Car Accidents and Spinal Cord Injuries

Raúl A. Guajardo
A Strong, Versatile Lawyer Serving McAllen, Texas

According to the National Spinal Cord Injury Association, there are over a quarter million people living in the United States with spinal cord injuries.  It may surprise you to learn car accidents are the number one cause of spinal cord injuries.  At Raul A. Guajardo, P.L.L.C., we know spinal cord injuries can be devastating.  Below are just things we think you should know about car accidents and spinal cord injuries.

Signs of Possible Spinal Cord Injury

Sometimes, a spinal cord injury is not readily apparent.  Some signs and symptoms of a spinal cord injury include the following:

  • Unusual lumps on the spine or the head;Car Accidents and Spinal Cord Injuries
  • Impaired breathing after an injury;
  • Abnormal pain, pressure, or band like sensations in the thorax;
  • Difficulty balancing;
  • Difficulty walking;
  • Urinary or bowel incontinence, urgency, or retention;
  • Partial or complete loss of control over a body part;
  • Extreme pressure or pain in the back, head, or neck;
  • Tingling or loss of sensation in the extremities. 

If you experience any of these symptoms, you should seek medial treatment immediately.

Some Spinal Cord Injury Statistics

37 % of spinal cord injuries are caused by car accidents.  Violence causes 28 % of spinal cord injuries, followed by falls, which cause 21 % of spinal cord injuries.  Sports related spinal cord injuries account for 6 % of the total every year.  Overall, approximately 11,000 new spinal cord injuries occur each year.  Men represent a significantly greater percentage of those who sustain spinal cord injuries, at 82 %.  The average age of people at the time of spinal cord injury is 31.  Perhaps the most shocking statistic is this: only 52 % of spinal cord injured people had private health insurance at the time they sustained the injury.

The Cost of Spinal Cord Injures

People stay, on average, in an acute care unit for 15 days post injury.  Add to that an average of 44 days in a rehabilitation unit. 

  • Hospitalization costs, on average, are around $140,000. 
  • The first year of expenses related to a spinal cord injury are around $198,000.
  • The average lifetime costs for paraplegics injured at age 25 is $428,000, while the average lifetime costs for quadriplegics at age 25 at the time of injury are about 1.35 million.

If You Have Sustained a Spinal Cord Injury

If you have sustained a spinal cord injury, you may be entitled to compensation for your injuries.  In other words, depending on the facts of your case, you may be entitled to money to pay not only past medical bills, but also future medical bills.  You may be entitled to money to help pay for ongoing  nursing care, rehabilitation services, or special medical equipment. 

At the Law Office of Raul A. Guajardo, we maintain office space in Edinburg, Brownsville, and McAllen to serve you.  However, if for any reason you are unable to come to the office, we come to you.  We are available for free consultations and will meet you where it is convenient for you.  Contact us to make an appointment.  We look forward to working with you.