The National Spinal Cord Injury Statistical Center (NSCISC) estimates that between 229,000 and 306,000 people in the U.S. suffer from spinal cord injury.
Many of these spine injuries are caused by an accident that could have been prevented, such as a motor vehicle accident, a fall at work or a strike by a heavy object. Spinal cord injury victims may face permanent or partial disability, hurting their ability to work while increasing their medical and living expenses.
Causes of Spinal Cord Injury
According to the NSCISC, motor vehicle crashes account for 42 percent of all reported spinal cord injury cases in the U.S. These accidents involve cars, trucks, motorcycles or equipment such as forklifts or skid steers at construction sites, warehouses, factories and ports.
The Florida Department of Public Health reports that the back is the body part most frequently harmed in workplace accidents, with falls being the leading source of injury. Falls can be from a ladder, scaffold or crane, or they can occur on a wet, oily, icy or uneven surface. Being struck by a swinging piece of equipment may also cause injury at a work site. In many cases, constant bending, twisting, lifting or overexertion may lead to spinal cord problems.
A blow to the head, neck or back may cause paralysis or numbness immediately or over a period of time as bleeding and swelling occurs around the spinal cord. The injury may cause tetraplegia or quadriplegia (where the arms, trunk, legs and pelvic organs are all affected) or paraplegia (all or part of the trunk, legs and pelvic organs are affected).
According to Mayoclinic.com, signs and symptoms of spinal cord injuries include:
- Extreme back pain or pressure in the neck, head or back;
- Loss of movement, sensation and bowel or bladder control;
- Exaggerated reflexes or spasms;
- Difficulty breathing, balancing or walking;
- Loss of sexual function.
In addition to severe physical pain and emotional suffering, a spinal cord injury may lead to high medical bills and living expenses. The NSCISC estimates that the average yearly expenses in the first year of a spinal cord injury range from $236,000 to $801,000, with costs ranging from $16,000 to $143,000 for each successive year.
Contact Us Today
If you or a loved one has suffered a severe spinal cord injury as the result of another's negligent or reckless conduct, the Florida spinal cord injury lawyers of Shapiro, Goldman, Babboni and Walsh can help.
We have offices throughout Southwest Florida, including St. Petersburg, Bradenton, Sarasota, Venice, Englewood, Port Charlotte, Punta Gorda, Ft. Myers, Arcadia and Lakeland. We represent our client's personal injury cases throughout the state of Florida. For a free, no-obligation consultation, call us today at 1-800-954-4014 or use our online contact form.