Spinal cord injury may require a lifetime of care

The circumstances surrounding your accident may be a blur, and that is often a mercy. Motor vehicle accidents can be emotionally traumatic, having a negative impact on someone who has a long recovery ahead. What is clear is that you suffered a devastating spinal cord injury. In fact, car accidents are the cause of nearly half of all spinal cord injuries.

Depending on the location in your spine where the injury occurred, you may have many difficult adaptations to make. Spinal cord injuries often result in some sort of paralysis, whether partial or total, which may be permanent. If this is your situation, you have every right to be concerned about your future and the future of your family.

No easy road ahead

While most people consider paralysis as the primary issue for someone who has a spinal cord injury, you may be facing years of additional suffering. Spinal cord injuries and the subsequent immobility put a great deal of stress on your body and its systems. You may experience any of the following issues:

  • Pneumonia
  • Blood clots
  • Heart disease
  • Bladder and bowel dysfunction
  • Pressure ulcers
  • Chronic pain

You may experience intense pain for the first year after your accident, but the pain may decrease after that. Nevertheless, 94 percent of victims of spinal cord injuries live with chronic pain.

Fortunately, medical science continues to make improvements in the chances of recovery for spinal cord injuries. Many of those advances can alleviate pain and may soon restore function to paralyzed limbs.

Seeking help when you need it most

Depending on your age and the amount of care you will need, your medical costs may run close to $5 million for a lifetime of care, with almost $1 million coming within the first year after your injury. This may be as painful to you as the physical ailments you may suffer, especially since you may not be able to return to work because of your injuries.

You can see that the road ahead is not going to be easy. You may be thankful for the long-term disability benefits offered through your South Carolina employer. These benefits are covered by the Employment Retirement Income Security Act, and you may be interested in learning more about how ERISA protects you. For help in filing a claim for benefits under ERISA, or for support if the insurance company has denied your claim, you may find it advantageous to speak with an attorney.

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