Every spinal cord injury happens differently and changes the injury victim’s life in a unique way. Still, there are commonalities. In the United States, motor vehicle accidents cause the most spinal cord injuries. Falls, violent acts and sports injuries are also to blame.
1. Car, Truck and Motorcycle Accidents
Studies show that motor vehicle accidents are the leading cause of spinal cord injuries in the United States. They account for about half of all spinal cord injuries, according to the Mayo Clinic.
Structures like vertebrae that ordinarily protect the spinal cord from damage are simply not strong enough to protect against traumatic injury in high-speed car, truck or motorcycle accidents. When the upper body whips forward from the motion of the car during the crash, permanent injury can result. Spinal cord injury also correlates with crashes that occur while passengers are not wearing seatbelts. People who are thrown from vehicles are far more likely to sustain permanent injuries or to be killed.
2. Slip and Fall Accidents
After car accidents, falls are the second leading cause of spinal cord accidents. The Mayo Clinic reports that fall cause more than 15 percent of spinal cord injuries. Slip and fall accidents especially affect older adults who may already face mobility challenges.
3. Acts of Violence
Acts of violence, like gunshot and knife wounds, cause about 12 percent of spinal cord injuries. Bullets or the blades of knives can injure vertebrae, ligaments or discs that surround the spinal cord and damage the spinal cord itself.
4. Sports Injuries
Athletic activities, from diving in shallow water to impact sports like football, cause about 10 percent of spinal cord injuries. Playing sports without the proper safety gear increases the risk. Don’t “lead with your head,” sliding into bases headfirst or tackle using the top of your helmet in football. Doing so can increase your risk of a spinal cord injury.
If You Have Experienced a Spinal Cord Injury…
If you or someone you care about has experienced a spinal cord injury and you believe someone else is to blame, a lawyer can help you hold that person accountable. At Ted B. Lyon & Associates, we file personal injury lawsuits on behalf of injury victims. By taking legal action, our clients can move forward with their lives and help prevent the same harms from happening to others. Contact a lawyer at Ted B. Lyon & Associates to learn more.