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Spinal cord injury damages can be debilitating

West Virginians who have been involved in a car accident can suffer numerous types of injuries. Those who are fortunate escape either uninjured or with minor bumps, bruises, and scrapes. For some, though, their injuries are quite severe and long-lasting. For these individuals, their lives can be turned upside down and their physical, emotional and financial damages can be utterly devastating.

Although there are many injuries that can lead to these tragic consequences, perhaps one of the most severe is spinal cord injury. The effects of such an injury depend on its severity, but it can leave a victim permanently paralyzed. Of those who suffer spinal cord injury, nearly half suffer incomplete tetraplegia, whereas 20 percent face complete paraplegia. Tragically, only about one percent of those suffering spinal cord injury recover complete neurological functioning upon release from the hospital.

The costs of caring for these injuries can be overwhelming, too. For example, an individual who suffers high tetraplegia can face more than $1 million in expenses the first year following their injury, with an additional $185,000 expected each year thereafter. This can accumulate to a lifetime cost of more than $2.5 million. Of course there are lesser spinal cord injuries, but the damages caused by these can still reach into the hundreds of thousands of dollars.

Many injured individuals are unable to pay for these medical expenses out of pocket. Fortunately, if the injury was suffered in a car accident caused by a negligent driver, then compensation may be available via a personal injury lawsuit. Proving negligence and causation is no easy feat, though, so it may be wise for the victim in these situations to discuss their case with a competent legal professional.

Source: Christopher & Dana Reeve Foundation, "Costs of living with SCI," accessed on Dec. 26, 2016

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