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Spinal cord injuries: life-changing and expensive

When a person suffers from a spinal cord injury, it can change their entire life. From how to get out of bed in the morning, to how to eat, depending on the severity of the injury, these everyday tasks that most give no thought to can suddenly become chores. 

Every year there are about 12,000 new spinal cord injury cases. In terms of what causes spine injuries, car accidents are the most common cause with 39.2 percent of all spinal cord injuries being attributed to motor vehicle accidents. 

The second most common cause, at 28.3 percent is falls. Violent acts -- like gun shots -- lead to 14.6 percent of spinal cord injuries and sports-related accidents make up 8.2 percent of the injuries. 

In looking at what happens during a spinal cord injury, the spinal cord -- which sends messages between the brain and the body -- becomes compressed or damaged. This leads to the brain no longer being able to send those messages, which can mean paralysis below where the injury occurred. 

These types of injuries are also rather expensive. A recent article in the Missoulian estimates a spinal cord injury costs between $300,000 and $1 million a year. 

Due to the costs associated with spinal cord injuries, and the possible drastic changes to one's lifestyle, when a spinal cord injury was caused by someone else's negligence, those injured should keep in mind that it may be possible to sue. Not only will this hold the negligent party accountable, but the lawsuit can also result in very much needed compensation to help pay for some of the medical and rehabilitation expenses.

Source: Missoulian, "Family health: Spinal cord injuries change lives in drastic ways," Renee Redler, June 18, 2013

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