interested parties, such as an insurance adjuster, until you speak with a qualified personal injury attorney. You want to avoid saying or doing anything that could compromise your case.
Collecting evidence, identifying defendants, proving liability and following up with insurance companies about claims can be quite complicated and nuanced. Patience is crucial, as is knowledge of how injury cases typically unfold.
Rather than try to navigate the situation yourself — particularly if you are in pain or if you need to take care of family members in pain — work with an experienced, qualified legal team.
Our Colorado spinal cord injury attorneys would be happy to provide a free consultation to help you understand options and obtain peace of mind. Contact the Law Office of Steve Roberts, LLC, at 720-515-7058.