When a motor vehicle accident causes injury to the spinal cord, the results are often life changing. Nearly 12,000 individuals suffer spinal cord injuries every year in the United States. Most of these injuries are the result of an automobile accident. Individuals at greatest risk of an accident-related spinal cord injury include men under the age of 30.
The spinal column is built-up with vertebrae, column of small bones that protect a large group of nerves sending signals from the brain throughout the body. Any type of impairment to the spinal cord can sever nerves or interfere with nerve function, disrupting the brains messages. This often results in impaired or cut off sensations and diminished mobility. Usually, a spinal cord injury fully or partially reduces body function just below the injury, lessening or eliminating voluntary movement and sensation.
When the victim suffers an incomplete injury, they may have the capacity to move one side of the body better than the other. Injury to the cervical (neck) area usually produces quadriplegia, where the victim has limited or no motor function from the neck down. In addition, the victim suffering spinal cord injuries must also deal with other changes, which could include difficulty in breathing, and the need to use breathing aids like diaphragm pacemakers and mechanical ventilators.
Temporary or permanent paralysis is a serious problem associated with motor vehicle accidents. Most of these accidents involve:
- Collisions and rollovers
- A vehicle roof collapse
- Seatbelt failure
- Suspension defect
- A collapse of the seat back
- Vehicle tire tread separation
- Rear end truck crash
The medical issue is often the result of significant trauma to the spine involving dislocation, fractures, compresses and crushes of at least one spinal cord vertebrae. When doctors accurately diagnose a broken back or severed spinal cord injury, the patient has more options for recovery and less potential of secondary damage caused by inappropriate moving while the patient heals.
Even Low Speed Auto Collisions Can Cause Injuries to the Back and Neck
Vehicle accidents involving low impact in a collision can still cause significant long-term injuries. This is because the soft tissue in the neck and back are extremely vulnerable to any impact, even at low speed where the body sustains jerking motions that tear or stretch connective tissue, muscles and delicate nerves.
Most injuries to the spinal cord caused by a low impact accident are not diagnosed properly until weeks or months later. After time passes, the spinal column can still produce tingling, numbness, bruising or stiffness throughout the entire body or in a specific location.
The Road to Recovery From a Spinal Cord Injury Due to an Illinois MVA
After the initial spinal cord injury caused by motor vehicle accident, the victim suffers significant spinal cord swelling that changes nearly every body system. Sometimes, the swelling causes significant injuries that will last 1 to 2 years after the accident. Unfortunately, many spinal cord injury victims never regain full function even many years following the accident.
Fortunately, individuals suffering serious spinal cord injuries (SCIs) are living longer than ever before. Before the Second World War, most spinal cord injury patients succumbed to their injuries within weeks because of bedsores, respiratory infections or urinary dysfunction. Today however, with the advent of effective antibiotics, better medicines and healthcare options, long-term survival is the norm, albeit compromised.
A Chicago Spinal Cord Injury Attorney Can Assist You With Getting the Compensation You Deserve for Your Injuries
Dealing with the spinal cord injury often requires ongoing extensive healthcare, additional surgeries and physical therapy. The economic costs involved are staggering, involving ongoing medical expenses, lost wages and the diminished capacity to work along with non-economic damages involving suffering and pain. Because of that, it is essential to hire a spinal cord injury attorney to handle a claim for compensation.
The law allows spinal cord injury victims injured by others in motor vehicle accidents to seek compensation from all parties responsible including drivers, corporations and other owners of vehicles. An experienced motor vehicle accident attorney will seek compensatory damages. In some situations, the victim can seek punitive damages if it can be shown that other drivers behaved irresponsibly or a defective auto part is what caused the accident.
Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers at (888) 424-5757 can provide all the legal tools necessary for financial recovery. Our skilled team of lawyers specializes in Illinois spinal cord injury claims. Through aggressive legal representation, we ensure you receive adequate recompense to cover your medical expenses, lost wages, pain and suffering.