One of the more severe injuries sustained in a car accident is damage to the spinal cord. But slips and falls can damage the spinal cord as well. Trauma to the spinal cord is serious as it can result in permanent changes to bodily functions. The Mayo Clinic has found that damage to the spinal cord could alter bodily functions below the injured area and that it is not uncommon for those dealing with the life-altering effects of a spinal cord injury to suffer from depression.
The most common body functions that are altered as a result of a spinal cord injury include:
- Loss of bladder or bowel control
- Sensations of heat, cold, and pressure
- A loss of circulatory control that leads to an increase or decrease in blood pressure
- Swelling of the extremities and an increased risk for blood clots and DVT
- Respiratory inefficiencies that cause difficulty breathing, coughing, and increase the risk of pneumonia
- Muscular tone inconsistencies leading to cramping, tightening, or even softening, limp muscles
- Sexual dysfunction and fertility issues
Spinal cord injuries change lives forever. A common misconception is that the majority of spinal cord injuries result from car accidents. The Mayo Clinic estimates that 35% of spinal cord injuries are a result of car accidents. But slips and fall account for a quarter (25%) of spinal cord injuries and are most common in those older than 65.
OSHA reports that 65% of all workdays lost annually are the result of slip and fall injuries. They also estimate that the costs associated with slip and fall injuries total nearly $60 billion annually. Winter in Utah brings with it slippery steps, walkways, and driveways. Whether you’re walking into a doctor’s appointment, a shopping center, or to your car, the risk to suffer a slip and fall injury is present. It's important to exercise caution as you cross wet or icy walkways or parking lots, especially if the walkways appear to be unkempt.
Many cities expect their local businesses to manage their parking lots and walkways to ensure they are clear, accessible and safe for their patrons. If they fail to do so, they have put their patrons at risk. Be sure you exercise caution this winter, and if you sustain a slip and fall injury and feel that it is the fault of someone else, contact Lowe Law Group to discuss your options.