Spinal Cord Injuries

Spinal cord injuries are especially devastating and can cause serious damage to the body. Car accidents are the leading cause of spinal cord injuries. The spinal cord is a crucial area in the functioning of the human body, and injuries to it can be especially destructive to the victim. Spinal cord injuries are extremely expensive, and it is wise to have a good lawyer working for your benefit in the complicated post-injury process.

The spinal cord is a giant bundle of nerves which extends from the waist up to the bottom of the brain. It carries nerve impulses to and from the brain in order to initiate and control movement and to relay sensory information (texture, heat, pressure). The brain and the spinal cord make up the Central Nervous System of the body.

The spinal cord is a vital part of any functioning body. Rings of bone called vertebrae surround the spinal cord and protect it. It is possible to damage the vertebrae (commonly known as a broken-neck or broken-back) without harming the spinal cord. This is important because paralysis or disabilities may not be permanent in situations where only the vertebrae were damaged and the spinal cord was not.

Spinal cord injuries result in a loss of function such as mobility or feeling. Frequently, the spinal cord is not severed in spinal cord injuries but merely damaged, though even spinal cord damage results in the loss of function. The degree of paralysis that results from a spinal cord injury depends on where on the spinal cord the injury occurred. Injuries higher up in the neck and shoulder area result in paralysis of both the arms and legs (tetraplegia and quadriplegia). Injuries sustained lower down the spinal cord may result in the loss of leg muscles (paraplegia). Paralysis is not the only consequence of spinal cord injuries; the severed contact with organs can cause the loss of bowl/bladder control, sexual functions and the ability to control body temperature and blood pressure.

35% of spinal cord injuries are caused by automobile accidents, making car crashes the leading cause of spinal cord injuries. Almost 500,000 people in the United States suffer the effects of a spinal cord injury and there are around 10,000 new cases each year. Interestingly, 80% of new cases involving spinal cord injury involve males age 16-30.

Spinal cord injuries can cause extreme hardship. Compensation is due under the law to someone who suffers a spinal cord injury as the result of a motor vehicle accident. It is important to have a good attorney in the post-injury process to deal with the complicated process of claims for things such as medical expenses and lost wages. The sums of money involved in spinal cord injury cases are frequently very large (millions of dollars) due to the nature of the injury and it is important to have a good lawyer working to see that your rights are protected.