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Spinal Cord Injuries: What You Need To Know

by | Sep 18, 2020 | Injury Prevention, What You Need To Know, Workplace Risks

Edited By: Cecily Johnson, Legal Secretary

Christopher Reeve was best known for his role as Superman in the late 70s and 80s. However, you could argue that his real-life accomplishments were even more impressive than those of the fictional superhero he played. In 1995, he fell from a horse and suffered a spinal cord injury that left him paralyzed from the neck down and unable to breathe without a ventilator. Determined to recover, he set up a foundation to promote and fund research into paralysis. While he never did walk again, the fact that he learned to move his finger and breathe without a ventilator is considered remarkable.

Spinal Cord Injury Statistics

Thankfully, spinal cord injuries are not that common, with around 18,000 injuries per year in the United States, according to the National Spinal Cord Injury Statistical Center (NSCISC). The two most common causes are vehicle crashes at 39% and falls at 32%. Both of which, can occur in the workplace..

Spinal Cord Injury Consequences

If you suffer a spinal injury, the chances are high that you will not work again or may return to work much farther into the future. Data from NSCISC shows that only 18% of people were able to work one year after their accident, rising to 24% after 10 years and 32% after 40 years. Additionally, your living costs will rise due to medical expenses and the need for help to go about your daily life.

Spinal injuries also significantly reduce life expectancy and leave you susceptible to a host of secondary medical complications such as pressure sores and respiratory infections.

Have You Suffered From a Work-Related Spinal Cord Injury?

If you or someone in your family has suffered a spinal injury at work, you will need help to claim Workers’ Compensation insurance. The insurance company may underestimate the real cost of your injury.

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National Spinal Cord Injury Statistical Center. (2020). Retrieved on September 9, 2020 from

Ott, T. (2020, January 09). How Christopher Reeve took control of his life after a horseback riding accident left him paralyzed. Retrieved September 9, 2020, from