Motor vehicle accidents, including those involving motorcycles, is the leading cause of spinal cord injuries. These incidents account for nearly half of the new cases annually. Falls, acts of violence, sports, alcohol and diseases are all on the list behind the motor vehicle injuries. Regardless of the cause of these crashes, the victims often face serious life impacts.
There are several risk factors that make a person more likely to suffer a spinal cord injury. While these don’t necessarily have to do with a motor vehicle crash, they might apply to other accident cases.
- Age: People who are 16 to 30 are more likely to suffer a traumatic spinal cord injury, and people over 65 are most likely to suffer a spinal cord injury from a fall. The average age of individuals at the time they suffer the spinal cord injury is 43 years old.
- Risky behaviors: For people under 65 years old, motor vehicles are the most common cause of spinal cord injuries. Driving safely can help to prevent some of these tragedies.
- Gender: Males account for the vast majority of traumatic spinal cord injuries in this country. Only around 20% of these injuries happen to females.
People who suffer traumatic spinal cord injuries can have lifelong issues. While some people automatically think of things like paralysis, there are several other ways that these injuries can change a person’s life.
- Changes in the ability to feel sensations, including temperatures
- Altered sexual function, including feeling sexual sensations
- Nerve pain in areas affected by the injury
- Inability to control the bladder or bowels
- Troubles with coughing or breathing properly
- Muscle spasms and intense reflex activities
The way that the injury affects the patient will sometimes change over time. As the spinal cord heals, some patients might have improvements in these areas. This is more likely if the injury is incomplete than if it is complete.
A person who suffers a spinal cord injury in a motor vehicle accident might opt to pursue a claim for compensation from the driver whose negligence led to the crash. This helps to cover the medical care costs and other expenses related to the injury. There are time limits to getting these cases filed in Louisiana, so be sure you act quickly.