Spinal Cord Injuries

Spinal cord injuries are on the rise according to a recent study by Johns Hopkins University.  The two leading causes of spinal cord injuries are motor vehicle accidents (car, truck, motorcycle, and wrecks involving pedestrians) which cause 35.5 percent of all such injuries, and falls (including those in nursing homes) which cause 41.5 percent. These injuries are accompanied by a severe financial and emotional cost.

Attorney Bruce A. Blaylock is an experienced trial lawyer who understands the impact of spinal cord injuries on the victim and their family. He has built a reputation for honesty and trustworthiness over his long career, and the insurance companies knows this. This reputation allows him and and his team to settle the majority of cases without the need for a lawsuit to be filed.

Contact the firm today at 301-951-1800 to discuss your potential claim. Your initial consultation is always free.

Spinal Cord Injuries at Neck and Mid-back

The spinal cord is contained within the spine itself, and is a bundle of nerves that carries messages between the brain and the rest of the body. An acute spinal cord injury results from a traumatic event that results in a bruise, a partial tear or a complete tear of the cord. The injury results in decreased or a complete loss of movement. The most common areas for a spinal cord injury to occur according to Johns Hopkins is the neck and mid-back.

Aside from a partial or complete loss of movement, many other types of symptoms can accompany a spinal cord injury. According to the Mayo Clinic, these symptoms may include:

  • Extreme back pain or pressure in the neck or back.
  • Loss of sensation, including the ability to sense temperature changes and touch.
  • Loss of bowel or bladder control.
  • Spasms or exaggerated reflexes.
  • Difficulty breathing.

The Mayo Clinic recommends anyone who experiences a significant trauma to his or her head or neck seek immediate medical evaluation, as a serious spinal injury is not always immediately obvious.

The Costs of Spinal Cord Injuries

A spinal cord injury can be accompanied by serious financial hardship. Costs to the victim can range from $15,000 to $30,000 a year according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. These injuries can have serious and long lasting consequences, with symptoms ranging from temporary numbness to paralysis.  If the injury is permanent, lifetime costs can range from $500,000 to over $3,000,000.  According to the CDC, spinal cord injuries can also cause neurological impairments in any body system controlled by the effected nerves, such as the musculoskeletal, respiratory and gastrointestinal systems, necessitating further medical treatment and cost.

In addition to the medical costs, a victim frequently experiences a lost of income and earning capacity. According to the National Spinal Cord Injury Statistical Center, over half of all spinal cord injury victims were employed at the time of their injury. The number falls to just under 12 percent one year following the injury, and just under 35 percent 20 years post-injury.

The emotional tolls of a spinal cord injury can also be severe. Depression and anxiety are frequent psychological components to those suffering from such an injury. Many victims’ lives are changed radically through no fault of their own.

According to the National Spinal Cord Injury Association, individuals are likely to experience different stages of grief following a traumatic spinal cord injury. These stages may include denial and disbelief, sadness, anger, bargaining and acceptance. As the victim copes, they develop depression or may lash out in anger toward friends and loved ones.