A serious car accident can damage any part of the body, but injuries to the spinal cord are particularly devastating. As WebMD explains, the spinal cord is composed of nerve cells that transmit messages throughout the body. Because the spine plays an integral role in so many of the body’s functions, a spinal cord injury (SCI) can cause a range of symptoms from bladder incontinence to respiratory problems and paralysis.
In addition to the emotional trauma of such an injury, SCIs are exorbitantly expensive to treat. According to the Christopher and Dana Reeve Foundation, the first year of treatment for a person with high tetraplegia is typically more than $1 million. The average cost of care for each following is year $184,891. Even if there is only a minor loss of motor function, the patient can expect to spend $347,484 for the first year of treatment and $42,206 for each following year.
According to the Mayo Clinic, car accidents are the leading cause of spinal cord injuries in the United States. You can reduce your risk of suffering an SCI in a crash by:
- Wearing your seat belt;
- Purchasing a vehicle with front-seat airbags; and
- Obeying the speed limit to minimize the impact of a collision.
Unfortunately, even the most responsible drivers are not immune to accidents. If you or someone you love sustained a spinal injury due to a drunk, distracted, or reckless driver in New Mexico, contact The Law Office of Brian K. Branch.
During your free initial consultation, a personal injury attorney will evaluate your crash to determine if you have grounds for a claim. Call 505-207-4401 to discuss your case with a car accident lawyer in Albuquerque.
Why Is It So Expensive to Treat a Spinal Cord Injury?
It’s easy to underestimate the cost of treating a SCI until you experience one firsthand. Let’s take a look at three reasons why spinal cord injuries are so expensive to treat:
- SCIs Can Affect Many of the Body’s Vital Functions
As previously mentioned, the nerves within the spinal cord are responsible for transmitting messages throughout the body. An SCI can either directly or indirectly affect almost every system within the body. In addition to surgeries and other medical treatments, patients often need modifications to their homes to accommodate the effects of an SCI.
- Some Patients Require Specialized Surgery
Some patients can benefit from specialized surgeries to prevent further damage. As the American Association of Neurological Surgeons explains, it is common for doctors to recommend surgery for SCI patients who suffer a lesion, herniated disc, or blood clot. Such a surgery may not necessarily reverse the effects of an SCI, but it can stabilize the patient’s condition.
- Ongoing Medical Treatment and Rehabilitation Can Cost a Veritable Fortune
Patients with spinal cord injuries may suffer a range of complications such as pneumonia, ulcers, and thrombosis. Some require 24-hour supervision to prevent recurrent health problems.
If you suffered a spinal injury due to a negligent driver, contact The Law Office of Brian K. Branch. With a combined 32 years in legal practice, our attorneys have the experience to help you through this tough time and get you fairly compensated. Call 505-207-4401 to schedule a free consultation with a car accident lawyer in Albuquerque.