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How many people live with paralysis?

You may be much closer to someone living with paralysis than you realize. According to the Christopher Reeve Foundation, about one out of every 50 Americans is paralyzed.

It is, of course, important to note that this takes into account many different types of paralysis. Some have no motor function at all. Others have quite a bit, but are still living with some restrictions. Each case is different.

The study also looked into the causes of paralysis. First, checking in at 33.7 percent, were strokes. Third on the list, with 18.6 percent, was multiple sclerosis. Both of these are common medical conditions that can be treated, but recovery may not be possible.

Second on the list, though, were spinal cord injuries. They accounted for 27.3 percent. These come from many sources, but could easily be a byproduct of car accidents. The spine is very fragile and could be seriously damaged, even in a relatively "minor" accident.

In fact, according to the Mayo Clinic, motorcycle and auto accidents are the number one reason for spine injuries. They cause 35 percent of these injuries annually. Other major causes are falls, sports injuries, violence and alcohol use, but none of them are able to top car accidents.

Have you been hurt in a car accident, and are you now living with life-changing injuries? This can be incredibly expensive, especially when you need assistance and care forever, and you must know what rights you have to financial compensation when someone else caused the crash.

After all, the Christopher Reeve Foundation reported that a full 41.8 percent of people living with paralysis had no ability to keep working. That compensation may be desperately needed to cover your costs.

Source: Christopher Reeve Foundation, "Stats about paralysis," accessed Jan. 12, 2017

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