Brain And Spinal Cord Injuries
Although there are a variety of different types of catastrophic injuries, brain and spinal cord injuries are two of the most common forms. Since the nature of a catastrophic injury generally lends itself to being life-altering and long term, an injury to one’s brain or spinal cord can be a devastating blow to a victim and his or her family. Depending upon the severity of the injury or injuries, patients might be facing lengthy hospital stays or lifelong treatment in a specialized care facility. Also, it’s not uncommon for brain and spinal cord injuries to go hand in hand, especially if the injuries occurred during a car accident where multiple injuries were sustained.
Common Causes of Brain and Spinal Cord Injuries
- Car accidents
- Recreational accidents
- Pedestrian and bicycle accidents
- Workplace accidents
- Sports Injuries
- Motorcycle accidents
- Acts of violence
What is a Traumatic Brain Injury?
A traumatic brain injury (TBI) is also known as an intracranial injury. This type of catastrophic injury occurs when some type of trauma or injury occurs to the head. A blow to the head, jolt or penetrating injury can cause a TBI. Car accidents are a common cause of traumatic brain injury. Also known as “the silent epidemic,” brain injuries can leave patients with long-term cognitive, emotional and mental deficits. Additionally, patients can also experience personality changes, memory loss, problems with vision and hearing and depression. Officials with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimate that 2.5 million TBI’s occurred in 2010, alone.
The costs associated with brain and spinal cord injuries start with the initial hospitalization. This is just the beginning. Depending upon the severity of the injury, you could be looking at multiple surgical procedures, time spent in an intensive care unit and long-term hospitalization. In the most severe cases, patients might spend their whole lives in assisted or specialized care facilities, especially if respiratory supportive care is needed or the loved ones are unable to provide adequate care in a home setting. Additionally, patients are likely out of work for months or years. Some victims will never be able to go back to work. This can be incredibly difficult for families where the primary earner suffers from a debilitating catastrophic injury. There will also be costs associated with lifelong treatments, doctors’ appointments, medical devices and other necessary equipment.
U.S. Brain and Spinal Cord Injury Facts
About 200,000 people are currently living with a spinal cord injury across the U.S.
An estimated12,000 to 20,000 people suffer form spinal cord injuries each year.
In 2010, TBI contributed to the deaths of more than 50,000 people.
Over the past decade, TBI-related emergency room department visits have increased by 70 percent.
Motor vehicle crashes account for 14.3 percent of all TBI’s.
Lifelong Treatment, Rehabilitation and Physical Therapy
With just about any spinal cord or brain injury, one thing is for certain. A variety of treatments, rehabilitation schedules and physical therapy appointments become part of your day-to-day life. Living with a catastrophic injury means you’re not just walking out of the hospital and going back to your regular life. It means you’re spending months and years of your life just trying to get back a shred of the independence you enjoyed before your accident.
Everybody knows that spinal cord injuries can lead to paralysis, but few people think about the other neurological impairments that can occur as a result of this type of injury. Depending upon what nerves were impacted, patients can be facing respiratory, urinary and gastrointestinal dysfunctions, which could lead to a lifetime of specialized care. Although generally thought of as the most obvious side effect of a spinal cord injury, not being able to get around is just one part of living with this type of catastrophic injury. Traumatic brain injuries can also vary in severity. In some cases, patients are left with serious memory, cognitive and emotional deficits which they may never fully recover from.
If you or a loved one has suffered a catastrophic injury to the brain or spinal cord, you need to speak with an experienced personal injury attorney as soon as possible to get the ball rolling on your case. Since you’re looking at the lifelong implications associated with this type of injury, you need an advocate on your side, making sure your rights are being protected. The skilled team at Coxwell & Associates, PLLC can help you get the compensation you deserve, so you can focus on what matters, putting your life back together.
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