While spinal cord injuries happen for a number of reasons, motor vehicle accidents are the most common cause of these devastating injuries.
Overall, motor vehicle accidents cause almost 40% of all spinal cord injuries. As our blog has mentioned in the past, many times, a New Yorker gets injured a car accident in which the other driver is responsible.
Other common causes of catastrophic spinal cord injuries include slips or trips and falls, which cause just over 30% of all injuries.
Many trips and falls happen because of another person’s carelessness, unsafe conditions at a workplace or even safety issues at another person’s business or personal property.
Injuries from assaults account for just under 15% percent of all injuries, and complications during medical procedures, including medical malpractice, account for 5% of all spinal cord injuries.
The cost of these injuries is astronomical.
In most cases, about 45%, the victim will suffer some limitations to their mobility at and below their necks.
Over 20% will have difficulties moving below the waist, and a total of 33% will experience complete paralysis of either the legs or all of their limbs. Only a handful are fortunate enough not to suffer any permanent damage.
The exact cost of a spinal cord injury depends on how severe the injury is and the age of the victim at the time of the injury.
However, even the least severe type of spinal cord injury will cost a 50-year-old victim over $1 million in medical bills and other rehabilitative care during his or her life. A 25-year-old victim will pay close to $1.5 million.
For someone completely paralyzed below the neck, a 25-year-old will pay over $4.2 million in costs after incurring over $1 million in the first year. A 50-year-old will pay close to $2.6 million.
These costs do not include the cost lost income, which could amount to hundreds of thousands of dollars over one’s life. Likewise, someone who suffers a spinal cord injury will likely not live as long as they would have uninjured.
The sad thing is that these costly and life-altering injuries are often preventable. When another person’s negligence has left a New Yorker struggling with a spinal cord injury, the victim and his or her family may have legal options.