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Incomplete vs. Complete Spinal Cord Injuries

Posted on January 27, 2022 in

A spinal cord injury occurs when you sustain damage to the sensitive bundle of nerves and cells that run from the base of the brain to the lower back. Victims of spinal cord injuries often pay millions of dollars for treatment over their lifetimes, often requiring mobility equipment, physical therapy, and ongoing care. If you or a loved suffered a serious spinal injury, a Chicago spinal injury attorney can help.

The severity of spinal cord damage depends on the location and the type of injury that the victim sustained. There are two categories of spinal cord injuries: incomplete and complete.

What Is a Complete Spinal Cord Injury?

A complete spinal cord injury occurs when you lose all movement, sensation, and function below the site of your injury. This type of spinal cord damage often results in paraplegia, or the total loss of mobility in the hips and legs, or tetraplegia, which affects the upper and lower body.

Complete spinal cord injuries require extensive treatment and medical care. According to the National Spinal Cord Injury Statistical Center (NSCISC), lifetime treatment costs for tetraplegia can range from $2.3 million to $5.1 million dollars. The exact cost depends on the location of the injury and your age at the time of the injury.

What Is an Incomplete Spinal Cord Injury?

An incomplete spinal cord injury does not result in a total loss of feeling and function. You may have some movement and sensation below the injury site. In some cases, one side of the body is affected more than the other. The level of mobility that you retain will depend on the severity of your injury.

According to researchers, people with incomplete spinal cord injuries may be more likely to make a full recovery than those with a complete injury. Additionally, the cost to treat an incomplete spinal cord injury is usually lower than most complete injuries.

However, incomplete spinal cord injuries still have a major impact on your life. Lifetime treatment costs can total hundreds of thousands of dollars and higher. You may require mobility equipment and live-in care. In some cases, you may be unable to work due to your injury.

Legal Options for Spinal Cord Injury Victims

A spinal cord injury can severely impact your life. If someone else is responsible for your accident, you have the right to hold him or her accountable for your injuries. By filing a claim against the at-fault part, you can recover compensation for medical expenses, property damage, pain and suffering, and more.

Depending on the cause of your spinal cord injury, you could file an insurance claim or lawsuit against the defendant. However, proving a spinal cord injury claim can be very complex and require a great deal of evidence, resources, and legal knowledge. In these situations, it is important to speak with a personal injury lawyer.

An attorney can help you understand your legal options and identify your optimal path to compensation. He or she will advocate aggressively for your right to recovery and help you hold the at-fault party accountable for your injuries, securing the settlement that you deserve.

As soon as possible following your accident, contact an attorney with experience handling spinal cord injury claims to discuss your legal options.