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Spinal cord injuries often lead to significant long-term or permanent injuries for victims. These types of incidents completely alter the day-to-day life of not only the injury victim but also their closest family members. Here, we want to examine some of the most common causes of severe spinal cord injuries that occur in Arizona. Specifically, we want to focus on data provided by the National Spinal Cord Injury Statistical Center (NSCISC), which indicates that vehicle accidents, falls, acts of violence, sports injuries, and medical or surgical mistakes are the leading causes of these injuries.

Motor Vehicle Accidents

During the most recent reporting year of data on file, there were more than 121,000 total vehicle accidents across the state of Arizona. Not every one of these incidents ended up with a fatality or severe injury, but many of these incidents did cause spinal cord trauma. Our team of car accident attorneys in Phoenix have seen that vehicle accidents which occur at higher rates of speed are much more likely to result in spinal cord injuries. Additionally, incidents involving large commercial trucks, motorcycles, bicycles, and pedestrians are also more likely to lead to spinal cord injuries.


Fall incidents often lead to severe spinal cord trauma, particularly if the falls or from one level to another. Our Phoenix slip and fall injury attorneys have handled these types of incidents commonly in industries such as construction, manufacturing, warehouse work, transportation, and others. For example, falls from scaffolding or off of a ladder or from one floor to another can lead to major spinal cord trauma.

Acts of Violence

Acts of violence often lead to severe injuries, including spinal cord trauma. However, incidents involving firearms are much more likely to result in severe spinal cord trauma. A bullet does not necessarily have to directly strike the spinal cord in order for an injury to occur. Often, bullet shrapnel is enough to result in major spinal injuries that can affect a person for the remainder of their life.

Sports Injuries

The American Association of Neurological Surgeons (AANS) states that playing sports can contribute to neck and spinal cord injuries, including severe spinal cord trauma. These injuries are more likely to occur in full-contact sports, such as football, rugby, and even cheerleading. However, any type of sporting activity can result in spinal cord trauma, including track and field, basketball, soccer, and others. 

Medical or Surgical Mistakes

Researchers from Johns Hopkins University have stated that medical errors result in approximately 250,000 deaths each year across the country. This data just shows us the number of deaths and does not tell us how many injuries occur as a result of medical or surgical mistakes. Spinal cord trauma can occur as a result of a procedure on the actual spine or other types of medical errors. Surgeons could accidentally harm the spine when working on other areas of the body. Additionally, careless treatment in an emergency room or other areas of a hospital could result in a patient sustaining a spinal cord injury.

Working With a Personal Injury Attorney After an Accident

If you or somebody you love has sustained a spinal cord injury caused by the negligence of another party, we encourage you to reach out to a skilled personal injury attorney in Phoenix as soon as possible. These types of injury claims are complex, and recovering compensation involves conducting a thorough investigation into the incident.