People who are involved in car crashes may suffer catastrophic harm, including spinal cord injuries. These injuries can lead to life-changing impacts that can make it difficult to live a normal life. For example, for some injury victims, a spinal cord injury prevents them from working.
Understanding a few basic points about spinal cord injuries may help victims and their family members make more informed decisions about various aspects of a patient’s care.
1. Complete versus incomplete injuries
Spinal cord injuries are classified as complete or incomplete. A complete injury means that there aren’t any nerves connected at the site of the injury. An incomplete injury still has some nerve connections. A person who has an incomplete injury will likely have movement and feeling below the level of the injury, but someone with a complete injury won’t have either of those in the affected area of the body. Generally, people who have incomplete injuries can make a more substantial recovery than those who have complete injuries.
2. Level of the injury
The location of the injury on the spine plays a role in what areas of the body are affected. Effects of spinal cord injuries are always below the place where the damage occurs. A person who has damage to the upper spinal cord, or cervical spine, will have more effects than one who has a lower spine, or lumbar spine, injury.
3. Spinal shock
Spinal shock sometimes occurs after a spinal cord injury. This is due to the natural reaction of the body to damage to the nerves. Part of the natural response is inflammation, which can cause the effects of the injury to seem much worse than they are. As the inflammation abates, the associated symptoms should start to diminish.
Suffering a spinal cord injury requires immediate medical attention, which can be very costly. Victims who are injured due to another person’s negligence or intentionally dangerous conduct may choose to seek compensation for the damages they’ve suffered. Compensation awards could include medical expenses and other financial losses. Working with a legal professional who is familiar with these matters may be beneficial so you can get things done before the statute of limitations that governs your case type expires.