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Spinal Cord Injuries

Utah Car Accident Attorneys Assisting Clients with Spinal Cord Injuries in Salt Lake City

Spinal cord injuries (SCIs) can be devastating. Did you know that approximately 17,500 new incidents of spinal cord injury occur every year? And did you also know that most SCIs result from traffic collisions? The National Spinal Cord Injury Statistical Center (NSCISC) reports that information, and it emphasizes how the high number of new SCI cases each year does not include those who die at the scene of an accident in which they sustain a spinal cord injury.

Do you have questions about filing a claim? An experienced Salt Lake spinal cord injury attorney can help.

What is a Spinal Cord Injury?

According to the Mayo Clinic, the term spinal cord injury refers to “damage to any part of the spinal cord or nerves at the end of the spinal canal.” In many cases, spinal cord injuries lead to permanent changes in a person’s strength, sensation, and body functions. The medical terms used to discuss SCIs can be confusing, but we want to make sure you understand what you can be facing.

When doctors refer to a “complete” spinal cord injury, they are referring to an injury in which the patient loses almost all feeling and all ability to control movement. In other words, complete injuries usually mean that there is little to no feeling in the area affected by the SCI. Differently, when doctors refer to an “incomplete” spinal cord injury, they are referring to an injury in which a patient can still have some motor or sensory function, according to the Mayo Clinic. Incomplete spinal cord injuries vary greatly among patients, as do prognoses.

It is extremely difficult to learn that you or someone you love has sustained a spinal cord injury, especially when it results from another person’s careless behavior. You should talk with a Utah spinal cord injury attorney to learn more about how we can help you.

Getting the Facts About Spinal Cord Injuries

We mentioned that the NSCISC provides statistical information about spinal cord injury incidents each year. It also provides some of the following statistics that help to show risks for spinal cord injuries in the U.S.:

  • Male SCI victims account for more than 80 percent of new cases each year;
  • Motor vehicle accidents are the leading cause of SCIs (almost 40 percent);
  • After car accidents, the leading causes of spinal cord injuries include falls (more than 30 percent), gunshot wounds and other violent acts (almost 14 percent), and sports or other recreational activities (about 9 percent);
  • Average length of stay in an acute care unit for a spinal cord injury is 11 days, with average rehabilitation stays of 35 days;
  • Almost 46 percent of all spinal cord injuries fall into the category of “incomplete tetraplegia,” or quadriplegia, which refers to the partial or total loss of all four limbs and the torso;
  • About 21 percent of all spinal cord injuries fall into the category of “incomplete paraplegia,” which refers to the partial or total loss of the legs and lower body;
  • Almost 20 percent of all spinal cord injuries fall into the category of complete paraplegia, while about 13 percent fall into the category of complete tetraplegia;
  • Nearly 60 percent of spinal cord injury victims are employed at the time of injury, while only 12.6 percent are employed one year after the injury; and
  • Around 30 percent of all spinal cord injury victims require re-hospitalization one or more times in the year after their injuries, with an average stay length of around 22 days.

We know these statistics can be difficult to read, but it is important to understand just how severe spinal cord injuries can be and to know that you may have options to seek compensation.

Obtaining Damages in a Utah Spinal Cord Injury Case

It is extremely expensive for families to have to endure the financial costs of a spinal cord injury, not to mention the serious physical and emotional costs. We know how difficult a spinal cord injury can be, and our accident lawyers will help you to understand how the law can work in your favor.

Under Utah law, plaintiffs can be eligible to receive what is known as “compensatory damages.” This means you can obtain an award that is designed to compensate you for your losses. Compensatory damages include both economic and non-economic damages, which allows Salt Lake City auto accident victims to obtain compensation for objective losses (such as lost wages or the cost of surgery), as well as subjective losses (like pain and suffering). Examples of losses that you may be able to seek compensation for include but are not limited to:

  • Lost wages;
  • Hospital bills;
  • Rehabilitation costs;
  • Pain and suffering; and
  • Loss of enjoyment of life.

Contact a Spinal Cord Injury Attorney in Salt Lake

Many car accident victims in Salt Lake City, Utah who sustain SCIs in motor vehicle collisions or pedestrian accidents cannot return to work, and many suffer lifelong disabilities, including paralysis. At Christensen & Hymas, we are dedicated to helping injury victims in Utah who have suffered debilitating spinal cord injuries because of another party’s negligence.

A dedicated Salt Lake car accident lawyer can discuss your options for seeking compensation. Contact Christensen & Hymas today to get started on your case.

Kenneth L. Christensen


D. Russell Hymas


Jake Lee