Spinal cord injuries are amongst the most serious types of injuries that can occur in a motorcycle accident. However, not all spinal cord injuries are exactly alike. There are various types of injuries that can occur to the spine that can have both short- and long-term effects on a motorcyclist. Here, we want to discuss the most common types of spinal cord injuries that motorcyclists can face in Colorado.
The simple reality is that motorcyclists are more vulnerable on the roadway than others inside traditional vehicles. There is no metal frame, airbags, or seatbelts to protect a motorcyclist. When a collision occurs between a motorcyclist and another vehicle, motorcycle drivers and passengers often sustain two impacts – one with a vehicle and another with the ground. Both of these impacts can lead to spinal cord trauma.
There are various types of spinal cord injuries that a motorcyclist can sustain in the event an accident occurs. The severity of these injuries depends on the nature of the collision, the speed of those involved, and how quickly a motorcyclist is able to receive treatment.
The spinal cord is divided into four sections: cervical, thoracic, lumbar, and sacral. Each of these parts of the spinal cord guard different nerve groups responsible for various bodily functions.
Spinal cord injuries can either be “complete” or “incomplete.”
When we look at data available from the National Spinal Cord Injury Statistical Center (NSCISC), we can see that there are around 17,000 new spinal cord injuries that occur each year. Motor vehicle accidents are the leading cause of spinal cord injuries in the US. These injuries can bring significant costs to victims and their family members. Medical care for the first year of treatment can reach as much as $1.1 million, depending on the level of injury that has occurred. Every subsequent year of medical care can reach as much as $200,000.
However, these are only partial costs. Individuals who sustain spinal cord injuries may not be able to work or earn an income to support themselves or their family members. Additionally, those who sustained severe spinal cord injuries in a motorcycle accident will likely need assistance from medical devices, and they may have to completely remodel their homes or purchase new vehicles to help with mobility.