Car Accidents and Spinal Cord Injuries: Your Path to Recovery and Compensation
Every year in Queensland, countless lives are altered by the devastating impact of car accidents. One of the most serious and life-changing injuries sustained in these accidents is damage to the spinal cord. This injury not only affects the physical abilities of a person but also has a profound effect on their emotional wellbeing and financial security. The legal recourse available to victims can play a pivotal role in securing appropriate compensation, helping to alleviate some of the burdens that come with such a traumatic event.
1. Car Accidents: A Leading Cause of Spinal Cord Injuries
Data reveals a grim reality: car accidents are a leading cause of spinal cord injuries in Queensland. The sudden and violent forces exerted in a crash can result in significant trauma to the spine.
Following a car accident, it’s crucial to recognize the symptoms of a potential spinal cord injury.
Symptoms can include:
- loss of movement or sensation,
- difficulty in breathing, or
- intense back pain.
Regardless of the apparent severity, seeking immediate medical attention is of utmost importance.
2. Types of Spinal Cord Injuries Resulting from Car Accidents
- Complete Spinal Cord Injuries: A complete spinal cord injury results in a total loss of function below the level of the injury. The long-term effects can include paralysis and loss of sensory function.
- Incomplete Spinal Cord Injuries: An incomplete injury, on the other hand, means there is some function left below the level of the injury. The degree of function varies widely from case to case.
- Paraplegia and Tetraplegia: On cases of paraplegia, both legs and sometimes the trunk are affected. Tetraplegia, also known as quadriplegia, affects both arms and legs, and sometimes areas of the body from the neck down.
3. Medical Assessment and Treatment of Spinal Cord Injuries
When an individual is suspected of having a spinal cord injury, prompt medical attention is essential. Diagnosing the extent of the injury involves a combination of a thorough physical examination, careful patient history, and various imaging techniques, including X-rays, computed tomography (CT) scans, and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI).
Physical therapy is crucial to help the patient regain strength, flexibility, and function to the greatest extent possible. It involves a range of exercises and treatments, such as stretching, strength training, and cardiovascular conditioning.
Occupational therapists work with patients to improve their ability to perform daily tasks. This can involve learning new ways to bathe, dress, cook, and perform other activities of daily living. Occupational therapy can also include training on the use of assistive devices, such as wheelchairs and electronic aids.
Chronic pain can be a significant issue for many people with spinal cord injuries. Pain management strategies might include medications, physical therapy, and techniques such as biofeedback and meditation.
4. Financial Impact of Spinal Cord Injuries
The financial costs associated with spinal cord injuries can be astronomical. From initial hospitalization and surgery costs to ongoing medical care and home modifications, the financial burden can be overwhelming. Not to mention the indirect costs such as lost income and the need for personal care.
Spinal cord injuries require immediate and often intensive medical treatment. The first wave of costs can be attributed to the initial hospitalization, which may involve surgery and intensive care.
Following initial hospitalization, the patient typically requires a prolonged stay in a rehabilitation facility where they can receive ongoing medical care. The costs of rehabilitation can be significant and are often ongoing, as individuals with spinal cord injuries may require long-term physical, occupational, and other types of therapy.
Individuals with spinal cord injuries may require modifications to their homes to accommodate their reduced mobility. These modifications can include installing ramps, widening doorways, modifying bathrooms, and adding assistive devices to help the individual navigate their home. Depending on the extent of the modifications, these costs can easily run into tens of thousands of dollars.
Individuals with severe spinal cord injuries often require ongoing medical treatment and personal care. This can include doctor’s visits, physiotherapy, medications, and home health care or assistance with daily living activities. The cost of this ongoing care can add up quickly, particularly when personal assistance is required for several hours each day.
5. The Importance of Legal Action
In Queensland, victims of car accidents resulting in spinal cord injuries are entitled to make a Compulsory Third Party (CTP) claim. A successful CTP claim can provide significant financial relief, covering medical expenses, loss of earnings, and compensation for pain and suffering.
At Ascent Lawyers, we specialize in helping victims of spinal cord injuries navigate the complexities of CTP claims. With our in-depth knowledge and legal expertise, we have secured significant compensation for numerous clients.
We encourage anyone who has suffered a spinal cord injury due to a car accident to reach out to us for a free consultation. We offer several ways to contact us, including by phone, email, or through our online form.