According to the World Health Organization, between 250,000 and 500,000 people suffer a spinal cord injury (SCI) every year worldwide. In addition, each year, about 12,000 new traumatic spinal cord injury cases are recorded in the United States. Being unable to use one’s limbs is one of the hardest things to experience.
Unfortunately, this is one of the many effects of spinal cord injuries. Spinal cord injuries can be very severe, and when they occur, you would need a large amount of money for medical treatment. Below, we explore the causes of SCI and what you should do if you have one. If you would like to learn more, contact our personal injury lawyers today.
What Is a Spinal Cord Injury?
As the name implies, a spinal cord injury is damage to the spinal cord. The spinal cord is a bundle of nerves in your backbone. It is essential because it carries messages between your brain and your body. Its effects can be severe, causing complete or partial loss of bodily functions. It could also leave the victim paralyzed in the lower parts of the body or even in all four limbs.
What Are the Common Causes of a Spinal Cord Injury?
The most common causes of spinal cord injuries are the following:
Many spinal cord injuries result from trauma or blunt force to the spinal cord. One of the most common ways to sustain trauma on the spinal cord is from car collisions or motorcycle accidents. Negligent drivers or drivers under the influence of drugs or alcohol could cause these accidents.
Acts of Violence
Gunshot or stab wounds could also cause spinal cord injuries. When one sustains such injuries on the spinal cord, they could sustain severe trauma to the spine.
According to the Mayo Clinic, falls account for 31% of spinal cord injuries. For example, one could sustain a spinal cord injury from slipping in the bathtub or falling down the stairs. Sometimes, one could sustain a spinal cord injury while tripping on wet floors at the grocery store or at the gas station. When these happen, you could hold the property’s owner liable for such injuries.
Sports and recreational activities could also be dangerous. For example, when you participate in high-impact sports like football and rugby, someone could hit you with force on your spinal cord. Other activities like gymnastics can also cause spinal injuries if accidents occur.
Diseases and Tumors
Sometimes, spinal cord injuries do not occur because of blunt trauma to the spinal cord. Instead, diseases, infections, or tumors affect the spinal cord. Tumors may exert force on the spinal cord, causing severe pain or paralysis. Common diseases like polio, spina bifida, transverse myelitis, and multiple sclerosis could also cause SCI.
Should I Sue for a Spinal Cord Injury?
Suing for a spinal cord injury is possible if the injury was caused by another person or organization’s intentional violent act, negligence, or strict liability. This means that you can sue the responsible party for contributing to the causes of your spinal cord injury.
However, if you are not up to 18 years old, your parents or guardians can file the lawsuit on your behalf. You could also wait until you turn 18 and file the suit yourself. If your loved one suffered a spinal cord injury that led to their death, a relative could file a wrongful death lawsuit to get death benefits.
Filing a lawsuit does not mean the victim of an SCI will recover from the injuries. Often, SCIs cause permanent disabilities; however, a lawsuit could help the victim by covering the costs of medical treatment.
Many people choose to sue to offset the cost of medical treatment for spinal cord injuries. The cost of treatment and medical care for spinal cord injuries can be pretty high. As such, many people do not have the financial capacities to cover these costs. Financial compensation from the lawsuit should be enough to cover this cost or at least subsidize it.
Also, there are so many other costs that one will incur if they have an SCI. This includes long-term care, living costs with a disability, physical therapy, equipment (such as wheelchairs, etc.).
Contact a Personal Injury Lawyer Today!
If you or your loved ones have sustained a spinal cord injury, you should contact a spinal cord injury lawyer today. Our seasoned lawyers at Calvin Smith Law are experienced at representing SCI victims. As such, we can offer you the representation you require to get the compensation you deserve. To get started, schedule a consultation with us today.