Fort Smith Spinal Cord Injury Car Accident Lawyer
Approximately 291,000 Americans live with spinal cord injuries. A spinal cord injury can be debilitating, resulting in tremendous lifetime costs for survivors. According to the National Spinal Cord Injury Statistical Center (NSCISC), 17,730 new spinal cord injuries happen every year. Many of these were caused by car accidents.
Just over 47 percent of spinal cord injuries result in incomplete quadriplegia. Furthermore, the most recent estimate of spinal cord injuries (SCI) in the United States is approximately 54 cases per one million Americans. That adds up to roughly 17,900 cases each year.
The most frequent category of neurological impairment is incomplete tetraplegia, also referred to as quadriplegia. This is the inability to move the upper and lower parts of the body. This paralysis may also include the head, neck, and shoulders. Almost 20 percent of spinal cord injuries are classified as complete paraplegia.
Injuries sustained in a Fort Smith car accident can affect the spine or neck, resulting in crippling injuries. For spinal cord injuries, seek immediate medical care and speak to an experienced Fort Smith spinal cord injury car accident attorney at the Law Office of Jason M. Hatfield. We’re here to help you navigate a tough journey and ensure you are financially compensated for your injuries.
Spinal Cord Injuries Caused by Car Accidents: What You Need to Know Infographic
Spinal Cord Injury Locations from a Fort Smith Car Accident
The spine or backbone is a linked column of thirty-three individual bones, which span from the back of the head to the lower back. There are also a series of nerves and fibers connecting the base of the skull to the brain stem. This connection runs from the spine towards the lower back. Treatment for spinal injuries varies depending on the location of the injury. The higher the injury, the worse the diagnosis can be.
C1-C4 vertebrae sustain the most severe injuries. Most cases require around-the-clock care. The survivor may be quadriplegic. They may have problems communicating, need help breathing, or may not have proper gut and bowel control. In 2020, the average annual expense for high tetraplegia (C1-C4) was $1,163,425 dollars.
A C5-C8 vertebrae injury affects the nervous system. The nervous system controls the function of a person’s hands and arms. There may be complete or partial paralysis in the limbs, torso, and hands. It takes a major effort to breathe and talk. There is little or no bowel or bladder control. The average annual expenses, in 2020 dollars, for the first year for low tetraplegia (C5-C8) are $840,676.
T1-T5 injuries affect muscles in the middle of the back, the abdominal area, and the upper neck. The hands and arms may remain normal. This can lead to paraplegia. The average annual expense, in 2020 dollars, for the first year for paraplegia, is $567,011.
T6-T12 injuries result in paraplegia of the lower body. This means the upper body mostly functions normally. While there is some bladder and bowel control, it is not consistent or there is no control. The average annual expenses, in 2020 dollars, for the first year for any loss of motor function, are $379,698.
Injuries in the L1-L5 area affect the lower limbs. They may not function properly, and a person can have trouble controlling their bladder or bowel movements. The average annual expenses, in 2020 dollars, for the first year for any loss of motor function, are $379,698.
Injuries in the S1-S5 area may also affect the lower limbs. Although affected, a patient may walk. There is no bowel or bladder control. The average annual expenses, in 2020 dollars, for the first year for any loss of motor function, are $379,698.
Common Spinal Cord Injuries in a Fort Smith Car Accident
Depending on the nature and location of a spinal cord injury after a car accident, a survivor may experience:
• Muscle weakness
• Swelling, redness, bruising, or an inflamed back or neck
• Inability to lift lightweight objects
• Temporary immobility or permanent paralysis
• Shoulder, neck, and/or back pain
• Severe leg and/or arm pain
• Herniated discs
• Lumbar sprains
• Spinal stenosis
• Dislocated facet joints
• Inflamed joints
• Vocal cord paralysis
• A burning sensation in the back of the neck
• Torn cartilage between joints
• Numb feet, arms, legs, hands
• The beginnings of degenerative spinal disorders
• Facet joint fracture of the joints located between each pair of vertebrae in the spinal columns
Complete and Incomplete Spinal Cord Injuries
The higher the spinal column an injury is sustained, the more damaging the results are. Complete or incomplete spine injuries are based on evaluating the motion and feeling below the injury.
Incomplete injuries happen when a nerve communication is partially in place, and the brain receives messages. A complete injury often means the car accident survivor cannot feel anything below the injury site. In some instances, surgery may help. Each case is different, as are the injuries sustained in a collision.
What Happens After a Spinal Cord Injury?
It takes a dedicated team of people to help a spinal cord injury survivor after a motorcycle accident or car accident. Your spinal cord injury lawyer at the Law Office of Jason M. Hatfield may hire life care planners to help determine what the future may look like. Living with spinal cord injuries and calculating ongoing medical needs can be overwhelming to figure out on your own.
Life planners and your spinal cord injury attorney will factor in the possible costs of medical devices to assist you, remodeling your home’s interior to allow you to live and be cared for at home, figure out what kind of transportation is possible, and what care in an institution may cost if at-home care is not feasible.
A financial planner can also help outline your lost income, lost wages, and lost fringe benefits. These calculations help your spinal cord injury attorney seek compensation for the survivor to cope with their new reality.
Contact the Fort Smith Law Office of Jason M. Hatfield today
If you were involved in a Fort Smith car accident, contact the Law Office of Jason M. Hatfield by calling 479-361-3575. Our dedicated team of spinal cord car accident lawyers is here to help.
Call us today for a free initial consultation and to find out what you can expect if you file a personal injury lawsuit. We know you have questions, and we can answer them for you. The Law Office of Jason M. Hatfield is just one quick call away: 479-361-3575