Most of us know that an injury to the spinal cord is a serious matter. Unfortunately, most people do not know just how common these injuries are—or what to do if one occurs.
The spinal cord is a sensitive and crucial framework of nerves that runs through the center of your spine. These nerves are part of the central nervous system, and they perform the important job of relaying signals across the body and controlling movement of much of the torso and extremities. Damage to the spinal cord can cause severe and lifelong problems.
Although the spinal cord is surrounded and protected by the vertebrae, even an injury that directly affects only the vertebrae can also affect the spinal cord. This may be because the vertebrae themselves are crushed or compressed, affecting the sensitive nerves within, or it may be because of swelling and fluid buildup that puts pressure on the spinal cord. Even arthritis can lead to spinal cord damage.
The most feared repercussion of spinal cord damage is paralysis. If the nerves of the spinal cord are largely severed or damaged there can be a complete loss of control over the lower body or even the arms and torso—an inability to move. For most people this is a horrifying prospect.
A spine injury can have many other possible outcomes as well. Even without complete paralysis, a spinal injury may cause:
Every year at least 12,000 people experience an injury to the spinal cord in the United States. There are several causes for spinal injuries, but by far the biggest cause is car and motorcycle accidents (40 percent). Violent crimes are another major cause (15 percent), meaning that a majority of spinal cord injuries are preventable and involve the negligence or ill intention of another human being.
Although there is no way to undo a spinal cord injury, our justice system does allow victims of such injuries to receive compensation that can help pay for treatment, cover the cost of lost wages, and make life transitions less stressful. If you or a loved one has experienced a spinal cord injury caused by negligence, don’t miss out on your opportunity for compensation—contact Steinger, Iscoe and Greene today and find out what your options are.