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Motor Vehicle Accidents are the Leading Cause of Traumatic Spinal Cord Injury

The spinal cord is part of the central nervous system, extending downward from the base of the brain. It is made of soft tissue and surrounded by small bones called vertebrae. The spinal cord consists of nerve cells and groups of nerves called tracts, which runs to different parts of the body. Messages are carried by these tracts from the brain to the rest of the body. The tracts are separated into two groups. Sensory tracts carry messages related to heat, cold, pressure, pain and the position of limbs. Motor tracts carry messages from the brain to control muscle movement.

Damage to the vertebrae, ligaments or discs of the back can result in spinal cord injury. A sudden trauma to the spine, causing fracture, dislocation, compression or crushing of the vertebrae, can result in a traumatic spinal cord injury. A penetration, from a knife wound or gunshot, may cut the spinal cord.

Bleeding, swelling, inflammation and fluid accumulation in and around the spinal cord may occur over days or weeks resulting in additional damage.

In addition to traumatic damage, arthritis, cancers, inflammation, infection, or disc degeneration may cause non-traumatic spinal cord damage.

Regardless of whether the cause was traumatic or non-traumatic, the affected area will be below the damaged region. Damage to the nerve fibers in the thoracic (chest) region or lumbar (lower back) region can affect the torso, legs, bowel and bladder control and sexual function. Damage in the cervical (neck) region can affect the arms and the rest of the body as well as the ability to breathe.

The Leading Cause of Spinal Cord Injury

The leading cause of spinal cord injuries is motor vehicle accidents, followed by falls, acts of violence, sports related injury and diseases. Auto or motorcycle accidents account for 46% percent of all spinal cord injuries each year, according to the Centers for Disease Control. The Mayo Clinic places the percentage just slightly lower at 40%. Alcohol plays a part in one out of four traumatic spinal cord injuries.

Many factors can be the cause of serious motor vehicle accidents resulting in spinal injury including driving under the influence, distracted driving, defective vehicle parts, a poorly maintained vehicle, road rage or aggressive driving or reckless driving. The injury may be the result of the force of the crash, being thrown from the vehicle or motorcycle, a violent rollover causing a snapping of the neck, or a puncturing from a vehicle part or item within the vehicle.

The Cost of a Motor Vehicle Spinal Injury

The treatment cost for a patient with any incurable spine injury can range from substantial to astronomical. The Christopher Reeve foundation reports that the first year of treatment can reach well over $1 million for a patient with the most severe damage near the neck. Following the first year, ongoing treatments can run as high as $200,000 annually. In addition, the wages lost over a lifetime of disability can easily reach the millions.

A victim of a motor vehicle accident, resulting in serious traumatic spinal injury, may be able to receive compensation, to cover these high medical costs and loss of income and more, from a negligent driver who was the cause of the accident. Fault may also be lie with a manufacturer who produced a defective tire or other part that led to a crash. With a great amount of money at stake, it is imperative for a victim to be represented by the best motor vehicle accident attorney possible.

Vititoe Law Group is a personal injury law firm located in Southern California who has recovered substantial awards for many spinal cord injury victims of motor vehicle accident. If you or a loved one was severely injured, you may be entitled a large amount of compensation for your past and future medical bills, rehabilitation, lost wages, pain and suffering, diminished quality of life and more. Call 818-851-1866 or contact us online for a free evaluation of your case. Please do not wait as the time to file your case is limited.

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