Brain and Spinal Cord Injuries

Brain and Spinal Cord Injuries



Spinal Cord Injuries occur when a sudden event results in damage to cells in the spinal cord, or severs the nerve tracts that relay signals up and down the spinal cord.

Spinal cord injuries occur in approximately 12,000 to 15,000 people per year in the U.S. About 10,000 spinal cord injury victims are permanently paralyzed each year, and many of the rest die. Most spinal cord trauma occurs to young, healthy individuals. Males between 15 and 35 years old are usually the ones affected.

The spinal cord is a dense nerve bundle housed in the center of the vertebrae. It contains the major nerves connecting the brain to the body. Back and neck injuries, such as those sustained in auto accidents, can injure the spinal cord and cause a loss of nerve function.

The type of activity that causes spinal cord injuries varies often depending on age. With children and teenagers, usually it is a sports-related injury. In adults, it is often work related, as in construction type accidents.

Data from the National Spinal Cord Injury Association (NSCIA), lists the most common causes of traumatic injury to the spinal cord as being motor vehicle accidents, violence, falls, and sports.

Spinal cord injuries can be irreversible because the spinal cord is one of the most intricate parts of the body. Because the spinal cord carries messages to and from all parts of the body and the brain, any loss of its ability to function can have a huge effect on the body.

A spinal cord injury can lead to complications with any of these areas of the body: cardiovascular; urinary tract; gastrointestinal; and the respiratory system. Spinal cord injuries can also cause neurological disorders, metabolic changes, sexual dysfunction and psychosocial and vocational problems.

Following a spinal cord injury, a person’s life is often vastly altered. Their role as spouse, student, worker or other status they once held is changed. They must now rely on others for activities and duties they once did themselves. This can be extremely difficult to deal with.

Along with these changes, the injured person must now deal with society’s view of those with a disability.


About 200,000 people die each year in this country after sustaining brain injuries, with an additional 500,000 hospitalized. About 10% of those who survive have continuing health problems that can keep them from being able to live independently.

There are two basic types of head injuries – open and closed. An open injury means the skull has been fractured. Broken fragments of skull can lacerate or bruise the brain or damage blood vessels. If the fracture involves a major blood vessel, significant bleeding can occur within the skull.

A closed injury involves damage inside the skull with no fracture. Both types can cause paralysis, loss of vital functions to the body and even death.

A brain injury can occur in several types of accidents, including car accidents, sport-related occurrences, and workplace accidents. Because there may be an extended period of time in time between a traumatic injury and physical symptoms, the importance of hiring an attorney experienced in brain injury cases, who can tie the injury to its original cause, cannot be overemphasized.

Automobile accidents are the most common cause of brain and spinal cord injuries.

For example, a head-on automobile collision, involving cars traveling at a normal speed of 45 miles per hour, could result in the soft tissue of the brain being forced against the hard skull in the head. The skull has ridges that don’t normally touch the brain. An automobile accident can force the two together, causing blood vessels to tear.

Released blood can create pressure that causes the brain to press against the skull, causing impaired brain function or the death of brain cells. A minor injury can become a major problem if enough blood is released into the brain cavity and areas that control breathing and or cardiac function are affected.

When the brain experiences trauma, swelling can also occur. There is no room for the brain to enlarge inside the body’s hard skull. What results is called intra-cranial pressure, which can be deadly or cause severe bodily function problems.

Bruising of the brain is also a common injury in automobile accidents, falls, sport-related accidents, and workplace injuries. The impact in such occurrences can force the brain forward and backward, or vice versa. The force can cause bruising or bleeding in the brain.


Jonah Flynn is an aggressive spine injury lawyer with the experience and vision to take your workplace accident, auto accident, or brain injury case to trial. The Flynn Law Firm has the resources to prepare and try your case effectively, and also has the resources to make sure you get the best medical care for your brain or spinal cord injury, regardless of whether or not you have health insurance or your financial situation. Your medical care and recovery is important, and the Flynn Law Firm will help you obtain the right doctors and, if necessary, help you coordinate your care. Call the Flynn Law Firm at 888-353-5995 for a free consultation

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