What does the data say about spinal cord injury sufferers?

Written on behalf of Abramson Smith Waldsmith LLP

No matter what kind of accident you had, you now face a life with a debilitating spinal cord injury. You may be one of those people who wants to know more about what your future holds. The more information you have, the better you feel you can plan and prepare yourself for what may lie ahead.

Information published by the National Spinal Cord Injury Statistical Center provides statistical data regarding people like you who suffer from this type of injury.

Some basic information

First, it may help to know some basics about those who suffer from SCI here in the United States. The NSCISC gathered the following data starting in 2015:

  • Around 17,000 people suffer from SCI each year.
  • Approximately 75% of those people are men.
  • The average age of people with this injury is now around 43 years old.
  • Motor vehicle accidents caused the largest percentage of these injuries at around 40%.
  • At least 250,000 people live with SCI across the country.
  • The most commonly seen form of SCI at release from the hospital is incomplete tetraplegia.

It may be safe to say that if you are a white male around 43 years old, your risk of suffering from an SCI is higher than normal.

What is the outlook for these SCI sufferers?

Many SCI patients go on to live normal lives, but it usually takes years to come anywhere near the lives they had prior to their injuries. Consider the following:

  • The percentage of individuals employed after an SCI drops dramatically from around 66% when the injury occurs to just 17.4% at the one-year mark. That percentage steadily rises as the years pass, but it never reaches pre-injury levels.
  • The number of patients who receive a college education steadily rises as the years go by. At the time of injury, only around 25% have college education, but by the 40-year post-injury mark, that percentage rises to just over 46%.
  • During any given year after injury, around 30% of SCI patients end up back in the hospital for secondary conditions related to SCI such as reproductive or urinary issues, respiratory issues, and skin issues.
  • The costs associated with an SCI vary widely depending on the level of injury, but all reach well into the tens of thousands, if not hundreds of thousands, of dollars each year. Over your lifetime, your injury could cost well into the millions of dollars.
  • Life expectancy also depends on a variety of factors particular to your overall health and condition.

You cannot deny that your SCI will absolutely affect your life. If the negligence or recklessness of another person led to your current condition, you may pursue a monetary judgment from a California civil court that could give you the compensation you deserve.

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