Spinal cord injuries after a car crash: The basics

On Behalf of | Feb 27, 2024 | Motor Vehicle Accidents |

When a car crash leads to a spinal cord injury, the aftermath can be life-changing. These injuries happen instantly, but their impact can last a lifetime, altering everything from basic movements to complete independence.

This kind of injury doesn’t just leave a mark on the body. It can disrupt the whole system, affecting movement, sensation and even functions people often take for granted, like breathing or controlling body temperature.

Location of the injury

Where the injury occurs along the spine plays a big part in the effects. Injuries up high in the cervical area can affect all four limbs. Lower down, in the thoracic or lumbar regions, the outcome might be paraplegia, which impacts the legs and lower body. Essentially, the higher the injury, the more of the body that’s affected. A simple but brutal truth underscores the need for careful, immediate treatment following an accident.

Type of injury

The nature of the spinal injury, whether it’s complete or incomplete, also shapes the recovery journey. A complete injury means no signals can get through the spinal cord past the injury point, leading to total paralysis below that level. An incomplete injury leaves some room for hope. This type of injury allows messages to get through, which allows for partial movement or sensation.

The distinction between these types can mean the difference between walking again or not. This highlights the critical role of emergency response and rehabilitation in the aftermath of a crash.

Potential impacts

The ripple effects of a spinal cord injury extend far beyond the physical. Adapting to life after such an injury can mean relearning how to do everyday tasks, retrofitting homes for accessibility and grappling with the need for ongoing care.

The emotional and psychological toll can be just as challenging. Individuals must navigate the grief of lost abilities and forge an adjusted identity in the wake of a particularly serious injury. The social and economic implications are profound, too. Potentially not being able to return to work and dealing with the increased expenses of this type of injury can be taxing.

Victims of spinal cord injuries may opt to pursue compensation from the parties who caused their harm. Seeking legal assistance to put a case together increases the chances of a favorable outcome, given the complexities involved.