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Charlotte Spine Injury Attorney Warns Patients to Approach New Treatment Promises with Caution
Even though about 11,000 people suffer spinal cord injuries (SCI) each year, there is currently no known cure. In recent years, medical and technological improvements have made life easier and more fulfilling for many patients. However, many new advances are not yet approved. Most new developments are expensive, so patients need to take care to ensure they are covered by insurance policies.
Even Currently-Approved Approaches to SCI are New
Since the time of Christopher Reeve’s paralyzing accident in 1995, many people credit him with working for solutions that can improve the lives of people with SCI. According to the American Academy of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, a number of advances have been developed since that time, including the following:
• Technological advances: Wheelchairs have advanced beyond just electronic controls. Although they can be high-priced, it is now possible to get models that provide height-adjustments for better access, handle difficult terrains and even climb stairs. Of course, voice-activated computer technology continues to advance, which was likely spurred by the ever-increasing requirements of physicist Stephen Hawking.
• Electronic stimulation: Devices are attached to the skin or implanted in the body to restore some function to the hands or other parts of the body.
• Medicine: Where bladder and bowel infections were at one time the leading cause of death for people with SCI, pharmaceutical interventions now permit effective treatment for these conditions. Other medications enhance functioning and even increase strength.
Certain Expenses May Not be Covered for Reimbursement
Research continues in this important field and some day there might even be a way to re-grow damaged nerves thanks to stem cell research. Still, while anyone suffering the debilitating effects of SCI can easily become tempted to try any treatment that might make life better, they need to do their research to ensure treatment is safe — and that there is a way to pay the often-alarming price.
Anyone counting on insurance claim reimbursement should always consult with their carrier to make sure any treatment is covered. In fact, this same caution applies to individuals seeking compensation from a personal injury claim against other parties who caused their injuries.
Plaintiffs in these legal cases still need to justify the value of their monetary claims. If insurance companies are likely to deny claims for new or experimental treatments, the courts may not require defendants to pay these costs either.