Any impact violent enough to impair the spinal cord will result in spinal cord injuries. Spinal injuries often require emergency medical procedures and may result in permanent, life-long damage. A spinal cord impairment may include bruising, tearing, or swelling of the spinal cord, and even a slight impairment may require major medical attention.
The spinal cord is the go-between for the brain and the body, controlling movement, sensation, and other vital body components. Spinal injuries often disrupt the process of communication between the brain and body, and a serious car accident can cause damage to the spinal cord ranging from specific loss of motor functions to complete or partial paralysis.
Long-term Treatment of Spinal Injuries
The prognosis for victims of car accident injuries that include spinal cord injuries has improved over the past 20 years; however, spinal injuries are very complex and may result in permanent damage.
The medical costs associated with spinal injuries can also be extraordinary. For example, paraplegic spinal cord injuries that require life-long treatment can average $425,000 a person.
Long-term care for spinal cord injuries may include:
• pain medicine
• bladder and bowel medications
• rehabilitation therapies
• home aids
• medical equipment
• home renovations (installing a wheelchair ramp, wheelchair-accessible shower, and other considerations)
If your spinal injury was the result of a car accident caused by someone else’s negligence, they can be held liable for your injuries in court and forced to pay for the costs of your continued spinal injury treatment and rehabilitation costs.
Spinal Injuries and Car Accidents
In a car accident, spinal injuries are often caused by sharp or jerking motions as well as trauma. This may lead to the vertebrae in your spine being compacted, dislocated, or even fractured, which can also impact the nerves near that area.
Some symptoms of spinal injuries that may occur directly after your car accident include:
• Severe back pain
• Numbness in your extremities
• Difficulty breathing
• Difficulty walking and/or balancing
• Loss of bladder control
While severe spinal cord injuries are usually felt immediately following the trauma that caused it, some symptoms of spinal injuries may not appear for days or weeks following your accident. That is why seeking immediate treatment after a car accident is so important. Early detection of spinal cord injuries can prevent you from accidentally worsening your injury and help you receive the treatment you need.
Seeking Compensation for Your Spinal Injury
If you have sustained a serious spinal cord injury after a car accident caused by another person, you should not have to go into debt paying for the expensive medical bills and treatment that accompany a spinal injury. Contacting a personal injury lawyer in your area can help you understand your legal rights, and if necessary, file a personal injury lawsuit against the negligent parties involved to recover compensation for your medical bills, lost wages, and other quality of life issues.