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Spinal Cord Injuries in Motor Vehicle Accidents

Posted on in Car Accidents

spinal cord injuryInjury to the spinal cord in a car accident can be one of the most devastating injuries that a person experiences. When the spinal cord is injured, it can have a direct effect either on the nerves themselves or on the bones, soft tissues, and vessels that make up the vertebrae. In many cases, a person who experiences a severe spinal cord injury may be paralyzed or have brain damage after the accident because of the of the spinal cord’s function as the main information superhighway of the body.

Motor vehicle accidents are one of the most common causes of spinal cord injury. According to EverydayHealth.com, seat belts were developed as a major preventative measure against spinal cord injury in a car accident. Harry N. Herkowitz, chairman of orthopedic surgery at a Michigan hospital, told EverydayHealth.com that when a passenger or driver is not wearing a seatbelt, “there is the definite possibility of a person becoming a projectile or sustaining forced trauma to the spine.”

Both seatbelts and airbags help prevent serious injury to the spine by bracing your body against the seat. Airbags cushion any serious impact with the steering wheel or side of the car, meaning that a person&s spinal cord does not snap back suddenly. According to Herkowitz and EverydayHealth.com, the single easiest way to avoid spinal cord injury in the event of an accident is to wear your seatbelt and ensure that airbag maintenance is current and instructions for use are being followed.

According to a report from the U.S. National Library of Medicine and the National Institutes of Health, there is not a significant increase in correlation between passengers or drivers who sustained spinal cord injuries and alcohol, rollover crashes, or citations for contributing human factors. Driving behavior of people who sustained serious spinal cord injuries were statistically comparable to those who did not. This means that while factors such as drunk driving may contribute to the rate of accident, they did not lead to an increased rate of spinal cord injury.

If you or someone you know has sustained a spinal cord injury in a car accident in which you were not at fault, you may be eligible for compensation. Contact a Waukegan car accident attorney today.

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