The spinal cord injury attorneys at The Heslin Law Firm have been helping accident victims recover from serious back and spinal cord injuries for over 30 years. If you suffer from a spinal injury, you may be able to seek financial compensation from the negligent party. This type of injury can be especially devastating because it can leave victims paralyzed. Others may experience shooting pain in the arms and legs, weakness in the body, and loss of the ability to control bodily functions. Unfortunately for most, the quality of life once enjoyed may never return to normal.

Spinal Cord Injury Overview

It is estimated that over 10,000 people suffer from spinal cord injuries every year, with almost half being caused by car accidents. Some victims may recover completely from their injuries, but many are left permanently paralyzed. Auto accidents cause other types of severe back injuries, such as whiplash injury and herniated disc injury.

A spinal cord injury can have many causes but these injuries are typically associated with major trauma from a motor vehicle accident or slip and fall. The impact of a car accident or slip and fall causes a blow to the spine and damages the fragile bundle of nerves within it.

Depending on where the spinal cord is damaged, symptoms can vary widely. When the injury to the spine is higher up towards the neck or upper back, your arms and legs are likely to be affected with a condition called quadriplegia. When the injury happens toward the middle or lower spine, the legs will be affected with paraplegia.

In a car accident, what is known as a compression fracture can leave the shape and structure of the spine to be permanently altered. Older adults are more prone to these spinal cord injuries. Compression fractures are tiny cracks in the bones of the spine that cause the vertebrae to collapse and deform.

Sometimes if the spinal cord injury is complete, meaning there is total numbness and paralysis in the affected part of the body, or it can be incomplete, which means there may only be partial numbness and loss of sensation. Changes in posture, breathing difficulties, and pain are symptoms of a compression fracture spinal injury. Many people mistake these symptoms for normal signs of arthritis or aging and consequently fail to seek medical attention.

Spinal Cord Injury Medical Expenses Can Be Substantial

  • Average length of hospitalization following injury: 15 days
  • Average stay in a rehabilitation unit: 44 days
  • Hospitalization costs following spinal cord injury: $140,000
  • First-year expenses for a spinal cord injury: $198,000
  • First-year expenses for paraplegics: $152,000
  • First-year expenses for quadriplegics: $417,000
  • Average lifetime costs for paraplegics, age of injury 25: $428,000
  • Average lifetime costs for quadriplegics, age of injury 25: $1.35 million

For more information on the cost of spinal cord injury, visit

Schedule a Free Consultation Today

Were you injured in an accident due to the negligence of another person? It’s possible you may have a legal case. The Heslin Law Firm offers free consultations for clients who seek financial compensation. Call our office at 215-332-0300 or complete our contact form to speak with Gary P. Heslin. There is no fee unless our Philadelphia spinal cord injury lawyers successfully recover financial compensation.​