According to the World Health Organization, as many as half a million people suffer a spinal cord injury each year around the world. The organization has reported that many of these injuries are incurred as a result of motor vehicle accidents, although falls and violence play a part as well. Teenage girls, young adult males and elderly individuals continue to be most at risk of suffering a spinal cord injury, with a male adult being twice as likely to suffer a spinal cord injury than a female adult.
A spinal cord injury may result in the temporary or permanent loss of sensation or motor control. In many cases, a spinal cord injury leads to even more serious conditions, such as loss of bladder and bowel control, respiratory conditions and cardiovascular conditions. The mortality rate for victims is very high, and people with spinal cord injuries have a significantly greater chance of premature death than the general population. The mortality rate is often closely related to the ability to access appropriate medical care on a timely basis.
Spinal cord injuries may result in other conditions as well. Many spinal cord injury victims develop clinical depression, generally resulting from their dependence on caregivers. The depression makes treatment even less productive and can have a negative affect on the overall health of the patient.
Those who have suffered spinal cord injuries in a car accident that was caused by the negligence of another driver may be entitled to claim reimbursement for their medical expenses as well as compensation for the resulting loss of income due to an inability to work for a prolonged period. An attorney can assist in the preparation and filing of a personal injury lawsuit that would seek these and other damages that may have been incurred.