Approximately 12,500 individuals survive sustaining a spinal cord injury every year, but not many know much about these terrible injuries until it happens to them or a loved one. In most cases, spinal cord injuries are largely preventable and are often the result of an accident or act of violence. Of those who suffer this injury, men account for 80% since they are considered more likely to take risks and play sports which could potentially cause a spinal cord injury.
Read on to learn about the primary causes of spinal cord injuries:
- Automobile accidents: This is one of the most common causes of spinal cord injuries. In fact, accidents on the road accounted for 9,607 spinal cord injuries in 2014, over 7,000 of which were men. Moreover, individuals under the age of 34 are most at risk being involved in a fatal or life-altering motor vehicle accident.
- Falls: Anyone can fall and, most of the time, unless you are elderly or very young, the injuries you sustain are not too severe. However, if you misplace a step on a flight of stairs, have a seizure, or faint, the fall can sometimes be catastrophic and cause damage to your spine. In 2014, falls were the second leading cause of spinal cord injuries.
- Gunshot wounds: Depending on how the bullet severs or compresses the spinal cord, a gunshot wound can easily destroy one’s body. Unfortunately, this act of violence is the third leading cause of spinal cord injuries in the country.
- Diving injuries: The act of plunging headfirst into water is, by its very nature, a risky activity. If the water is shallow, the diver is inexperienced, or others get in the way of the diver, catastrophic injuries can occur, including those that cause damage to the spinal cord.
- Motorcycle accidents: Motorcycles leave riders much more vulnerable and less protected than a car would and, as such, they are inherently more dangerous than other modes of transportation. While motorcyclists account for a small fraction of those on the road, their lack of protection means that even a minor accident can prove to be deadly or inflict catastrophic injuries.
- Falling objects: Falling objects might not sound too terrible, but collisions with certain objects can actually produce injuries that inflict permanent damage. For example, construction sites, falling rocks, and even large icicles or hail can cause damage to a person’s brain or spin, especially when that individual is hit at a high speed or an especially dangerous angle. Those who are involved in industries where falling objects are more common are particularly vulnerable, which is why construction hats and other protective safety gear are critical when it comes to the prevention of these types of catastrophic injuries. In 2014, 822 men and 37 women sustained spinal cord injuries caused by falling objects.
- Medical or surgical complications: Surgical complications, such as infections, can compress the spinal cord. These injuries are often caused by negligent health care providers and, shockingly, more than 440,000 individuals die every year as a result of substandard medical care.
- Pedestrian injuries: Motorists are not the only individuals who sustain spinal cord injuries on the road. Pedestrians are often injured by aggressive, distracted, or speeding drivers who ultimately put their lives at risk.
- Bicycle accidents: A bicycle accident can also change a person’s life. Just as motorcyclists are vulnerable, cyclists are even more at risk, especially since an unaware or distracted driver might not check his or her blind spots for a cyclist. To help minimize the severity of your injuries, make sure you always wear a helmet, no matter how close to home you are or how short a bike ride you are planning on taking. Safety gear saves lives.
- Person-to-person contact: Other violent acts that can cause damage to the spine include person-to-person contact. Violent altercations accounted for 234 spinal cord injuries in men and 66 in women throughout 2014.
Spinal Cord Injury Attorney in Atlanta
If you sustained a spinal cord injury, we understand the devastating nature of this catastrophic injury and the importance of obtaining compensation to cover the expensive medical services you need now and will continue to need in the future. At Pratt Clay, LLP, our catastrophic injury attorneys have litigated cases in 25 different states and would be honored to represent you.
Call our office today at 404-566-9460 to schedule your free case evaluation with one of our knowledgeable attorneys.