September is National Spinal Cord Injury Awareness Month, a time dedicated to shining a spotlight on the causes of spinal cord injuries, ways to prevent them and efforts to discover a cure for spinal cord injuries, and Rivas Law Group would like to help spread the word.
All too often, we’ve seen the devastating results a spinal cord injury can have on a victim. A spinal cord injury, or SCI, can have permanent, life changing effects for the victim, including:
- Full or partial paralysis
- Loss of movement
- Impaired movement
- Lost or altered sensation
- Chronic pain
- Loss of motor control
- Loss of bladder or bowel control
- Changes in sexual function
- Difficulty breathing
Most Florida Spinal Cord Injuries Are Caused by Accidents
There are approximately 18,000 spinal injuries a year in the United States. While some of these injuries are caused by disease or alcohol abuse, the overwhelming majority of spinal cord injuries in Florida and elsewhere are caused by accidents. In addition to injuring the spinal cord, sudden spinal trauma can also damage the vertebrae, ligaments or disks of the spinal column.
Types of SCI Accidents
Here are a few of the types of accidents that result in spinal cord injuries:
- Car, Truck and Motorcycle Accidents – These are the leading causes of spinal cord injuries, accounting for about half of spinal cord injuries each year.
- Slips, Trips and Falls – These types of accidents are the leading causes of spinal cord injuries for those over the age of 65.
- Acts of Violence – Gunshot and knife wounds cause many spinal cord injuries each year.
- Sports and recreation injuries – High impact sports such as football can result in spinal cord injuries; another cause of recreational spinal cord injuries in Florida is diving into water that’s too shallow and hitting the bottom.
Preventing Spinal Cord Injuries in Florida
There are many ways to reduce your risks of getting a spinal cord injury:
- Drive safely – obey the traffic laws, don’t speed, and drive defensively.
- Don’t drive while impaired.
- Use handrails while going up and down the stairs, install non slip mats on the floors, make sure rooms are properly lit and keep floors dry and clear of debris to reduce spinal cord injuries caused by slips, trips or falls.
- Always wear the proper protective gear when playing sports, especially contact sports.
- Make sure to check the depth of the water before diving in.
What to Do In Case of a Spinal Cord Injury Resulting From an Accident
If you suspect someone has a spinal injury, don’t try to move them. If the victim is bleeding, provide basic first aid without moving the head or neck, keep them still, and call 911.
Was Your Injury Caused by An Accident?
The first thing to do after an accident is to seek medical attention; the next is to contact a personal injury attorney with experience representing clients with spinal cord injuries.
If your spinal cord injury resulted from an accident that was due to the negligent act of another, you may be entitled to collect compensation for the damages caused by your injuries, including pain and suffering, present and future medical bills, medical devices (wheelchairs, back braces, etc.), lost income and loss of consortium.
Tania Rivas is a highly respected Central Florida personal injury attorney. Tania and The Rivas Law Group has helped victims of spinal cord injuries in Winter Haven, Lakeland, Lutz and other Central Florida communities obtain the compensation they need to put their lives back together after a devastating accident.
Contact Rivas Law Group today to schedule a free consultation. Tania is here to listen to your story, answer any questions you may have and offer advice on the best way to move forward with your case.