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What is the Most Common Cause of Spinal Cord Injuries

Common Causes of Spinal Cord Injuries

Spinal cord injuries, a prevalent concern in global health, have an array of causes. Often, these injuries result from unforeseen accidents or mishaps, drastically changing the course of the individual’s life. Understanding these common causes is the first step toward prevention and improved safety measures. 

If you or a loved one has sustained a spinal cord injury (SCI), it’s crucial to remember that you have rights. The aftermath of such injuries can be overwhelming, but legal recourse can provide the means for adequate medical care, rehabilitation, and a more secure future. You deserve representation from a law firm that understands your pain, advocates for your rights, and fights for the compensation you deserve. The law firm of Cantor Grana Buckner Bucci is here to help and guide you through this challenging time. Contact our spinal cord injury attorneys today for a free consultation.

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How Do Spinal Cord Injuries Occur?

Most spinal cord injuries happen due to a sudden, traumatic blow to the spine, which fractures, dislocates, crushes, or compresses one or more vertebrae. These injuries can occur during events like vehicle accidents, falls, or sports injuries. The damage begins at the moment of injury when displaced bone fragments, disc material, or ligaments bruise or tear into spinal cord tissue. The majority of injuries do not completely sever the spinal cord, instead causing inflammation, fractures and compressions of the vertebrae, which then crush and destroy the axons, which are extensions of nerve cells that carry signals up and down the spinal cord. Immediate medical attention is crucial to limit the damage and potential long-term effects.

Traumatic Causes of Spinal Cord Injuries

Traumatic causes of spinal cord injuries often arise from sudden and forceful incidents.

Motor Vehicle Accidents

Motor vehicle accidents represent a significant portion of spinal cord injury cases in adults under 65. The sheer impact and force involved in these collisions can have devastating consequences for victims.

Highlighting the Prevalence of Spinal Injuries in Car Crashes

In the United States alone, thousands of individuals suffer spinal cord injuries annually due to motor vehicle accidents. These injuries can range from mild to severe, with some leading to long-term disabilities. It is imperative to recognize the prevalence of such injuries to underscore the importance of seeking legal recourse.

Discussing Liability and Potential Sources of Compensation

Determining liability in motor vehicle accidents involving spinal injuries requires a thorough investigation. This may involve assessing factors such as reckless driving, impaired driving, or defective vehicle components. It is essential to identify all potential sources of compensation, including insurance policies, and pursue a comprehensive approach to ensure your client receives the compensation they deserve.


Falls are a common cause of spinal cord injuries, often occurring in various settings such as public places, workplaces, or private properties; they are the most common cause of injury in those over 65.

Exploring Premises Liability in Slip and Fall Cases

In slip and fall cases, establishing premises liability is critical. This entails demonstrating that the property owner or responsible party failed to maintain a safe environment, leading to the accident and subsequent spinal injury. It is imperative to meticulously examine the circumstances surrounding the fall, gather evidence, and expertly present the case to prove negligence.

Demonstrating the Responsibility of Property Owners

Property owners have a legal obligation to use ordinary care to ensure the safety of visitors and occupants. This duty extends to regular maintenance, hazard identification, and prompt resolution of potential dangers. Holding property owners accountable for their responsibilities is essential in securing just compensation for your client.

Motorcycle Accidents

Motorcycle accidents can also result in severe spinal cord injuries due to the lack of protection and vulnerability of riders on the road.

Emphasizing the Importance of Motorcycle Safety Measures

With more than 5,000 motorcycle fatalities each year in the United States, it’s crucial to highlight the importance of safety measures such as helmets, protective gear, and defensive riding. Advocating for motorcycle safety and raising awareness can help prevent future accidents and injuries.

Addressing the Unique Challenges of Motorcycle Accident Cases

Motorcycle accident cases often come with unique challenges, such as bias against riders or difficulty in determining fault due to conflicting witness testimonies. A skilled personal injury attorney must navigate these obstacles to ensure their client receives fair compensation for their spinal cord injury.

Other Causes of Spinal Cord Injuries

Beyond motor vehicle incidents and falls, there are other causes of spinal cord injuries that warrant attention.

Sports and Recreational Activities

High-impact sports and recreational activities can result in spinal cord injuries due to the physicality and intensity involved. From soccer to horseback riding, any vigorous activity carries a risk, like a traumatic spinal cord injury. 

Acts of Violence

Unfortunately, acts of violence, such as gunshots and knife wounds, are the third leading cause of  spinal cord injuries. About 12% of spinal cord injuries result from violent encounters, usually from gunshot wounds.

Medical or Surgical Complications

Medical malpractice or surgical errors can cause severe spinal cord injuries. In such cases, demonstrating negligence or lack of standard care on the part of medical professionals is a critical component of your client’s claim. It’s crucial to have a deep understanding of medical procedures and the standards that healthcare providers should adhere to when handling these sensitive cases.

Understanding the Brain and Spinal Cord

The brain and spinal cord are the primary components of the central nervous system (CNS), responsible for coordinating and controlling all bodily functions. The brain serves as the main command center, processing and interpreting incoming signals while also generating responses. The spinal cord, a long, thin, tubular structure, functions as a communication conduit between the brain and the rest of the body.

The spinal cord is protected by the vertebral column and surrounded by cerebrospinal fluid, which acts as a cushion against injury. It is divided into four sections: Cervical, Thoracic, Lumbar, and Sacral. Each section corresponds to different parts of the body, controlling functions ranging from movement to organ operation.

Spinal cord injuries can damage the communication pathway between the brain and the body. Depending on the location and severity of the injury, this can result in partial or complete loss of sensory and motor functions. Understanding the intricacies of the brain and spinal cord is crucial for comprehending the nature and potential implications of spinal injuries.

Incomplete vs Complete Spinal Cord Injury

Spinal cord injuries are categorized as either incomplete or complete.. An incomplete injury means the spinal cord is still able to transmit some messages to or from the brain. People with incomplete injuries retain some sensory function and may have some control of muscle activity below the injury site. Among SCI victims, 20% have incomplete paraplegia. These injuries lead to the least severe form of paralysis. 

A complete injury means there is no nerve communication below the injury site, so there is no sensory or motor function below the level of the injury; it affects both sides of the body. Understanding this distinction is crucial when assessing the impact of the injury and planning subsequent legal actions.

Acute Spinal Cord Injury 

Acute spinal cord injury refers to the damage that occurs immediately after a traumatic event, such as a motor vehicle accident or fall. This initial injury can cause instant and permanent changes in sensory or motor function due to the disruption of nerve signals between the brain and body. It is essential to seek immediate medical attention for acute spinal cord injuries, as early intervention can significantly impact recovery and potential long-term complications. 

Chronic spinal cord injury

Chronic spinal cord injury refers to the lasting effects and complications that arise from a severe spinal cord injury. This can include nerve damage, musculoskeletal issues, respiratory problems, and more. These long-term effects can significantly impact an individual’s quality of life and may require ongoing medical care and support.

highlighted spine in a womans back at the doctor

Injured in an Accident? We Can Help

If you or a loved one has suffered a spinal cord injury due to an accident, you may be facing significant medical, financial, and personal challenges. At the law firm of Cantor Grana Buckner Bucci, we understand the complexities of such a situation and are committed to providing comprehensive legal support to those in need. Our team of experienced attorneys can guide you through the legal process, meticulously build your case, and advocate for the compensation you deserve. We are here to assist you every step of the way in these challenging times. Please do not hesitate to contact us for a free consultation today. We can help.

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