Pennsylvania residents who incur traumatic injuries to their spinal cords may be left permanently disabled. These injuries are caused when people receive sharp blows to their spines that dislocate, crush, fracture or compress some of the vertebrae. Traumatic spinal cord injuries may also happen when the back is pierced by a sharp instrument, severing the spinal cord.
Motor vehicle accidents are the primary cause of traumatic spinal cord injuries in the U.S., accounting for over 35 percent of new spinal cord injuries on an annual basis. Older people have the greatest risk of suffering from spinal cord injuries if they fall.
The National Spinal Cord Injury Statistical Center reports that 15 percent of spinal cord injuries happen because of gunshot or knife wounds in acts of violence. Another 9 percent happen as a result of participating in sports or athletic activities, such as football or diving. Depending on the location and severity of the injury, people who receive traumatic spinal cord injuries may suffer from paralysis from the waist or chest down. Other serious problems could include an inability to control breathing and other bodily functions.
A person who suffers a spinal cord injury in an accident caused by the negligence of another may be left with a permanent disability and face the need for ongoing and expensive medical care and treatment. In many cases, injured victims are unable to ever return to gainful employment, further worsening their financial situation. Experienced legal counsel could be of assistance in filing a personal injury lawsuit against the at-fault party seeking compensation for these and other losses.