The spine takes on numerous functions in the human body, as it provides support and structure while also enabling flexibility and mobility. It also has the important job of protecting the spinal cord from injury, but the solid bones of the vertebrae cannot withstand extremely powerful trauma. The Miami Project, an investigative research program targeting spinal cord injuries, reports that there are around 249,000 to 363,000 people in the US currently living with complications from spinal cord trauma. Plus, another 17,730 victims add to these figures every year.
While the physical pain can be excruciating, you may experience losses you never even imagined if you or a loved one suffered a spinal cord injury. Therefore, you should discuss your legal options and remedies for recovering compensation with a Miami spinal cord injury lawyer. Some additional statistics and legal overview may also be helpful.
Top Causes and Statistics on Spinal Cord Injuries
Through its efforts to educate, research, and develop solutions, the Miami Project unveiled additional data on spinal cord injuries:
- The top causes of spinal cord injuries are motor vehicle accidents and falls, at 39.3% and 31.8% respectively. Intentional violence, sports-related trauma, and medical malpractice round out the list.
- Most victims of spinal cord injuries are classified as incomplete tetraplegia, in which there is sensation but no motor function below the area of the trauma. Over 12% of victims will sustain complete tetraplegia, with no sensation or control below the spinal cord injury.
- The length of hospitalization in an acute care unit averages 11 days, while victims typically spend around 31 days in rehab.
Lifetime Costs and Complications
From the statistics above, you can see that the victim of a spinal cord injury will incur astronomical medical costs. A day of hospitalization costs around $2,260, but this amount does not include treatment in acute care. Time at a rehabilitation center may also reach approximately $1,600 per day. In addition, the Miami Project notes:
- On average, a person with a spinal cord injury may incur expenses ranging up to $1.1 million dollars the first year after being hurt. Medical care for subsequent years may run from $44,000 to $196,000, depending on the location and completeness of the injury.
- A victim who sustains a spinal cord injury at age 50 will incur $1.2 to $2.8 million in estimated lifetime medical and living expenses costs, not including lost wages . Note that the average age at the time of injury is 43 years old.
Our Miami Spinal Cord Injuries Attorneys Can Explain Your Legal Options
With these lifelong costs and complications in mind, you can see how crucial it is to work with experienced legal counsel regarding your options after a spinal cord injury. Our team at Gerson & Schwartz, PA can assist with the insurance claims process and in court, so please contact our firm to set up a no-cost case evaluation. We represent accident victims throughout South Florida from our offices in Miami, Fort Lauderdale, and West Palm Beach, FL.