It is difficult enough to deal with the painful aftermath of a spinal cord injury. Such an injury results in great pain, in addition to some form of paralysis, and life as the individual knows it is altered forever.
All of these items can be managed in a person that has a strong will and perseverance, but to compound this with the knowledge that such an injury was caused by either criminal negligence or medical malpractice and the pain becomes almost too much to bear.
Where to Turn if You Are a Victim of Medical Malpractice
At the very minimum, you are entitled to compensation for any medical expenses that you incur as the result of any negligence related activity, yet the process of ensuring that this happens is often more difficult than it should be. Spinal cord injuries affect many people every year in the United States, most of them becoming effectively disabled as a result.
Recent estimates put the number of new cases occurring every year to be in the range of 12,000. This figure does not include the number of individuals who perish at the scene of the accident before they can be treated. All told, there are now more than 255,000 Americans living with some spinal injury, many of them struggling just to survive.
These types of injuries are so disastrous because of their destructive nature. They can cause total paralysis in some people while others may be more fortunate and endure incomplete or partial paralysis as the result. Whatever the situation might be, the reality is that life for these individuals will never be the same, yet if medical malpractice was the result, then the person and his or her loved ones are left with the knowledge that it simply did not have to be this way.
In essence, individuals suffering from such a debilitating type of injury will require extreme medical assistance and help from caretakers for the rest of their life. This is expensive, it is frustrating, and it is often difficult to navigate the legal system to get the financial assistance that is necessary to make it through.
Some Troubling Statistics
An injury of this nature is most predominant amongst males, with them accounting for roughly 78% of the cases. The age at which a spinal cord injury most often occurs is just around 40, which illustrates the reality that such an individual will often have decades of life ahead of them, and compensation needs to be made to make it all work.
In recent years, for reasons that society is not quite sure of, older individuals over the age of 60 have been enduring such injuries at higher rates, now accounting for nearly 12% of all new cases annually.
As one could expect, the medical costs and associated expenses are becoming astronomical, and they only continue to grow. An individual who becomes partially paralyzed, for example, will likely rack up over $100,000 in expenses just after the first year, and this number skyrockets to over $400,000 in a person who becomes a quadriplegic.
While many accidents leading to a spinal cord injury are unavoidable, all too many of them are completely preventable and are caused by negligence. In cases of medical negligence, this is all the more troubling. With all of the advances made in medicine and medical devices today, it is troubling to note that such injuries still result at the hands of a system that is designed to help and heal. Let us hope that this trend reverses itself shortly.