Spinal cord injuries in the United States are common and they are expensive. According to the National Spinal Cord Injury Statistical Center, there are approximately 17,000 new spinal cord injury cases every year and approximately 282,000 people who are living with spinal cord injuries. The most common cause of spinal cord injuries is motor vehicle crashes, accounting for 38% of all spinal cord injuries. Depending on the severity of the injury, the estimated lifetime costs for a spinal cord injury to a 25-year-old person range from $1.5 million to $4.7 million, and to a 50-year-old person range between $1.1 million and $2.6 million.
Given these figures of how prevalent spinal cord injuries are, and their significant costs, victims who have been injured in a motor vehicle crash and have sustained a spinal cord injury may be entitled to significant compensation. If you or a loved one have been diagnosed with a spinal cord injury after a motor vehicle crash, call our Colorado Springs auto accident lawyer to learn how we can help protect your rights to compensation by dialing (719) 421-7141.
Understanding the Spinal Cord: What is it and What Happens When it is Damaged?
The spinal cord is a gelatinous bundle of nerves that extends from the bottom of your skull to your lower back. It connects to the brain. The spinal cord and brain make up the central nervous system. The soft spinal cord is encased in very hard and strong bone, known individually as a vertebra. These bones are stacked on top of each other and are hollow, and it is through that hollow space that the spinal cord runs. The bones extend from the base of the skull to the pelvis. In between each vertebra is a shock-absorbing disc, which helps protect the vertebrae from grinding on each other. There are also nerves that originate from the spinal cord out towards the limbs; this is the peripheral nervous system. These components make up the “spinal column,” which is also protected by wrappings of spinal tissue, like tendons, ligaments, and connective tissue. Muscles further wrap over the spine to protect it.
The purpose of the spinal cord is a message highway. When peripheral nerves (e.g., in the fingers) sense pain, the message is sent along those nerves, into the spinal cord, and to the brain to be processed. The brain then sends back a message down the spinal cord, out the peripheral nerves, and to the smaller nerves.
When the spinal cord is injured, it will no longer send messages from the peripheral nerves (the fingers sensing pain) up the spinal cord to the brain. The injured spinal cord is severed, and will not “forward” the message up. This is significant because, depending on where the spinal cord injury is, the severity of the paralysis will vary.
For instance, if the damage is at the end of the spinal cord, it will “shut off” messages from the lower part of the body. However, if the damage is up in the cervical (neck) area, the messages from the neck down may not be sent to the brain. This means that the legs and arms may not function properly after a motor vehicle crash.
Victims of Colorado Springs Auto Accidents with Spinal Cord Injuries Need to Call Springs Law Group
Our Colorado Springs auto accidents lawyer can help victims of spinal cord injuries who have been injured due to the negligence of another driver. We fight for compensation for pain and suffering, lost wages, lost earning capacity (inability to keep the same job and needing to take a less-paying job), medical bills, property damage, and loss of affection or services to loved ones. Call Springs Law Group to learn how we can help protect your rights. You can call call at (719) 421-7141 or use the convenient and easy to use “Get Help Now” submission box available here. We can help walk you through the process, together, and help you get on the road to recovery. Call today to schedule for FREE consultation.
Jacob Kimball is a Civil Litigation and Personal Injury Attorney who practices in Colorado Springs, CO. He graduated from the Ohio State Moritz College of Law, and has been practicing law for 13 years now. Jacob Kimball firmly believes in fighting for the injured. Learn more about his experience here.