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How will new tech change the face of spinal cord injury cases?

In the realm of personal injury, catastrophic injuries tend to warrant a greater degree of attention because of the severe impact they can have on a person's life. For people suffering from spinal cord injuries, the impact can be substantial, causing them to lose the ability to walk or use other appendages, perform everyday tasks or sustain certain types of employment.

These things, along with long-term medical care, are the main considerations when seeking compensation after a serious accident. Spinal cord injuries can end up costing hundreds of thousands of dollars in ongoing care and lost abilities, which are not financial burdens victims and their families should have to shoulder. 

Though these are the typical considerations for today's spinal cord injury victims, future victims may need to consider different costs. That is if science is able to push forward with a new device that could give those with paralysis the ability to walk again.

The small device that's causing a big fuss

For years, researchers have been toying with the idea of using technology to bypass or repair neurons damaged after a spinal cord injury effectively allowing the brain to once again communicate with muscles below the injured area.

Although first-generation prototypes required individuals to be connected to computers or other clunky external devices, recent research shows technology may be able to produce movement using only a small wireless device implanted in the brain. Tests on paralyzed monkeys have been promising so far, resulting in a publication in the scientific journal Nature this month.

A look at personal injury claims down the road

In addition to the fact that these devices have yet to be tested in humans and approved for mass production, it's likely that this new tech will be expensive once available to the public. Researchers at this time also admit their device does not allow for fine motor movements, which could be a factor for someone going back to work.

At this point, it looks like spinal cord injury victims of the future will simply need to adjust to a new set of costs when seeking compensation after an accident, especially if they want to ensure they are getting fair compensation to cover all of their needs. 

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