Spinal Cord Injury and Personal Injury Law

The law considers spinal injuries as serious or “catastrophic” injuries in terms of personal injury law.  Personal injury attorneys – referred to also as “spine injury attorneys” – try these cases.  In the even of a spine injury, immediately contact an experienced spine injury attorney with trial experience.

Spinal cord injury (SCI) can be caused by several kinds of spine injuries resulting from motor vehicle accidents, sports injuries, acts of violence, and accidents due to unsafe or negligent circumstance at work or in public such as a slip and falls.  When the spinal cord is injured, the brain’s ability to communicate with the rest of the body is compromised.  Depending on the location and severity of the injury, the brain may not be able to “tell” the limbs to move, the bowels and bladder to function, or even the lungs to breathe.  The average age of an SCI case used to be 15 to 30 or 35.  In recent years, the onset age has risen to 40.

Life expectancy for spinal cord injury victims in general has also increased at a steady rate over the years. The first year following a severe spine injury is when the probability of death is the highest.  After surviving the first year, the age of the patient, the degree of injury, and the previous state of physical and mental health all play a role in determining how long the SCI survivor might expect to live.  

  • Age of patient and degree of injury: A compilation of data from two recent studies estimated the average life expectancy to be 35 years for onset of quadriplegia at age 20 years, and an average life expectancy 45 years with paraplegia for that same 20 year old. The average life expectancy for a 40 year-old patient with paraplegia was averaged at 27 years with a 20-year life expectancy for the 40 year-old with quadriplegia.  The average life expectancy for a 60 year-old patient with quadriplegia was just 8 years and a 13-year life expectancy for the 60 year-old who is paraplegic. 
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