Spinal cord injuries happen for a number of common reasons, and many, or perhaps most of them are preventable.
For example, motor vehicle accidents are the most common cause of spinal cord injuries, accounting for over 38% of new spinal cord injuries.
As the second leading cause of such injuries overall, falls account for over 25% of new injuries. Falls are actually the leading cause of spinal cord injuries among those over age 45.
Other common causes of spinal cord injuries include gunshot wounds, accidents from diving into water and medical problems. It was not clear from the study how many of the 4.3% new injuries due to complications from surgery or other medical issues were because of medical malpractice.
Spinal cord injuries can be life-altering, devastating
In any event, though, these numbers should show that, with a little caution, many people in the Portland area would not have to suffer the aftermath of a spinal cord injuries.
Despite many promising medical developments, spinal cord injuries still are not reversible. In the worst case, a person suffering from spinal cord injury will experience paralysis from the neck down.
Someone suffering this type of injury will be unlikely to return to work or normal activities and may even require constant medical and personal care.
Although most spinal cord injuries do not involve the complete loss of mobility and sensation, only the luckiest people escape any permanent injury.
Debilitating spinal cord injuries will likely cost millions
All spinal cord injuries will involve some degree of emotional fallout both from the shock and pain of the injury and from having to adjust to a new, and harder, way of life. Those who work may also lose their ability to earn an income.
Out-of-pocket medical and rehabilitative costs after a spinal cord injury are also hefty. Depending on the age of a victim, the most severe type of injury, which results in complete paralysis, will cost between about $2.6 million and $4.7 million. Even those who do not suffer from paralysis will likely incur over $1 million in out-of-pocket expenses.
An Oregon resident who has suffered a spinal cord injury because of another’s actions may be entitled compensation.