Spinal cord injuries on the rise from falls, not car accidents

Spinal cord injuries are increasing in the United States but the cause isn’t what some may think.

Researchers at Johns Hopkins School of Medicine say it appears that more serious traumatic spinal cords injuries are caused by falls rather than car wrecks. The study also noted that spinal cord injuries are increasing among older adults.

Kirkendall Dwyer LLP, a personal injury law firm in Dallas, has to be aware of such research as many clients enlisted the help of a firm during their case where they believe they have been seriously injured due the negligence of a company or person.

Spinal cord injuries can cause temporary numbness and full-blown paralysis; the degree of an injury from an accident or fall just cannot be predicted. Falls in elderly people, a population that has steadily grown over the last several years, may be the cause of falls outpacing car accidents for spinal cord injuries. Researchers have not determined a reason for the shift.

The Johns Hopkins studied data from 43,137 adults who were seen in the emergency rooms in the U.S. from 2007 to 2009. Falls beat out car accidents 41.5 percent to 35.5 percent. The average age of a person with a spinal cord injury is 51, according to the study.

To further complicate matters, spinal cord injuries are becoming increasingly expensive. From 2007 to 2009 alone, spinal cord injury patients cost emergency rooms $1.6 billion, according to the study. Also, caring for someone with a serious spinal cord injury can cost a family $1 million to $5 million.

It’s so important to seek a personal injury attorney if you or a loved one is suffering from a spinal cord injury  to determine what your options are — before stress and costs start piling up.

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