Car Accidents: The Leading Cause of Spinal Cord Injury in the U.S. The spinal cord is one of the human body’s most delicate and sensitive parts. It is a bundle of nerve tissues and support cells, and it forms the central nervous system together with the human brain. The brain serves as the body’s command center, while the spinal cord serves as the pathway where all messages from the brain are carried to the different parts of the body and vice versa. A spinal cord injury can damage the vertebrae, the ligaments or spinal column disks, or the spinal cord itself. A traumatic spinal cord injury, which is caused by a knife or gunshot would that cuts and pierces the spinal cord or a sudden, forceful blow to the spine, can fracture, crush, dislocate, or compress an area of the vertebrae. A non-traumatic spinal cord injury, on the other hand, may be a result of cancer, arthritis, infections, inflammation, or disk degeneration of the spine. Severe damage to the spinal cord damage can result either in partial or total paralysis. In partial paralysis, which is more commonly known as Paraplegia, there is loss of function and control on one side of the body. There are cases wherein, despite the loss of control, the paralyzed area is still able to feel. Total paralysis or Quadriplegia refers to total loss of function and control of body parts due to injury to the spinal cord. Affected body parts will depend on the area of damage to the spinal cord. This means that the higher the damage to the spinal cord, the greater the extent of the paralysis. Before the year 2000, knife or gunshot wound was the leading cause of damage to the spinal cord. From 2001 onwards, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) identified vehicular accidents as its number one cause. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) records more than two million car accidents in the U.S. every year. Causes of these accidents include drunk-driving, reckless driving, driving over the speed limit, driving too fast despite poor road condition and distracted driving, which is a very common error among all types of car drivers. All these errors are within the control of the driver and their underlying cause is identified to be recklessness or negligence which translates to bad road behavior. The recovery process for those who have suffered a spinal cord injury due to car accidents have often taken years. This has resulted to financial strains for many families due to victims’ need for extensive medical and rehabilitative care. The bottom line is, cost of medical treatment is too much for families to bear on their own, bearing in mind that the accident and the injury were not even the victims’ fault. Adding to cost of medical treatment any lost wages from work (if the victim is employed), the law firm Williams Kherkher, therefore, emphasizes the need for the victim and/or his/her family to take legal action against the party responsible for the car accident and the injury. Having an experienced attorney on the victim’s side may help make sure that his/her legal needs are protected.