Spinal Cord Injury – motor vehicle accidents

In the State of Florida, 243,314 people were injured in motor vehicle accidents in 2015, according to the Florida Integrated Report Exchange System. Some of the victims sustained spinal cord injury. Mayo Clinic warns that motor vehicle accidents are the leading cause of spinal injury and account for 35 percent of total spinal cord injuries over the course of the year.  

A spinal cord injury occurs when any part of the spinal cord or the nerves at the end of the spinal canal sustain damage. Usually, this occurs as a result of a sudden and traumatic blow to the spine which causes vertebrae to fracture or which causes the dislocation of vertebrae.

As soon as the injury occurs, disc material or bone fragments can tear the tissues of the spinal cord. In most cases of injury, the spinal cord is not fully severed but instead the damage to the vertebrae which occurs upon impact results in axons being crushed or destroyed. These axons are extensions of the nerve cells which are responsible for transmitting signals between the brain and body.

Spinal cord injuries can result in permanent impairment, with the extent of impairment determined by the location and severity of the injury.  Complete paralysis is possible. Costs of living with spinal cord injuries are substantial.

A spinal cord injury sustained at age 20 which affects the C1-C4 vertebrae can result in $4,724,181 in lifetime care costs on average, according to the Christopher Reeve Foundation. Because of the extent of severity of symptoms, spinal cord injuries can result in victims being eligible to pursue personal injury claims for spinal cord injuries after motor vehicle accidents. Personal injury civil lawsuits can make it possible to recover compensation if you can prove another driver was liable for causing the collision.