Long-Term Effects of a Spinal Cord Injury in Atlanta
In the event of a spinal cord injury case, the story is not complete once a legal settlement or judgment is rendered. Many people in this situation will suffer the effects of the injury for the rest of their lives. As a result, those looking to recover damages should learn about the long-term effects of spinal cord injuries in Atlanta. A competent spinal cord injury lawyer could seek compensation for damages as well as help you plan for the future as you begin to pursue a lawsuit.
Spinal Injuries Can Alter Lifestyles
Life can be vastly different after someone suffers a spinal cord injury. There are different types of spine injuries and recovery could look different based on the type and severity. For example, an incomplete injury is one where the ability of the spinal cord to send or receive messages from the brain is not completely lost. Those with incomplete injuries may retain some sensory function below the point of injury. A complete injury is indicated by a total lack of sensitivity and motor function.
Survivors of spine injuries will likely have lasting medical complications such as chronic pain, bladder and bowel dysfunction, and increased heart or respiratory problems. They may need to use a walker or wheelchair, and have to schedule follow-up appointments for months or years afterward. In especially severe cases, they might require caregivers to assist with bathing, eating, or going to the bathroom. This means an in-home nurse might be necessary.
Medical Treatments for Severe Spinal Cord Injuries
In-patient rehabilitation is a common treatment and usually consists of physical, occupational, and speech therapy. Out-patient rehabilitation is the continued therapy treatments but for those who have left the hospital and returned home.
Psychological therapy might be needed for some people after traumatic injuries. A person who has lost the partial use of their body may begin to suffer from depression or post-traumatic stress disorder, and require a psychologist or psychiatrist.
Someone who suffers a spinal cord injury will have many expenses to deal with. The initial treatment after the accident can be expensive, sometimes in the hundreds of thousands of dollars in serious cases. As the recovery process moves forward, the bills will continue to mount. This can include doctor visits, medical devices, rehabilitation, or long-term caregivers. For some, the costs may have to last the rest of their life.
This can also place a heavy burden on the injured person’s family. They may need to reorient their priorities, from traveling to appointments to assisting with daily functions. The family will also often help them cope with psychological traumas stemming from the accident. Their recovery will depend on how well the family handles it on a day-to-day basis. If the injured person neglects treatment, recovery may slow or even get worse.
Could Someone’s Family Have a Claim to Damages?
A claim for compensation belongs to the person who suffered the spinal cord injury. That covers hospital bills, loss of income, and pain and suffering. However, family members could have their own claim. For instance, a spouse could file for the loss of consortium or loss of companionship. In a wrongful death case, the surviving spouse or children will bring the claim for the full value of the deceased’s life as well as the accrued medical expenses, loss of income, and pain and suffering prior to death.
Life Insurance Might be Available
A local lawyer could be able to assist someone with a spinal injury obtain a long-term life insurance policy since the new living expenses associated with the injury will add up fast. The attorney could work with life care planners to assess how much the treatment is going to cost over the course of their lifetime. This is used to calculate how much to ask for in damages, and could be structured in such a way that it pays out over time. An experienced attorney could also find a long-term life insurance plan that would pay benefits.
Consider the Long-Term Effects of an Atlanta Spinal Cord Injury
When filing suit for spine damage, the first instinct may be to simply recover for the initial hospital treatments and therapies. However, many of these conditions can last for years or for the rest of someone’s life. They should consider the long-term of effects of spinal cord injuries when making a claim for damages, and a compassionate local attorney could assist in accounting for all future expenses. Call today to learn how you could begin to file a claim.