Spinal cord injuries can result from sudden, severe trauma to the spine where the vertebrae are fractured or compressed. Injured vertebrae can affect nerve fibers and disrupt the sensations passing through the injured area, thereby impairing your corresponding muscles and nerves. A prime example is how a severe neck injury can affect your ability to move your arms and, possibly impair your ability to breathe. Severe injuries to vertebrae may also result in permanent paralysis.
Nearly 500,000 people live with permanent spinal cord injuries in the United States. About 10,000 new injuries occur each year, with a large majority involving men between the ages of 16-30. While much has been made about football collisions leading to spinal cord trauma, spinal cord injuries stem primarily from motor vehicle accidents.
How spinal cord injuries occur in car accidents
In car accidents, a person’s head or neck, or back violently collides with part of the vehicle. Rollover accidents are the most common cause of spinal cord injuries. Tremendous pressure can be forced on passengers’ heads and necks when a vehicle’s roof collapses after making contact with the driving surface. Hence, the term “roof crush injuries.” Rollover accidents are most common in sport utility vehicles and other vehicles having a high center of gravity and a narrow wheelbase.
Spinal cord injuries can also occur when a person is ejected from the vehicle during a crash. This commonly occurs when passengers do not wear seatbelts, but faulty seatbelts may fail or rip apart as well.
Am I entitled to a legal remedy?
If you have suffered a spinal cord injury due to someone else’s negligence or a defective product, you may be entitled to compensation. In essence, you may be able to recover money damages for pain and suffering, lost wages while you are not able to work, as well as rehabilitation expenses and future medical expenses. Since you would have to adjust to a new way of life, the injury award would also include the costs of installing ramps or railings to your home, as well as modified systems in your car to compensate for a limited range of motion.
Contact an experienced Texas personal injury attorney
While the preceding is not intended to be legal advice, an experienced Texas personal injury attorney can answer your questions and help you obtain the compensation you need if you have suffered a spinal cord injury.