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Car accidents are a common cause of spinal cord injuries

Hundreds of thousands of people suffer from spinal cord injuries around the world every year, and one of the most common causes is a motor vehicle accident. It might be important for family members of Montana victims who suffer from this type of injury to understand how it happens and the symptoms and risks involved.

A spinal cord injury results from trauma or from degeneration or disease. As many as 90 percent of these cases are accident-related injuries or traumas resulting from from traffic collisions, violence or falls. Men aged 20 to 29 and 70 and older are the most at risk, while women aged 15 to 19 and 60 and older are also significantly at risk. Men are also at least twice as likely as women to suffer these injuries.

The symptoms depend on where the injury is located and how severe the damage is, but there is usually chronic and significant pain. The victim might also have partial or total loss of motor control or function of the legs, arms or entire body. Severe injuries might affect the bodily systems that regulate heart rate, blood pressure, breathing, and bladder or bowel control. During the first year following the onset of an SCI, the risk of mortality is at its highest. Victims are far more likely than people with such an injury to die prematurely. The risk of mortality increases with the severity and level of the injury and is influenced by the availability of quality and timely medical care. Some of the most important factors in this risk are how the sufferers are transported to hospitals and how long it takes for them to be admitted.

People who have spinal cord injuries following car accidents that result from another driver's negligence might be granted compensation that pays for their medical costs through a successful personal injury lawsuit. Other damages that might be awarded could include compensation for wages lost due to an inability to return to work.

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