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Spinal cord injuries are among the most serious injuries a victim can face. Long-term rehabilitation and medical care are standard. Disability often results, and the medical bills are astronomical, even with insurance. The average annual cost of medical care is $30,000, according to the National Institutes of Health. Lifetime costs in some cases are estimated at more than $3 million.
When a family member suffers a spinal cord injury, it’s imperative that a Missouri spinal cord injury attorney is contacted immediately. The issues are often overwhelming for families. Insurance companies and even hospitals understand the stakes and will immediately begin moving to limit their liability.
Spinal cord injuries fall into several categories:
- Complete: defined by the loss of all feeling or ability to control movement below the neurological level
- Partial: some sensory function remains
- Paraplegia: affects all or part of the pelvic organs, trunk, and legs
- Quadriplegia or Tetraplegia: defined as a spinal cord injury that affects arms, trunk, legs, and pelvic organs.
Traumatic spinal cord injury falls into five categories as classified by the American Spinal Injury Association. These classifications are defined by sensation in 10 key muscle groups, including hip flexion, elbow flexion, elbow extension, shoulder shrug, wrist extension.
The most serious (quadriplegia or tetraplegia) injuries typically involve injuries in the neck. Injuries at C1-C3 typically affect breathing. C4-C5 injuries affect bicep, shoulder, wrist and hand functions.
Injuries at or below the thoracic level may result in paraplegia. T1 to T8 injury may result in an inability to control abdominal muscles. The lower the injury, the less severe the effects. Injuries in the T9 to T12 region may result in partial loss of control of the trunk or abdominal muscles.
In addition to paralysis, a spinal cord injury often causes other significant physical and psychological issues, including respiratory, urinary and gastrointestinal problems, depression and anxiety.
Rehabilitation is a long process and the outcome is uncertain. Physical therapists, social workers, occupational therapists, and psychologists will need to design a long-term rehabilitation and care plan. Having the necessary legal resources on your side can help ensure critical medical resources will be made available. Long-term professional at-home care may also be necessary. And family members often need counseling and other social services.
Contact Our Spine Injury Lawyer in St. Louis
If you are dealing with a spinal cord injury, please contact attorney Ryan R. Cox and the staff at our law offices. We will personally meet with you, free of charge, either at one of our offices, at your home, or in the hospital.