Even though a spinal cord injury isn’t that common, it is still a serious injury that can be devastating. Approximately 18,000 people suffer from this injury every year and for the majority of them, this injury can be severely debilitating.
The spinal cord is one of the main parts of our nervous system, which carries messages (in form of electrical impulses) between our brain and our arms, legs and other parts of our body. When you damage this part of your nervous system, the “messaging pathway” gets damaged, which can lead to partial or completed paralysis or other complications.
Typically, spinal cord injuries are caused by serious accidents, falls, infections, violent attacks or medical errors. Often these injuries can change your life forever. In this post we will be focusing on the most common causes of spinal cord injury.
Spinal cord injury caused by vehicle accidents
In a recent survey, done with 1.4 million Americans suffering from spinal cord injury (SCI), 25% (or 1 in 4) said that the cause of their injury was some sort of motor vehicle accident. In high-speed collisions, you can also damage your neck (and spinal cord) which can also lead to SCI.
Driver in larger vehicles, such as a semi-truck, are actually more likely to suffer from spinal cord injury, if they get into a collision.
SCI is also more likely to occur if the victim has less protection of his/her neck or head. For example, in an ATV accident or collision where the victim is a pedestrian, cyclist or motorcyclist.
If someone else’s negligent behavior (or defective vehicle part) causes an accident resulting in spinal cord injury, you should know that you have the right to file for insurance claim and get compensation for your injuries. If you work with a lawyer after your accident, they will help you receive the compensation you need in order to support the treatment and accommodation for the months or years after your injury.
Slips, trips, falls and stumbles
The second most frequent cause of spinal cordy injury are falls. And this comes as a surprise to many. You might not see this as a legal issue, but slips and falls are very common at work or in commercial establishments. You can lose your footing because of poor lighting, slippery floors or hidden hazards. If your head hits the ground when you fall, you can get seriously injured. And if you fall from a higher ground, you can also sustain spinal cord injury.
When a fall occurs on someone else’s property, our attorneys at Schenk Podolsky can help you investigate whether that fall was caused by a hazard that can make you eligible for compensation.
Medical errors causing spinal cord injury
Medical errors or malpractice of several types can cause spinal cord injury. For example, carelessness while positioning or moving a patient can cause spinal cord damage. Or if the anesthesiologist makes a mistake when administering medication. Or if the doctor fails to treat infection. These are all things (medical errors) that can damage your spinal cord.
When it comes to spinal cord injury, there is no healing or recovery. Once the error is made, even if the immediately take action, then cannot undo the damage they’ve done.
Spinal cord injury can’t only occur in adults. They can also happen during childbirth, if the mother is having trouble delivering her baby and the doctor intervenes in a forceful manner. If they (the doctor) pull too hard, they might end up twisting the spine too far, causing permanent damage to the baby’s spinal cord.
Paralysis after spinal cord injury, is often followed by other medical issues. In order to receive a fair settlement, you need to have an experienced personal injury lawyer at your side, who will present your best interests and make sure that you get the compensation that you’re owed. If you or your loved one was in a vehicle accident, fell or had another kind of accident resulting in spinal cord injury (SCI), make sure to contact our office and schedule a consultation.