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Long-Term Effects of Spinal Cord Injuries

June 26 2024 | Personal Injury

When the spinal cord sustains any type of damage in an accident, the effects can be severe. Major spinal cord injuries can lead to permanent and irreversible loss of function. You may need assistance from a spinal cord injury attorney in New Haven to recover fair financial compensation for the long-term effects of this injury.

Permanent Paralysis

The spine is responsible for transferring messages from the brain to the body. A serious injury to the spinal cord can permanently break this connection, leading to a loss of feeling and function below the point of injury (paralysis). The two most common types of paralysis are paraplegia (paralysis of the lower body) and quadriplegia or tetraplegia (paralysis of all four limbs and the trunk).

Paralysis is a significant disability that can interfere with an individual’s muscle movements, sensory function, respiratory system, bladder and bowel function, and sexual function. This injury often leads to secondary health problems, as well, such as a risk of infection, pressure ulcers (bedsores), and blood clots.

Chronic Pain

Individuals who suffer spinal cord injuries may experience chronic pain, or persistent feelings of pain that can impact the victim’s quality and enjoyment of life. Chronic pain can be neuropathic, meaning it arises from nerve damage in or around the spine.

Neuropathic pain often causes tingling, burning, or stabbing pain. Chronic pain can also be musculoskeletal, resulting from damage to the muscles, joints, and bones. This type of chronic pain is often described as aching or throbbing.

Health Complications

Even if a spinal cord injury does not result in permanent paralysis, it can affect the areas of the spine enough to result in long-term health complications. A disk injury, for example, could result in chronic pain, discomfort, and loss of mobility in the back.

The disks of the spine are small cushions that absorb shock between the vertebrae of the spinal cord. Other common health complaints among victims with spine injuries include muscle spasticity, infections, diabetes, osteoporosis, obesity, and cardiovascular problems.

Mental and Emotional Effects

A spinal cord injury can inflict mental, emotional, and psychological harm on a victim. A person who has to deal with permanent paralysis or disability may experience depression, lost enjoyment of life, anxiety, low self-esteem, and post-traumatic stress disorder. Many patients suffer significant mental distress that results in withdrawal from others, isolation, or chronic depression that can lead to self-harm and suicidal thoughts.

Long-Term Financial Toll

Spinal cord injuries can be extremely expensive in terms of the victim’s necessary medical care and treatments. For example, the National Spinal Cord Injury Statistical Center estimates that a high tetraplegia injury sustained at 25 years old will have an estimated lifetime cost of $6,077,646.

In addition to medical costs, a victim can face a range of other expenses due to the spine injury, such as lost wages, permanent lost capacity to earn, disability costs and accommodations, live-in or around-the-clock care, and travel or transportation.

Financial Compensation for the Long-Term Effects of a Spinal Cord Injury

A spinal cord injury can affect you for life. While no amount of money may ever suffice to make up for this severe or permanent type of injury, securing fair financial compensation through a personal injury lawsuit in Connecticut could give you and your family what you need to pay for required medical care and move forward with greater peace of mind.

To schedule a free legal consultation regarding a spinal cord injury, contact a New Haven personal injury attorney at Jacobs & Jacobs.

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