Car accidents are a leading cause of spinal cord injuries across the United States. However, not every spinal cord injury is exactly alike. Here, we want to discuss the most common types of spinal cord injuries that occur as a result of vehicle accidents. These injuries often lead to significant medical bills and lifelong disabilities for those involved.
When we examine data available from the National Spinal Cord Injury Statistical Center (NSCISC), we can see that around 18,000 individuals sustain spinal cord injuries each year across this country. The data also shows us that the leading cause of spinal cord trauma each year is vehicle accidents.
When a vehicle accident occurs, the mechanisms of the incident often mean that those inside the car sustain some sort of spinal cord trauma. In some cases, a spinal cord injury is relatively minor, but there are times when spinal cord injuries are incredibly severe and lead to permanent paralysis.
One of the relatively minor spinal cord injuries that can occur in a vehicle accident is called whiplash, which occurs when the body is rapidly jerked backward and forward quickly, which causes the upper neck and head to “whip.” This type of injury can lead to damage to the upper part of our spine, muscles, and tendons, and lead to both short- and long-term pain and suffering for drivers and passengers.
There are times when more severe spinal cord injuries occur as a result of car accidents. There are three major areas of the spinal cord:
Typically, when a severe injury happens higher up on a person’s spine (cervical spine), they can suffer from complete paralysis, which is known as quadriplegia or tetraplegia. Injuries that occur lower on the spine may result in paraplegia, which is the paralysis of the lower limbs. Some of the most common spinal cord injuries that can occur anywhere along the spine include:
If you or somebody you love has sustained a spinal cord injury caused by the actions of another driver, you need to speak to a San Diego spinal cord injury attorney as soon as possible. A lawyer can help you walk through the steps towards recovering full compensation for your losses.