Oil and gas workers operate around a lot of hardware. That might mean large-scale trucking and transportation or work that happens high up at refineries. Accidents around those two activities—driving and falls—make up more than 70% of spinal cord injuries according to the National Spinal Cord Injury Statistical Center

Not all SCIs cause the same damage though. Anyone suffering from one may wish to learn more about the potential ramifications and costs in order to better plan for the future.

Complete versus incomplete

An important distinction with SCIs is whether the inciting accident fully severed the spinal cord or not. A person with a complete SCI, as Disabled World defines, suffers full paralysis below the lesion. This may result in paraplegia where the victim has no sensation or motion in their lower half. The higher up the spinal column, the more widespread the paralysis.

Incomplete SCIs do not quite sever the spinal cord and may affect the body in a variety of ways resulting in partial motor function loss or paralysis.

Spinal contusions

These injuries involve the bruising of the spinal cord and may impact sensation and motion during recovery.

Recovery and costs

Many SCIs are permanent and require care and support for the rest of a person’s life. Even if the person recovers, it often takes months. Average first-year costs for an SCI may range between $375,000 to nearly $1.15 million.

Fighting with insurance, corporate damage cases or workers’ compensation to recover these costs only exacerbates the situation. There are resources to help clarify the information and navigate the process of securing a fair amount of compensation for a workplace SCI.