Not only can a car accident ruin your day, it can cause serious property damage, personal injury and even death. While whiplash and neck hyper-extension are common in all accidents, car crashes can cause severe bodily harm such as traumatic brain injuries and spinal cord injuries.
What Is A Spinal Cord Injury & Its Effects
A spinal cord injury is one that dislocates or complete fractures one or more of the vertebrae in your spinal cord. Your spinal cord is responsible for carrying signals or messages from your brain to the rest of your body.
Typically, spinal cord injuries stem from a sudden and intense blow to your spine. And the damage begins immediately upon impact. Spinal bone fragments, torn or bruised ligaments and spinal disk material (cartilage) then rip into your spinal cord tissue. Most spinal cord injuries do not completely severe or cut through this tissue, but if they do, death is almost certain.
Rather, when an injury to the spinal cord occurs, the fracturing and compressing of your vertebrae damages and destroys axons – the nerve cell extensions that carry signals from your brain to your body. Depending on the severity of impact to your spine, few, some or all of these axons can be permanently damaged or completely destroyed.
Some spinal cord injuries can be healed with immediate and ongoing medical treatment, rehabilitation as well as time. However, many injuries result in complete and permanent paralysis (inability to use) of the upper body, lower body or both. In extreme cases, spinal cord injuries result in death. Statistics show that 6% of individuals who receive an injury to their lower spine die within one year.
Common Causes Of Spinal Cord Injuries
The leading cause of spinal cord injuries, approximately 50% nationwide, is car accidents. Medium to high-impact collisions jerk the occupants of the vehicle so violently and slam them into the sides or seats of the vehicle so hard that the force compresses and fractures the spinal column. This is why it is so important to wear a seatbelt, and even if you do, spinal cord injuries may still occur.
Another cause of spinal cord injuries is a bad slip-and-fall. Around 20% of all spinal cord injuries are caused by this type of accident.
Similarly, violent crimes and sporting accidents cause 15% and 14%, respectively, of all spinal cord injuries in the United States each year. Gunshot wounds, stabbings and blunt force trauma to the back can cause severe damage to the spine if they do not severe the spinal cord completely.
Whether you are eventually able to recover from your spinal cord injury or become permanently disabled in some way, the medical costs associated with these injuries are astronomical. Rehabilitation is a tedious, grueling and possibly life-long process, and long-term care is expensive. Just to give a ballpark, it is estimated that short-term care can cost upwards of $150,000 while long-term or lifelong care can cost millions of dollars.
If you or a family member has endured a spinal cord injury, you need a qualified personal injury lawyer to fight for you and obtain the damages you deserve. Board Certified Personal Injury attorney Bryan Caulfield understands that someone else’s negligence shouldn’t be your financial burden. When you are injured, you need reimbursement for your medical expenses and compensation for your pain. Bryan Caulfield fights for injured people and can help you protect your rights.
Board Certified Personal Injury attorney Bryan Caulfield offers free consultations for injured people. To set up your appointment, call (727) 796-8282 today.