Spinal Cord Injuries from Car Accidents Statistics

Types of Auto Accidents - Side Impact

Motor vehicle accidents have become the leading cause of spinal cord injuries, a study from 2015 to 2018 by the National Spinal Cord Injury Statistical Center found. In fact, 39.9 percent of all spinal cord injuries are the result of car accidents.

The brutal impact of a serious car crash can throw, twist, and crush the human body causing serious injury to the delicate spinal cord and vertebra.

Even the relatively minor impact of a fender bender in Dallas can cause whiplash and painful neck problems and even spinal cord injuries. Accidents can cause a wide range of back and spinal problems, from herniated or ruptured discs, fractures in the vertebra, spinal shock, even a partial or complete severing of the spinal cord itself.

The Dallas car accident attorneys of Tate Law Offices have seen firsthand the devastation that car accidents can cause, and particularly how a spinal cord injury can affect the lives of victims and their families.

Contact us today for a free claim review and discussion about your legal rights.

Dallas Car Accident Spinal Cord Injury Statistics

According to the National Spinal Cord Injury Statistical Center, 17,730 new spinal cord injuries happen every year, with a significant number of those caused by car accidents. While the range of injuries from these accidents can vary, spinal cord injuries are serious and can be not only life threatening, but life-altering as well.

Just over 47 percent of spinal cord injuries result in what is known as incomplete quadriplegia.
Quadriplegia impacts both the upper and lower extremities of the body causing paralysis in all four limbs. Incomplete quadriplegia means that the spinal cord has not been fully severed. In the cases of incomplete spinal cord damage, some degree of sensation and function remains.

The high rate of quadriplegia is just further proof of how devastating car crashes are to the fragile human body.

Almost 20 percent of spinal cord injuries are categorized as complete paraplegia, where two limbs are impacted but there is absolute damage to the spinal cord and total sensory and motor function loss.

Due to the severity of spinal cord problems following a car accident, patients can expect to spend weeks, even up to a month or more in the hospital. Immediate treatment is usually followed by lengthy rehabilitation and often a lifetime of impairment.

The cost of the extensive medical care needed to treat these injuries adds up quickly for patients. Average lifetime costs for both paraplegic and quadriplegic victims reach into the millions of dollars.

Symptoms of Car Accident Spinal Cord Injuries

Immediately following a car accident, someone who has suffered a spinal cord injury may notice intense pain and even a partial or complete inability to move or feel their limbs. A victim may also notice the inability to feel hot or cold, a loss of bladder or bowel control, and spasms.
Depending on the area of the injury, a person may also experience difficulty breathing.

Other symptoms of a spinal cord injury can also include weakness or lack of coordination, and oddly positioned neck or back, pressure in the neck or back, or numbness and tingling.

What many people may not realize is that a serious spinal injury may not always be obvious. Numbness, tingling, even paralysis may come on gradually. Slow bleeding or swelling around the spinal cord can delay symptoms. A sharp spur from a broken vertebra may suddenly shift if a victim moves wrong, causing symptoms to occur that weren’t obvious.

If you or someone you know was involved in a car accident, or you come upon a serious accident, call emergency services right away. The next step is to never move a person who may have a spinal cord injury. Keep the person still and do not move the head or neck.

Effects of Car Accident Spinal Cord Injuries

A spinal cord injury can impact a person for the rest of their life. A victim may lose their ability to walk, dress or feed themselves, and even breathe on their own. Someone who escaped paralysis may remain in constant pain from their injuries requiring medication and therapy.

A spinal cord injury can also impact a victim’s sexual function and fertility. The quality of life changes significantly for not only the victim of the car accident but their loved ones as well. Many families have to change their lives to help care for the victim of a spinal cord injury after a car accident.

There are other impacts on the body following a spinal cord injury after a car accident. Some people can develop circulatory problems, as well as respiratory and digestive problems due to the injury. In addition to the physical issues that can arise, the National Spinal Cord Injury Statistical Center suggests that between 20 to 30 percent of people with spinal cord injuries begin to exhibit signs of depression. The physical and mental ramifications of these types of injuries can last a lifetime.

Contact Tate Law Offices, PC after a Car Accident Spinal Cord Injury in Dallas

At Tate Law Offices, we are prepared to conduct a thorough investigation into your vehicle collision and your resulting spinal cord injuries. We understand what is at stake for you and your family after an accident. That is why we thoroughly review the facts of your case, medical records, and estimate not only what medical expenses you have incurred, but also estimate the lifetime cost of your continued care.

We represent car crash victims in Dallas and throughout Texas. Call us today so that we can provide you with a free consultation. Not able to make it into one of our nearby offices? We understand. Give us a call and we can arrange a time and place convenient for you and your family.

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Featured FAQ

How do I get the most money for my case?

Evidence is essential in order to get top dollar for an injury case. This means there must be proof of who was at fault for the accident and that the accident caused your injuries. Police reports and witness statements go a long way to proving fault while detailed medical records from qualified doctors (many times orthopedics or neurologists) are used to show the cause and extent of the injuries. We work to build a solid case in order to seek maximum compensation for our clients’ injuries.

Is there a benefit to being represented by a lawyer?

Most of the time in an accident injury situation, an insurance company will be your opponent. Insurance companies are very skilled at denying or minimizing injury claims – that’s how they make money. Insurance adjusters regularly deny claims that should be paid, or they offer only a small percent of the fair value of a claim. Our goal is the opposite. We develop a settlement package presenting our client’s case that often can result in our client receiving 10 to 20 times more compensation than what the insurance adjusters might offer for their injury claim. In such case, even after legal fees, our clients can net more money in their pocket. Even better, we work on a completely contingent basis, so there are no legal fees unless we are successful in collecting compensation for our clients.

Should I talk to the insurance company?

Do not talk to anyone at the insurance company. This includes their insurance adjusters and defense lawyers. Insurance companies frequently record phone conversations during which they ask leading questions designed to produce testimony that they can use to deny your case. If we are your lawyers, we will do the talking for you so you do not fall into the insurance company traps that are designed to decrease the value of your claim.

How do I pay my medical bills?

Medical bills can be paid through various manners such as health insurance, Medicare, Medicaid, Personal Injury Protection insurance funds, deferred billing, and letters of protection. Depending on all of the facts surrounding your case and the insurance companies involved, we produce a strategy that we believe will best benefit our clients. Also, even if our clients do not have access to health insurance, we can assist them with getting medical care that is paid at the end of the case – which means no upfront medical bills.

How do I collect my lost income?

Even if an injured person is not able to work after an accident, insurance company tactics are to disagree and assert that the person could work so the insurance companies can deny the claim for lost income. It is important to have a qualified doctor’s medical documentation that proves the inability to work for a certain period of time due to an injury. We work with our clients’ doctors and employers to prove the medical reason for not working and the calculation of lost earnings. This frequently results in a fight with the insurance company, but we believe that with solid evidence we are ultimately able to win the fight and collect our clients’ lost income.