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Why do car accidents cause spinal cord injuries?

As previous posts on this blog have reported, motor vehicle accidents are far and away the most common cause of spinal cord injuries. Despite horror stories about sports-related injuries causing an athlete permanent paralysis, a Wilmington resident puts his mobility at risk every time he or she gets behind the wheel.

The reason that car accidents lead to serious spine injuries is that the human back and neck are not designed to sustain the power of an impact like what one experiences following a car accident, and no safety feature on a car can change this or mitigate the risk of a serious back injury completely.

More specifically, when a car accident happens, the back muscles and ligaments are put under a lot of immediate stress. Additionally, certain joints in the back also absorb most of the blow from the accident.

One serious type of injury which is all too common after a car accident is a fracture in the spine, which is in fact made up of several disc-shaped bones called vertebrae. A single vertebra can get compressed during a crash or can even get separated from each other as the seatbelt pulls on the victim's lower body while the upper body moves forward. A broken vertebra can knick or even sever a person's spinal cord, which can cause paralysis or other symptoms.

A person who suffers spinal cord injury during an accident will likely need extensive medical care and will also need rehabilitation, especially if they have been completely paralyzed in part or most of their bodies. They will also likely not be able to work for a very long time, assuming they are able to go back to work at all. These people will therefore need financial support, and they can get some of this sort by filing a personal injury action against the driver which caused the accident.

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Murphy & Landon

1011 Centre Road, Suite 210
Wilmington, DE 19805

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