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Spinal cord injuries: How they occur and how costly they can be

Our spinal cord forms part of our nervous system. It's located within the vertebrae that run along the center of our back from the base of our skull to our tailbone. Portions of the nerve endings that make up the spinal cord can be found in all different parts of the body. They're responsible for controlling both involuntary motions, which includes breathing and digestion, as well as voluntary ones, such as leg and arm movement.

Depending on the type of spinal cord injury you suffer, you can be left with either complete or partial paralysis. This may not just impact your ability to move about freely, but also may cause loss of sexual, bowel and other bodily functions.

Each year across the United States, at least 12,000 new cases of spinal cord injuries will be diagnosed in the United States. Of those, as many as 2,000 of them will impact the lives of either a teenager or a child.

Shriner's Children's Hospitals contends that as many as 300,000 people living in the United States currently have spinal cord injuries. As many as 30 new people also reportedly end up paralyzed as a result of suffering a spinal cord injury in this country each day.

Those who play contact sports, such as wrestling or football or even solitary ones such as diving or gymnastics, are particularly high risk for spinal cord injuries. Others are caused by vehicle accidents, gun violence, poorly maintained playground equipment, everyday slips and falls and falls from high elevations such as trampolines.

In terms of spinal cord injuries resulting from car crashes, they're often caused by motorists failing to wear their seat belts, resulting in them being ejected from their vehicles. In other cases, individuals suffer them when they're struck by either a drunk or distracted driver.

The first year someone suffers a spinal cord injury is the most costly in terms of providing care for them. It's estimated that care during that year alone can reach as high as $150,000 depending on just how severe the injury is. Over an average spinal cord injury victim's lifetime, their medical costs can soar as high as $3 million dollars.

If you've suffered seriously injuries whether because of poorly maintained equipment or someone else's negligence, then a Moultrie spinal cord injuries attorney can advise you of your right to file a lawsuit in your case.

Source: Shriners Hospital for Children, "Spinal cord injury awareness," accessed Feb. 16, 2018

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