A horrific head-on collision devastated a family, killing both parents and leaving the two sons paralyzed from the waist down. Despite intense therapy, doctors are unsure if the boys will ever regain use of their legs. The 9- and 8-year-old boys were on their way home with their family from a road trip when the family suffered a tragic car accident in Colorado. The accident happened on Highway 285 in Fort Stockton when an SUV swerved into the lane that the family’s minivan was traveling in and collided with the vehicle head on. In addition to the brothers injuries, the parents died and their 6-year-old sister’s arm was broken, according to Huffpost Impact.
After the accident, the boys were taken to the Covenant Health System’s Women’s and Children’s Hospital in Lubbock. Later on they were airlifted to the Children’s Memorial Hermann Hospital because of the severity of their spinal cord injuries. They were then transported to Chicago’s Shriners Hospital. Our Chicago personal injury attorneys understand how fortunate we are to have facilities like this in our area. The Shriners Hospital is a facility renowned for its work in pediatric spinal cord rehab. The boys will continue their treatment here in Illinois. Spinal cord and neck injuries can and do occur in serious car accidents.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the spinal cord column consists of more than 31 bones (or vertebrae), 7 cervical vertebrae (neck), 12 thoracic vertebrae (upper and middle back), 5 lumbar vertebrae (lower back), 5 sacral vertebrae (sacrum) and 2 fused coccygeal vertebrae (coccyx). Also in the spinal cord is the central bundle of nerves in charge of sending signals to and from the brain and the rest of the body. Damage to the spinal column can be detrimental to these functions.
Roughly 200,000 people have to live with SCI in our country. It is estimated that there are anywhere between 15 and 40 cases per million people every year. This means anywhere between 12,000 and 20,000 new patients are treated for SCI every year.
Motor-vehicle accidents contribute to nearly 50 percent of these injuries. Men are most likely to be the victim of SCI as they account for 80 percent of all patients. Most of the new SCI cases are of people 30-years-old or younger. It’s estimated that approximately 60 percent of these new cases occur in those ages 15- to 35-years-old.
This is no cheap injury either. The CDC estimated that the lifetime cost for this injury can be more than $3 million. This means a patient could potentially have to fork over anywhere from $15,000 to $30,000 a year if they suffer from SCI.
Insurance companies understand the liability and can sometimes move quickly toward a settlement — even offering a check claiming to be the maximum available under the policy limits of the at-fault driver. If a loved one suffers a spinal cord injury, seeking the immediate representation of an Illinois injury lawyer can be vital to protecting your rights. An accident lawyer will charge you nothing for a confidential consultation — and will often come to your home or hospital room.
Do not make any statements to opposing insurance representatives. Do not sign any paperwork and do not accept any payment. Choosing a lawyer can be an important first step toward ensuring that the necessary resources for rehabilitation and long-term care will be made available to you and your family.