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A Philadelphia Sensory Loss Lawyer Discusses Loss of the Five Senses – Part 2

This is a continuation of a series. View part one here.

The five senses are traditionally thought of as sight, hearing, touch, smell and taste. The loss of even part of one of our senses can be devastating. How much moreso when the loss is total and/or to multiple senses. Perhaps the sense of taste is the one that most people would choose, if they had to lose one. But think how life would be so much less full without the ability to truly enjoy a good meal. In this series of blogs, I examine paralysis, spinal cord injury and the sensory losses that accompany this type of injury.

According to the University of New Mexico’s Center for Development and Disability in partnership with the Christopher & Dana Reeve Foundation’s Paralysis Resource Center approximately 1.9 percent of the U.S. population (5,596,000 people) reported living with some form of paralysis. The leading cause was stroke (29 percent), followed by spinal cord injury (23 percent) and multiple sclerosis (17 percent). As the number of people living with paralysis and spinal cord injuries increases, so do the costs associated with their treatment.

The most common cause of spinal cord dysfunction is trauma. Car and motorcycle accidents cause half of all spinal cord injuries. Shallow diving, falls, assaults and sports injuries are also frequent causes. Infections and diseases such as cancer, multiple sclerosis, tumors, polio and arthritis can cause this injury as can electric shock, and loss of oxygen related to surgery or underwater accidents.

A spinal cord injury from an unexpected and powerful blow can injure tissues around the cord. Bleeding can cause spinal cord contusions. Pressure on the spinal cord from the blow can cause spinal cord compression. Prompt medical attention to can limit the extent of damage and improve the long-term prognosis.

Claims for spinal cord injury include compensation for lost wages, medical expenses, rehabilitation expenses, pain and suffering and more. These injuries are emotionally, physically, and financially devastating. Paralysis patients require much care, from feeding to bathing. They may require constant attention by nurses or other health professionals. Such care is very costly, as are the necessary tests, medications and medical expenses. It is important to consider the benefit of rehabilitative treatments such as vision restoration therapy, physical therapy, occupational therapy and speech therapy. The cost of these therapies must be included as part of a damages claim. Estimates for the lifetime cost of medical care for a spinal cord injury to a 25-year-old are between $704,344 and $3.1 million. A jury verdict or settlement can help pay for the best medical care to maximize the potential for recovery.

Sensory loss due to brain injury obviously impacts on enjoyment of day-to-day activities and working capacity. If the victim previously contributed substantially to the financial support of the family, the emotional pain from the injury alone will be greatly exacerbated. Life must be approached with a new outlook. This therefore impacts on the amount of damages that should be sought.

Click here to read part three.

Click here to read part one.

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