Causes and Effects of Spinal Cord Injuries

Spinal cord injuries happen to 12,000 to 20,000 Americans annually, and it is a safe bet that California residents make up a portion of these. Numbers tell only part of the tale of spinal cord injuries, however, and this post provides some additional details about how they can occur and their consequences.

Spinal cord injuries are often life altering and permanent in their effects. If you are a victim of this kind of harm, you will be very possibly to be unable to work, your health care costs can amount to hundreds of thousands or even millions of dollars. The possibility of your life expectancy becoming shorter is another very real consequence.

Factors that can place you at a higher risk of incurring a spinal cord injury indicate that they usually result from one of four main causes, in order of frequency:

  1. automobile accidents (about half of spinal cord injuries happen this way);
  2. falls;
  3. violence; and
  4. sports injuries.

Note that alcohol is a frequent contributing factor to all of these causes (about one-quarter of spinal cord injuries involve alcohol consumption).

One takeaway from this information is that you may be able to reduce your chance becoming a spinal cord injury victim by avoiding drinking and driving: you can cut your overall risk by almost 50 percent by this simple step alone, and wearing your seat belt and driving in a car with airbags can improve your chances of not hurting your spine by up to 80 percent.

Sometimes, though, just because you have avoided alcohol before driving doesn't mean that the other driver has, and no matter how defensively you drive you can still be involved in an accident that is the other driver's fault. What happens if you suffer a spinal cord injury as a result?

If someone else caused your spinal cord injury, a personal injury law firm may be able to help you to realize compensation for the costs of that injury, including medical expenses, lost wages, and non-economic damages such as pain and suffering. This can make a major difference in your quality of life -- for what may be the rest of your life -- and could also have a meaningful effect for your loved ones as well.


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