Formula One racing legend Michael Schumacher experienced severe head injuries in a ski accident in the Swiss Alps. The accident that occurred six years ago left the famous racer with serious brain trauma. Schumacher’s neurosurgeon recently reported that the racing champion is unlikely to recover. The seven-time world champion’s brain trauma has caused him to suffer mental, skeletal, and muscular deterioration.
After his skiing accident, doctors placed him in a medically induced coma. Brain injuries may only affect one area of a person’s body, but brain trauma can have seriously devastating consequences. The severity of injury from a brain trauma depends on where the brain damage is located and the extent of the damage. What are the most common causes of severe brain and spinal cord injuries?
1. Car Accidents are the Most Common Cause of Spinal Cord Injuries
Since 2010, motor vehicle accidents have been the most common cause of spinal cord injuries. According to the National Spinal Cord Injury Statistical Center, motor vehicle accidents cause 38% of spinal cord injuries. The force of a car accident can cause moderate to severe spinal cord damage. When a motor vehicle becomes halted in a crash, the force can cause someone’s neck to snap back and forth. It is wise for car accident victims to seek medical treatment if they feel any of the following symptoms which could indicate a spinal cord injury:
- Unexplained muscle spasms
- Weakened sensation or loss of temperature to the touch
- Unexplained muscle weakness
- Tingling or numbness
- Painful pinching or a stinging sensation in the back
- Digestive problems
2. Fall Accidents can Cause Brain and Spinal Cord Injuries
When people fall and hit their heads while moving at a high speed, they are more likely to damage their brains. Brain hemorrhages and contusions happen when the force of impact on one side of the brain causes the brain to slam into the hard skull. Slip and fall accidents cause harm directly beneath the location where the brain hits the skull and on the opposite side of the brain.
Bruises to the brain can cause swelling that can be fatal if not treated quickly. Head injuries account for nearly 2 million visits to the emergency department every year. According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control, 25,000 Americans over age 65 died as a result of injuries caused by falling. Many of these deaths were caused by injuries to the head that happened as a result of falling.
3. Violence is Also a Cause of Head and Spinal Cord Injuries
Domestic violence is one of the main causes of traumatic brain injuries in the United States. Many women who report domestic violence report injuries that could easily cause concussions or worse types of traumatic brain injuries. An estimated one out of every three women will experience physical partner violence in her lifetime. Signs of traumatic brain injuries in domestic violence survivors include the following:
- Feeling tearful
- Poor concentration
- Taking more time than normal to think
- Disturbances in sleep
4. Sports Injuries Cause Brain and Spinal Cord Injuries
Former race driver Schumacher suffered life-altering brain injuries from a skiing accident. Diving accidents, swimming accidents, and accidents in contact sports like football are common. In fact, a medical study found that 87% of men who have played football suffered from chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE). CTE is a degenerative brain disorder caused by repeated trauma to the head. Any blow or jolt to the head can cause a traumatic brain injury (TBI). A TBI can result in a brief change in the injured person’s mental state or could cause a coma or even death.
5. Medical and Surgical Complications
Some brain injuries and spinal cord injuries happen during surgeries. Doctors and surgeons must show clients a reasonable duty of care. However, even surgeons of the highest caliber can make mistakes. Spinal surgery and brain surgery is incredibly complex and difficult. When doctors make mistakes, even one small slip of the knife can cause additional brain or spinal cord injuries.
Birmingham Spinal Cord Injuries and Brain Injury Lawyers
Brain injuries and spinal cord injuries can be devastating. If another person’s negligence caused your spinal cord injury or your brain injury, our lawyers can help. The lawyers at Heninger Garrison Davis fight hard for our clients’ right to compensation. Contact our Birmingham brain injury lawyers today to schedule your free initial consultation.