Common Accidents That Cause Spinal Damage

Spinal cord damage can be one of the most severe kinds of injuries people can sustain. The spinal cord is what sends messages from your brain to the rest of your body. Any damage to it could cause a whole slew of potential problems, including paralysis, partial paralysis, numbness, loss of muscle control, and lack of sexual function. According to the National Spinal Cord Injury Statistical Center at the University of Alabama at Birmingham, there are about 12,500 new cases of spinal cord injuries (SCI) each year. In 2015, anywhere between 240,000 and 337,000 people were living with SCIs in the United States alone. The most common causes of SCIs include some of the following.

Motor Vehicle Accidents

Automobile crashes are some of the most frequent types of accidents that occur in general. They are also the leading cause of SCIs, accounting for around 35% of new cases each year. An SCI can happen in a collision or motorcycle accident when a sudden traumatic blow to the spine dislocates, fractures, compresses, or crushes one or more of the vertebrae. Even severe whiplash could cause your spine some injury.


SCIs that occur over the age of 65 are most often caused by falls. For all involved, falls cause more than 25% of all such injuries. They are also often the result of work-related injuries for employees who are required to work at dangerous heights, such as roofers.

Acts of Violence

Violent encounters, such as gunshots and knife wounds, account for about 15% of all SCIs. These attacks are often random and hard to account for in terms of protecting yourself.

Sports and Recreational Activities

Around 9% of all SCIs are caused by impact sports and diving in shallow water. Considering the amount of force present in sports such as hockey, football, rugby, and MMA, spinal injuries are not that uncommon.


Out of every 4 SCI cases, at least 1 involved the use of alcohol. This isn’t surprising, given the fact that even small amounts of alcohol can impair peoples’ sense of balance and their judgment. People consuming alcohol often make poorer decisions while inebriated than they would sober. In addition, they are less coordinated and more likely to fall over or off something, which could lead to an SCI.

Diseases & Medical Complications

Some diseases, such as cancer, osteoporosis, arthritis, and inflammation of the spinal cord can cause some SCIs. Additionally, medical errors can kill as many as 440,000 people every year. Among women, medically induced SCIs are the 4th-leading cause of such injuries, while in 2014, only about 2.2% of men suffered SCIs related to medical complications.

If your spine has been injured through the negligence of someone else, it may be time to hire an attorney. Our excellent San Francisco personal injury attorneys are here to help. Scarlett Law Group has more than 25 years of legal experience to put to work on your case. SCIs can be extremely expensive to care for, so you need to ensure you are compensated for your medical care and lost wages. Let us see what we can do for you. Contact us at (415) 688-2176 or fill out our online form to schedule a case consultation today.


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