Housed inside the vertebral column, the spinal cord is one the most important relay centers for the conduction of nerve impulses throughout the body. It works harmoniously with the brain to ensure proper functionality of the human body and is critical to multiple crucial processes, the disruption of which can severely threaten our well-being. Granted its central role in the body, the spinal cord is naturally protected by the backbone and covered by multiple sheaths to ensure its safety from inside and outside insults.
A spinal injury is one of the most severe forms of physical injury you can encounter. An accident involving damage to any portion of the back or neck can result in spinal cord damage, which can subsequently result in paraplegia, quadriplegia, organ failure, incapacitation, and death. Considering the severe outcomes of damage to the spinal cord, it is essential to understand that any accident that resulted in such an injury due to someone else’s negligence can be challenged in a court of law. You can obtain compensation for your losses through a lawsuit against the party responsible for the incident.
What Makes Spinal Cord Injuries Dangerous?
Spinal cord injuries are especially dangerous due to the structure being one of the two vital components of the central nervous system besides the brain. The level of incapacitation varies depending on the extent of damage to the spinal cord. Based on the location and depth of the injury, it is possible to lose sensorimotor function or your ability to swallow, urinate, and defecate, functions that are essential to living a healthy life.
In some cases, the damage might be so severe that it could transect the spinal cord. Resection of the spinal cord can result in complete loss of sensation and motor function below the level of injury and can instantly take away a person’s agency. Although some patients recover from minor damage to the structure, most patients with catastrophic injury of the spinal cord might never recover and incur a permanent loss of function.
Causes of Spinal Cord Injuries
According to the United Spinal Association, nearly 40 percent of all spinal cord injuries result from vehicular accidents, 32 percent from slip and fall incidents, 14 percent from violent insults, 8 percent from sports injuries, and 5 percent from medical and surgical procedures. Automotive accidents like truck, motorcycle, pedestrian, and bus accidents can result in catastrophic injury to the spinal cord and even death. Slip and fall accidents result in back fractures that can inevitably result in damage to the spinal cord. These incidents and resulting spinal cord injuries are most observed in the elderly, where a complex interplay of multiple factors like age and low bone density predisposes them to greater damage for any given injury.
Spinal cord injury can result in temporary or permanent incapacitation and significantly impact their quality of life. If you acquire such an injury in an accident due to someone else’s negligence, you can sue them for compensation for your physical and financial losses. It is essential to consult an attorney immediately after your accident and get an expert legal opinion on filing a lawsuit against the defendant. Reaching out to legal services will guarantee you get the compensation you deserve. These injuries should be taken seriously, both medically and legally.