If you have recently been involved in a Washington State car accident, you may have suffered a spinal cord injury. This type of injury is very different from the less serious whiplash injury which is a common car accident injury. A spinal cord injury can cause both immediate and long-term damage. If the car accident was not your fault, then you may be entitled to recover compensation for the injuries you received in the accident, including both the present and future costs associated with treating your spinal cord injury.
Your spinal cord extends down from the brain and serves as a way for the brain to send signals to the rest of your body. Sensory information is also sent back up the spinal cord from various parts of your body. Finally, the spinal cord is the central command center for reflexes found throughout your body. As you can see, your spinal cord plays a vital role within the human body. When the spinal cord is damaged, it can have a traumatic and lasting impact on your body, as well as on your quality of life.
The spinal cord can be damaged by a direct injury to the cord itself or because the surrounding blood vessels, bones or tissue have been injured. Car accidents can cause the spinal cord to be damaged in a number of ways. Sometimes, a piece of metal or glass from the vehicle becomes embedded in the spine. Other times, the crash can cause the spine to be pushed, pulled or compressed to the point of injury. Internal bleeding within the cord itself can also be the result of a car accident and will lead to serious spinal cord injury. Symptoms of a spinal cord injury can vary, depending on where the cord was injured; however, common symptoms include loss of sensation, tingling, pain and numbness in arms or legs, as well as breathing difficulties, bladder control problems and weakness.
According to the National Spinal Cord Injury Statistical Center, or NSCISC, approximately 40 percent of all spinal cord injuries are caused by car accidents. A spinal cord injury can be very costly to treat, yet failure to treat a spinal cord injury properly can result in considerably more damage to the spinal cord. As of 2011, the NSCISC estimates that the cost of treating a spinal cord injury in the first year runs from $321,720 to $985,774. The lifetime cost of treating a spinal cord injury suffered by an otherwise healthy 25-year-old runs from $1.5 million to $4.5 million. These costs can potentially send even a financially comfortable family into bankruptcy. If, however, your spinal cord injury was caused by the negligence of someone else, then they will be responsible for paying the costs associated with treating your injuries.
If you have recently been in a car accident, you should have a thorough examination done by your physician if you were not transported to the hospital from the accident scene. Spinal cord injuries are not always obvious right after the injury. In some cases, the symptoms begin to show up weeks, or even months, after the injury. If you have already been diagnosed with a spinal cord injury, it is extremely important that you follow your doctor’s treatment recommendations in order to minimize the long-term damage caused by the injury.
Under the laws of the State of Washington, you may be entitled to compensation for the injuries you have suffered, including your spinal cord injury, if someone else was totally or partially at fault for the accident that caused the injuries. In order to protect your rights and ensure that you receive the maximum compensation possible, consult with a Washington State personal injury accident attorney as soon as possible after the accident. The personal injury accident attorneys at Mariano Morales Law are dedicated to helping you through this difficult time and making sure you receive the compensation to which you are entitled for your injuries. Contact the team at Mariano Morales Law today by calling (509) 853-2222.