Spinal cord injuries can be entirely debilitating. They can lead to permanent disability and loss of movement. This doesn’t mean they do every time, as recovery is possible with proper, timely treatment and rehab in some cases. However, every case is different, and the manner in which the injury occurs may also be important.
On that note, below are some of the main causes of these injuries in California:
- Falls. For those who are over 65 years old, most spinal cord injuries occur during falls. For the population as a whole, over 25 percent happen in falls.
- Car accidents. The majority of spinal cord injuries — over 35 percent — happen in automobile accidents. This also includes motorcycle accidents.
- Disease. As you may expect, some injuries are nearly unavoidable. They can be caused by osteoporosis, cancer, arthritis, spinal cord inflammation and more.
- Sports. High-impact sports like football and rugby can put a person at risk. Things like diving in the water, rock climbing and other activities where there is an increased risk of a fall or a hard impact can also be dangerous.
- Violence. Gunshot wounds and knife wounds account for about 15 percent of the annual injuries. This stat comes from the National Spinal Cord Injury Statistical Center.
It’s also worth noting that alcohol, though not the direct cause, is found in about 25 percent of these injuries. For example, a person who is driving drunk could be involved in a crash, which technically causes the injury, but alcohol is a contributing factor.
As noted above, a spinal cord injury could change the rest of your life. Make sure you know how to seek compensation for financial costs, rehab, occupational changes, pain and suffering and more.