Anyone who knows someone who has suffered a spinal cord injury, or even who has read news stories about them, probably realize that these sorts of injuries will turn the lives of the victims and their families upside down.
For one, modern medicine has yet to figure out how to fully heal a spinal cord after it has been damaged.
Because the spinal cord plays such an important role in the body’s nervous system, the result of a spinal cord injury is often some sort of paralysis.
Many victims of spinal cord injuries will have to learn to get through life without being able to walk, and the most severely injured may face difficulties breathing and swallowing. They will require constant medical care.
The spinal cord is also a surprisingly delicate part of the human body, so it can get severely damaged in a number of ways.
Motor vehicle accidents are far and away the most common cause of spinal cord injuries, accounted for close to 50 percent of all new injuries each year.
However, falls are another common cause of spinal cord injuries. They account for over 30 percent of all spinal cord injuries, but they are also the most common cause of spine injuries to those over the age of 65.
Falls can happen for any number of reasons. In some cases, the fall happen because of a hazardous condition at one’s place of work. In other cases, a person falls on public or private property simply because of some tripping or slipping hazard that the owner of the property did not attend to.
Accidents related to sports and recreation account for 10 percent of spinal cord injuries, while 13 percent of injuries happen because of acts of violence like shootings and stabbings.
In many cases, even those that do not involve care accidents, victims of spinal cord injuries may have legal options to recoup the enormous cost of their recovery from those responsible for the accident.