Spinal Cord Injuries in Car Accidents

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According to statistics released by the National Spinal Cord Injury Statistical Center, vehicle accidents account for 38% of all spinal cord injuries. A Spinal Cord Injury (SCI) damages the spinal cord and interferes with its functionality, either on a permanent or temporarily basis. Such injuries result in loss of muscle function and sensation as well as autonomic function in the body parts served by the spinal cord.   In a car accident, SCI is caused by sudden impact to the spinal cord, causing it to fracture, dislocate or crush. Injuries to the spinal cord are categorized into two; complete and incomplete injuries.

Complete Spinal Cord Injury

Complete spinal cord injuries lead to complete paraplegia or complete tetraplegia. Complete paraplegia is characterized by loss of nerve and motor function below the injury level, resulting in the loss of movement of the legs, bowel, and the bladder as well as the damaging of the sexual organs. The victim also loses sensation although he or she retains the normal functionality of the hand and arms. Some individuals with complete paraplegia have partial trunk movement and can take short distance walks using the assistive equipment. In most cases, however, people with complete paraplegia use wheelchairs to move around.  Complete tetraplegia, on the other hand, is typified by loss of arm and hand movements. Some victims require assisted breathing. Both complete tetraplegia and complete paraplegia can lead to permanent disability.

Incomplete Spinal Cord Injury

Incomplete spinal cord injuries are more prevalent in comparison to complete injuries. They are characterized by a partial loss of sensation and movement below the injured area. The severity of an incomplete spinal injury is often determined a few weeks after the accident, usually 6 to 8 weeks.  Incomplete spinal cord injury is further subdivided into five categories;

• Anterior Cord Syndrome – This causes damage to the front of the spinal cord leading to painful sensations below the area of injury and inability to control the body temperature.
• Central Cord System – This damages the center of the spinal cord and leads to partial loss of function in the leg or arms. Early treatment can help reverse the central cord syndrome.
• Posterior Cord System – This causes damages to the back of the spinal cord leading to impaired temperature, pain, loss of muscle power and cognitive abilities.
• Brown-Sequard Syndrome – This causes damage to one side of the spinal cord, resulting in the loss of movement but the victim retains sensation on one side of the body.
• Cauda Equina Lesion – This injures the nerves situated between the first and second lumbar area of the spine may lead to partial or total loss of sensation.

Spinal cord injuries are potentially life threatening and can cause traumatic experiences. Also, a person diagnosed with SCI may need medical assistance and personal care for the rest of their life.

Contact a Car Accident Lawyer if You’re a Victim of SCI

Victims of spinal cord injuries need adequate financial compensation to cater for their medical bills. If you’ve suffered a spinal cord injury due to a driver’s recklessness, a manufacturer’s defect or other third parties, you need to get in touch with an attorney in Lansing, Michigan so that you can get compensation that is proportionate to the extent of your injury. An experienced car accident attorney is your best bet to make sure that you get all the damages entitled to you for the spinal cord injuries caused by other people’s negligence.

Get in touch with a car accident lawyer and commence the pursuit for your compensation.

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