As mentioned previously on this blog, construction site falls are among the most common type of workplace accidents. This means a common workplace injury is a spinal cord injury as falls account for more than 15 percent of all spinal cord injuries.
California residents may be aware that spinal cord injuries are often caused by a traumatic, sudden blow to the spine that fractures, compresses, dislocates or crushes one or more of a person's vertebrae. However, non-traumatic injuries can be caused by inflammation or infections.
Whether it is traumatic or not, the damage sustained in the process can affect the nerve fibers and pass along the injury site up to the brain or down to the waist. The spinal cord carries messages from the brain to the rest of the body and controls muscle movement. Damage to the spinal cord also affects this, including the loss of bladder and bowel control and circulatory control.
Though doctors can rule out spinal cord injuries by performing an inspection in the emergency room, such injuries are not always obvious immediately. Doctors can also conduct a number of tests, such as MRI's and X-rays to determine if spinal damage has been suffered. Unfortunately, spinal damage cannot be reversed and often causes secondary problems down the line, such as blood clots, respiratory issues and pressure ulcers.
A spinal cord injury therefore often takes time to manifest itself and requires ongoing treatment to cope. Employees, especially, if they are injured and unable to work anymore, may not be able to cover these costs and this is why workers' compensation claims are their right. Through such a claim, they can recover compensation to cover their medical expenses and also wages that are lost due to inability to work.