Important Information for Atlanta Car Accident Victims Who Experience Spinal Cord Injuries
Whether you are the driver or passenger on a motorcycle or in a car, truck or bus, a serious motor vehicle collision can result in injuries that cause enormous pain and permanent disability. Spinal cord injuries constitute one of the most common forms of catastrophic life-altering injuries suffered by victims in traffic accidents. When vehicle occupants experience a spinal cord injury (SCI) in a car crash, they might be forced to endure paraplegia, quadriplegia, diminished sensation, impaired cognitive ability, and/or limited mobility. Given the enormous impact of an SCI on a victim's daily routine and the staggering cost associated with treatment, individuals experiencing these serious injuries often rely on their recovery in a personal injury lawsuit to maintain their quality of life.
Although most vehicle occupants probably never consider the risk that they will suffer a spinal cord injury when getting into a car, it is estimated that about 273,000 people in the U.S. live with this debilitating type of injury according to the University of Alabama at Birmingham National Spinal Cord Injury Statistical Center (NSCISC). Further, another 12,000 people experience SCIs each year based on NSCISC data. Motor vehicle accidents account for nearly 37 percent of all SCIs.
The spinal cord essentially resembles a cable or tube that is approximately the diameter of a quarter and approximately a foot to a foot and a half long. The spinal cord contains the nerves which communicate messages from the brain to the parts of the body. An SCI results in damage to at least some of these nerves, which prevents these messages from reaching certain parts of the body.
Many people who suffer significant SCI injuries compromise their claim for compensation by failing to obtain a prompt and accurate diagnosis. Some car accident victims seek no further medical attention after an X-ray in the emergency room. However, negative X-rays do not foreclose the possibility that the impact of a collision has caused an SCI. Regardless of the results of X-rays during an emergency room visit, car crash victims who experience numbness in their extremities or ongoing or worsening symptoms should see a neurologist, orthopedist or neurosurgeon, who can all order an MRI or CT scan to diagnose injury to the spine.
Prompt medical attention and treatment are essential to cope with intense pain, physical disabilities, and the financial impact of an SCI which can overwhelm a family. The precise costs will vary dramatically depending on the specific nature of the injury. The average lifetime costs of an SCI have been estimated by the NSCISC to range between about $1.5 million and over $4.6 million for a person suffering injury at the age of 25. These staggering costs understate the total financial hardship associated with SCIs because the projection does not account for lost wages, fringe benefits, or productivity, which are estimated to account for another $70,000 per year.
Given the staggering financial costs associates with an SCI, vehicle occupants who suffer this type of injury in a motor vehicle collision should seek the advice and representation of an Atlanta car accident lawyer, who can gather evidence and pursue a claim against the at-fault person or party.
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Montlick and Associates has been representing those who suffer serious injuries throughout all of Georgia and in the Southeast for over thirty years, including but not limited to Albany, Athens, Atlanta, Augusta, Columbus, Gainesville, Macon, Marietta, Rome, Roswell, Savannah, Smyrna, Valdosta, Warner Robins and all smaller cities and rural areas in the state.
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https://www.nscisc.uab.edu/PublicDocuments/fact_figures_docs/Facts%202013.pdf (downloads PDF file)