Most spinal injuries happen because of sudden trauma, like a car accident. Spinal injuries include damage to one or more of these:
- Vertebrae (the small bones than run down the middle of your back)
- Ligaments (this fibrous connective tissue attaches your bones to each other and holds them in place.)
- Disks (the squishy pillow-like cushions between the vertebrae that keep the bones from grinding against each other. The disks have a jelly-like filling.)
- Spinal cord (the bundle of nerves that go from the brain to the various parts of your body. The cord travels through the center of the vertebrae, which protects them from injury.)
If you or a close loved one suffered spinal injuries after a car accident, get immediate medical attention and then talk to California personal injury attorneys. The at-fault party’s insurance company will gear up quickly to defend against your injury claim. We can protect your right to compensation.
The Mayo Clinic says that typically, the spinal cord gets damaged when one or more of your vertebrae get crushed, compressed, dislodged, or fractured from trauma. Also, when a foreign object like a knife or a jagged piece of metal penetrates the spinal column during a traumatic event, the object can cut through some of all of the spinal nerves (spinal cord).
Levels of Severity of Spinal Cord Injury
A spinal cord injury can affect the sensory and motor nerves from the point of injury and everything below that vertebrae. Sensory impairment can cause changes in a person’s ability to feel sensations like hot, cold, touch, and pain. Sensory nerve damage can lead to numbness, tingling, intense stinging or pain, or a feeling of “pins and needles.”
Motor nerve damage can impact the function of the muscles. The nerves are the messengers for the brain that tell our body parts when and how to work. For example, if your leg muscles do not receive instructions from the nerves in the lower back because of a spinal injury, you might not be able to talk or stand.
Spinal cord experts refer to the level of injury as “complete” or “incomplete.” A complete spinal cord injury completely severs the spinal cord. All functions and sensations from that level and below will get lost. There is currently no treatment that reconnects and cures a complete spinal cord injury.
An incomplete injury is one in which there is damage to the spinal cord, but the cord does not get fully severed. The patient might experience any of these outcomes:
- Paralysis from the waist down, or from some other level,
- Paralysis on one side of the body,
- Weakness or numbness, or
- Some other loss of function or sensation.
A spinal cord injury is often a life-altering event. The individual might lose independence and have to rely on others for help with daily tasks. He might not be able to work to support himself or his family. He might never walk again, use his arms, or even breathe without being hooked up to a machine. He could lose the ability to father children or engage in other activities.
The money damages in spinal cord injury claims from car accidents can be massive. You do not have to battle the multi-billion-dollar insurance company on your own. California personal injury attorneys can go after compensation and advocate on your behalf so that you can focus on rebuilding your life. Contact us today.