Every year 12,000 to 20,000 Americans experience spinal cord injuries, and almost certainly California residents can be found among them. Aside from knowing the basic numbers, though, what are the ways in which these injuries occur?

The majority of spinal cord injuries happen from one of four causes, which in order of frequency of occurrence are: automobile accidents (almost half of spinal cord injuries happen this way), falls, acts of violence and sports injuries. A significant contributing factor to all of these causes is alcohol: one-quarter of all spinal cord injuries involve the consumption of alcohol.

So it seems logical that if you want to reduce your chance of injuring your spine, one of the most effective ways to do so is to avoid drinking and driving. You can reduce your overall risk by up to 80 percent if you also wear your seatbelt and drive in a car with airbags .

Still, however, driving defensively and staying sober does not eliminate your risk of getting into a car accident when the other driver is at fault. If that happens, and you suffer a spinal cord injury, the stark reality is that you may very well be at least temporarily unable to work, your healthcare costs in connection with the specialized treatment needed run to hundreds of thousands or even millions of dollars, and your life expectancy possibly decline as well. All of these are long-term damages that most people simply cannot afford to absorb on their own, even with health insurance.

Spinal cord injuries are often devastating, life-altering, and permanent. If someone else caused your spinal cord injury, a personal injury law firm that has experience with spinal cord injury cases may be able to help you to allocate at least part of the direct and indirect costs of that injury to the person or people responsible for having caused it. This recovery could make all the difference when it comes to your quality of life for what may be the rest of your life as well as for your loved ones who will also be affected by the debilitating nature of these injuries.