Spinal cord injuries have the potential for lifelong impacts

On Behalf of | Mar 31, 2024 | Motor Vehicle Accidents

Car crashes can lead to very serious injuries, including ones involving the spinal cord. These can be life-altering because they can result in permanent effects.

For those who have a spinal cord injury or are supporting someone with one, learning about these injuries may help them understand what has happened and what to expect moving forward.

Location on the spine

The spinal cord is segmented into four primary regions: the cervical, thoracic, lumbar and sacral. Each area corresponds to different functions and parts of the body.

The cervical spine is in the neck. Injuries to this area can cause paralysis of both arms and legs. The thoracic spine is in the upper-back and mid-back. Injuries to this area can lead to paralysis of the trunk and legs.

Below the thoracic spine is the lumbar spine, which is in the lower back and the sacral spine is below that to the tailbone. Injuries to these areas can lead to organ dysfunction and altered lower body mobility.

Type of injury

Spinal cord injuries from car accidents are either complete or incomplete. Complete spinal cord injuries entail a total lack of sensory and motor functions below the injury site. Incomplete injuries maintain some level of function below the point of injury.

Individuals with incomplete injuries might experience varying degrees of sensory and motor capabilities. This offers a glimmer of hope for regaining function with comprehensive rehabilitation.

Lifelong effects

The repercussions of a spinal cord injury extend well beyond the initial physical impairment, affecting individuals’ lives in profound and multifaceted ways. Physically, the challenges include chronic pain, susceptibility to secondary medical conditions and the need for ongoing physical therapy and medical interventions.

Adjusting to a new way of life can be just as challenging emotionally and psychologically as physical recovery. Many face changes in their self-image, independence, and role within personal relationships.

Financially, the costs associated with spinal cord injuries are staggering. Medical bills, rehabilitation costs, adaptive equipment and potential loss of income can lead to significant financial strains on individuals and their families.

Spinal cord injury patients who suffered their injuries because of the negligence of another person or party may opt to pursue a compensation claim. This can help to offset some of the expenses, but it must be done within a specific time set by state law. Seeking legal assistance can help victims to get their case together while suffering as little stress as possible.