Spinal cord injuries are one of the most life-threatening and dangerous forms of injuries that a person can go through during an accident. One of the reasons why a spinal cord injury is considered so dangerous is the spinal column controls the nerve roots throughout the body that help us stay connected to the brain. Thus, a serious injury to the spine can change your life permanently by causing partial or complete paralysis. In addition, a spinal cord injury can also damage or cause the vertebrae to break. Here are 5 essential things you need to know about spinal cord injuries:
Various Factors Can Cause Spinal Cord Injuries
Like any other injury, spinal cord injuries also happen when you least expect them. Here are some of the most common reasons for spinal cord injuries:
- Slip and fall
- Accidents due to strenuous exercise
- Boating accident
- Motor vehicle accident
Symptoms of Spinal Cord Injury
After an incident that causes serious trauma to the head, seek immediate medical attention. And get a physical checkup to ensure that your spinal cord is not damaged. Sometimes, spinal cord injuries don’t become obvious instantly. Instead, they take some time to appear and develop. Some of the injuries sustained in the spine develop over time and are not caused by direct damage. The surrounded tissue or spinal structure gradually puts pressure on the spinal cord and causes shearing as the condition of the injured gets worse. Therefore, it is vital for someone who has been a victim of a serious car accident to watch out for the following signs of a spinal cord injury:
- Bladder or bowel control issues
- Impaired breathing after injury
- Odd tingling, numbness, or loss of sensation in feet, hands, or toes
- Difficulty maintaining balance while walking
- Paralysis, weakness, or incoordination in any part of the body
- Twisted or abnormally positioned neck or back
- Severe back pain or pressure on head, neck, and back
Spinal Cord Injuries Can Have Permanent or Serious Effects
One of the most significant issues surrounding spinal cord injuries is that this type of injury can cause severe or permanent and lifelong consequences and impairments. You must note that the consequences are not merely limited to compromised physical health and well-being. Rather, a serious injury of the spinal cord can also lead to mental deficiencies and cognitive impairments. Some of the most common consequences related to spinal cord injuries include the following:
- Nerve or joint pain
- Lost sense of touch
- Recurring muscle spasms
- Full or partial body paralysis
- Decreased enjoyment or quality of life
- Different types of spinal cord injuries
- Impaired bodily functioning
The most common consequence of spinal cord injury is partial or full-body paralysis. Paralysis can occur in several different forms. The type of paralysis that occurs depends on the part of the spine impacted the most.
Hemiplegia is a condition that results in complete paralysis on one side of the injured person’s body. This type of condition usually stems from brain damage. Conversely, paraplegia is a condition where the lower parts of the body become completely paralyzed. Paraplegia generally appears after a severe injury to the pelvis, lumbar, or thoracic spine. Quadriplegia, also known as tetraplegia, is another form of paralysis that can affect the legs and arms and is caused by severe force or trauma faced by the neck.
In addition, spinal cord injuries can also result in cognitive impairments and mental deficiencies. These impairments can include a range of symptoms, such as memory issues, inability to focus or concentrate, and in severe cases, the inability to function or move.
Treatment for Spinal Cord Injuries Is Expensive
Medical care and treatment for spinal cord injuries are generally very expensive. The cost incurred after the accident and in the future can vary and depends upon the severity of the sustained injuries. It also depends on the location of the injury and the age of the person. The most expensive cost of spinal cord injuries comes with emergency room and hospital bills along with other factors, such as loss of enjoyment of life, rehabilitation costs, pain and suffering, future medical care and treatment, physical therapy, and extended care expense that comes with assisted living facility or nursing.
The Other Party Can Be Held Responsible for Your Injury
If you have been a victim of a car accident and suffered spinal cord injuries due to the negligence and lack of care shown by the other party, you are eligible to file a lawsuit or claim against them. For instance, if you suffered a partial spinal cord injury in a head-on collision due to DUI, you have the right to sue the owner or the driver at fault. Similarly, if you sustain a spinal cord injury due to a slip and fall accident in someone else’s property due to their negligence, you have the right to file a lawsuit against the owner.
In order to build a case, your lawyer will require documents, evidence, and other important data from you to prove that the owner of the property or the reckless driver failed to follow and ensure public safety. If the judge rules the other party guilty of negligence and lack of care you will receive compensation.
A spinal cord injury is one of the worst physical traumas a person can go through. It is likely to have a significant and long-lasting impact on anyone’s life. If you have suffered a serious spinal injury due to the negligence or carelessness of someone else, you should immediately speak to an experienced lawyer without delay to get the necessary guidance and legal aid in pursuing the next steps. Do not attempt to handle a lawsuit on your own despite what the insurance company offers you. A lawyer can help negotiate the best possible value or your settlement claim and get you the best deal.