Each year, an estimated 11,000 Americans suffer a spinal injury, with 35 percent of those injuries resulting from motor vehicle accidents. Car crashes continue to be the leading cause of spinal cord injuries, but sports and recreational accidents, occupational accidents and acts of violence also account for these injuries.
Injury to the spinal cord happens when trauma damages the cells within the spinal cord to servers the nerves within the area. These injuries are very serious because, depending on the location and severity of the injury, they can result in paralysis, lost sensations or diminished ability to function or perform daily tasks. Since the spinal cord serves as a column of nerve tissue that relays messages between the brain and the rest of the body, damage to any part of the spine can have catastrophic consequences.
Generally, the closer an injury occurs to the head, the more widespread the damage to the rest of the body. Spinal injuries can be partial or complete. Complete injuries result in loss of sensation and muscle control in the affected area, while partial injuries generally leave some functionality, albeit it sometimes highly diminished. Most spinal injuries are caused by bruising, rather than complete severing of the spinal cord.
While spinal injuries can vary in severity, the consequences can be extremely serious. More serious injuries resulting in paraplegia or quadriplegia require the victim to adjust to a new way of life altogether – often in a wheelchair. Many victims lose the ability to work, engage in activities they once enjoyed or even care for themselves independently.
Because of the severity of these injuries, spinal trauma can result in lost wages, compounding medical bills, emotional duress and extreme pain and suffering. Because of this, an attorney specializing in spinal injuries is a vital step in getting the compensation you deserve for your pain and suffering.