According to the Red Cross, around 95% of spinal cord injuries from diving accidents occur in water 1.5 meters deep or less. The agency sites causal factors such as lack of training, insufficient posted warning signs, and victims underestimating water depths. Half of the victims are also reported to have been intoxicated on drugs or alcohol during the diving session.
At their worst, spinal cord injuries could leave you completely paralyzed from the neck down. They could also result in an untimely death. If you have been injured while diving, contact a Los Angeles Personal Injury Attorney with El Dabe Ritter Trial Lawyers for legal advice.
What Is a Spinal Cord Injury?
The spinal cord is one of the most complex structures in the body. It delivers sensory information from the body’s internal organs to the brain and vice versa. Consequently, a spinal cord injury could result in the loss of sensation and function in parts of the body.
The main types of spinal cord injuries are:
- Spinal Cord Injury (SCI) — The severity of SCI injuries often varies from patient to patient. You could experience minimum to zero sensation or motor function below the area of injury. Patients with incomplete SCI may have more mobility on one side of the body than the other.
- Paraplegia — Characterized by partial or total loss of sensation or movement in part, if not all, of the body. It may also present loss of bowel and bladder symptoms.
- Quadriplegia — Symptoms are similar to paraplegia. However, the partial or total loss of sensation or movement is experienced in all four extremities.
How Can Diving Accidents Be Prevented?
Of the spinal cord cases caused by diving recorded each year, 90 percent end in paralysis. The degree of paralysis is often greater when the location of the injury is highest in the body. Fortunately, these accidents can be prevented.
When diving, it is advisable to:
- Assess the diving area for any rocks or sharp objects below the water
- Enter unfamiliar waters feet first
- Avoid depending on your eyes to measure the depth of the water.
- Don’t depend on past experience either
- Check that the depth measures at least twice your height
- Avoid diving into the shallow end of pools
- Try not to run and dive as running reduces your control of the dive
- Once you dive in, steer up to avoid hitting the bottom of the water body
- Even if all conditions are met, avoid diving in head first
If you suspect someone has suffered a spinal cord injury, don’t move them. Call 911 and request medical assistance. You can also consult a Los Angeles Personal Injury Attorney if you have questions or concerns.
How Can a Los Angeles Personal Injury Attorney Help?
Spinal cord injuries from diving accidents can be life-altering. Often, survivors require long-life medical care and income support. They could also lose the ability to engage in social and recreational activities. This could significantly reduce their quality of life.
By speaking to a personal injury lawyer, diving accident survivors can ensure they get the assistance they need. They can also acquire the best treatment and rehabilitation possible for maximum recovery.
If you have been injured in a diving accident, contact the law offices of El Dabe Ritter Trial Lawyers to schedule a free consultation with an experienced Los Angeles Personal Injury Attorney.