According to the National Spinal Cord Injury Statistical Center, there are more than 17,000 new cases of a spinal cord injury (SCI) each year. Whether the injury is acute or chronic, it often results in a lifetime of expensive physical rehabilitation and therapy. This can have a negative and devastating effect for the injured and their loved ones for years to come.
Spinal cord injuries are often permanent and irreversible. It can occur due to trauma or damage to any part of the spinal cord or nerves at the end of the spinal canal. Spinal cord injuries commonly result from vehicle or motorcycle accidents, sports injuries, acts of violence, or slips and falls.
Symptoms of SCI Injuries
It’s natural to assume that those with SCI suffer from paralysis. While this is typically the most severe symptom, spinal cord injuries can affect other parts of the body. This depends on the severity and location of the injury.
Symptoms of SCI can include, but are not limited to:
- Gastrointestinal issues
- Difficulty breathing
- Phantom pain in other parts of the body
- Loss or altered sensation, such as the ability to feel heat, cold and touch
- Impaired movement or function
Proper Therapy for SCI Victims
Physical therapy for spinal cord injury victims is not easy and can take many years before progress is noticed. Oftentimes, the patient will have to re-learn various motor skills. While there is no guarantee that physical rehab will help, it’s strongly recommended due to the long-term beneficial physical and psychological effects it can produce.
When someone suffers a critical spinal cord injury, it can also take an unexpected toll on their emotional well-being. They may experience anxiety, stress or a number of related psychological issues as a direct result of the injury.
A majority of serious injuries are the result of traumatic incidents, making post-traumatic stress disorder common among SCI victims. Long-term therapy or counseling may be helpful to these victims to get the emotional support that they need to adjust to life with a spinal cord injury.
Financial Burden for SCI Victims
An estimated total lifetime cost of long-term care for someone with a spinal cord injury can range from 1 million to upwards of 4.7 million dollars. While the insurance company may pay for a portion of physical rehab, many SCI victims can wind up paying out-of-pocket for long-term care.
There are also several hidden costs that should be considered. This includes the possible loss of future wages, fringe benefits, and productivity. People who suffer from spinal cord injuries often have to travel long distances to visit specialist doctors. These travel expenses can add up quickly, especially with the specialized level of care that they require when traveling.
SCI Attorneys in Tacoma & Seattle, WA
Spinal cord injuries can cause unforeseen physical, emotional and financial complications for those who suffer from them. Insurance companies will not always cover the entire cost of long-term medical treatment. This is why it is so important to seek the legal counsel of an experienced injury attorney before talking to the insurance companies.
If you or a loved one has suffered an SCI injury, schedule a free consultation with one of our Washington injury attorneys today. At Evergreen Personal Injury Counsel, we are here to sustain you throughout the legal process to get you the justice that you deserve. This is so you can solely focus on healing.