Spinal cord injuries are almost always devastating not only for the victim but also for his or her family. One of the most tragic aspects of suffering an SCI is that it takes only a moment to happen, but the effects can last a lifetime.
SCIs are caused by a blow to the back that dislocates, crushes, fractures, or compresses at least one vertebra. They can also result from a deep puncture wound or trauma to spinal disks or ligaments.
Although there are countless ways to damage the spinal cord, some scenarios are far more likely to occur than others. The most common causes of SCIs in the United States are:
1. Motor-Vehicle Collisions
Since 2010, motor-vehicle collisions have been the leading cause of SCIs around the country. This includes car, truck, and motorcycle accidents.
Falls are the second leading cause of SCIs among all age groups and the leading cause among people over the age of 65. Unfortunately, even a seemingly minor slip and fall can result in lasting damage, especially for vulnerable individuals who already have limited mobility.
3. Violent Altercations
Violent altercations are responsible for approximately 13 percent of all new SCI cases. Both gunshot wounds and knife wounds can damage the spinal cord, causing permanent paralysis.
4. Sports Accidents
Sports accidents cause roughly 1 out of 10 spinal cord injuries annually. The most dangerous activities include contact sports like football and hockey and extreme sports like waterskiing, cliff jumping, snowboarding, and hang gliding. Diving is also inherently dangerous and contributes to a significant number of SCIs every year.
Are Some People More Likely to Sustain a Spinal Cord Injury Than Others?
Although virtually anyone can end up in one of the scenarios mentioned above, there are certain risk factors that make some people more likely to sustain an SCI than others. Such risk factors include:
- Being male;
- Being between 16 and 30 years old or at least 65 years old;
- Suffering from a joint or bone disorder like arthritis or osteoporosis; and
- Participating in risky activities like diving into shallow bodies of water or failing to wear proper safety gear when playing sports.
What Should I Do After Sustaining a Spinal Cord Injury?
If you sustained an SCI, your health should be your priority. Once your condition stabilizes, though, it is wise to seek legal counsel.
The costs associated with treating a spinal cord injury—and then living with the repercussions—can add up fast. Although the party who caused your injury may be liable for your medical bills and other damages, you will need strong evidence to prove your claim. Much of this evidence may be time sensitive, and there are strict deadlines for filing personal injury lawsuits. For these and other reasons, it is important to consult an attorney at the earliest possible point in time.
Call 716-855-3761 to Speak with a New York Spinal Cord Injury Attorney
If you or someone you love sustained a spinal cord injury in a preventable accident, your family may be entitled to compensation for medical bills, lost income, and other damages. To determine if you have grounds for a claim, turn to LoTempio P.C. Law Group.
Our strategic spinal cord injury lawyers are here to help people put their lives back together. Call 716-855-3761 or fill out our Contact Form to set up a free case review with a personal injury attorney in New York.