Spinal Cord Injury Statistics

Spinal cord injuries can be some of the most devastating and life-changing injuries anyone can endure. Depending on the severity and location of the injury, a spinal cord injury can cause paralysis, even death. The National Spinal Cord Injury Statistical Center (NSCISC), operated by the University of Alabama at Birmingham Department of Physical Medicine supports and directs the collection, analyses, and management of the longest run and largest spinal cord injury research database in the world.

Through their research, NSCISC estimates[1] that around 17,000 new people suffer from spinal cord injuries in the United States every year, not including people who die at the scene of an accident. They also estimate that around 282,000 people in the United States currently suffer from spinal cord injuries.

Causes of Spinal Cord Injuries

  • Vehicle crashes accounted for 38 percent of all spinal cord injuries in the United States since 2010.
  • Falls accounted for 30.5 percent of all spinal cord injuries in the United States since 2010.
  • Violent incidents – primarily from gunshot wounds – accounted for 13.5 percent of all spinal cord injuries in the United States since 2010.
  • Sports injuries accounted for 9 percent of all spinal cord injuries in the United States since 2010.
  • Medical and surgical incidents accounted for 5 percent of all spinal cord injuries in the United States since 2010.

Severity of Spinal Cord Injuries

  • 45 percent of people who sustained a spinal cord injury in the United States since 2010 suffer from partial quadriplegia.
  • Approximately 21 percent of people who sustained a spinal cord injury in the United States since 2010 suffer from partial paraplegia.
  • 20 percent of people who sustained a spinal cord injury in the United States since 2010 suffer from total paraplegia.
  • Approximately 13 percent of people who sustained a spinal cord injury in the United States since 2010 suffer from total quadriplegia.
  • Less than 1 percent of people who sustained a spinal cord injury in the United States since 2010 suffer from make a full recovery.

Cost of Spinal Cord Injuries

Spinal cord injuries can end up being incredibly expensive depending where on the spine the injury occurred. These monetary estimates from NSCISC’s 2016 report do not include indirect costs like productivity, fringe benefits, loss of income.

  • High quadriplegia (injury between the C1 and C4 vertebrae) is estimated to cost over $1 million in the first year, and over $185,000 for every following year.
  • Low quadriplegia (injury between the C5 and C8 vertebrae) is estimated to cost over $770,000 in the first year, and over $113,000 for every following year.
  • Paraplegia (American Spinal Injury Association (ASIA) Impairment Scale Grades A, B, or C[2]) is estimated to cost nearly $520,000 in the first year, and over $68,000 for every following year.
  • Any level of motor function (ASIA Impairment Scale Grade D) is estimated to cost nearly $348,000 in the first year, and over $42,000 for every following year.

Spinal cord injuries affects thousands of people in the United States every year, and can cost millions of dollars in medical expenses. In many cases, these injuries were caused by the negligence or others. In those kinds of cases, it’s important to seek out qualified legal assistance in order to receive the compensation you deserve in order to cover your medical expenses, as well as any other damages you may incur. At Aldous \ Walker, our Dallas spinal cord injury lawyers are determined to fight for the rights of our clients. Contact us today through our website, or give us a call at (214) 307-6307 to set up a meeting with one of our attorneys.

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Categories: Medical Malpractice