Car accidents can cause lifelong trauma in a number of ways, but few are more physically devastating to a victim than a spinal cord injury. While many injuries heal in time, a damaged spinal cord can never be repaired, causing permanent paralysis that can affect some or all of the body.
In addition to suffering much higher medical bills after a car accident, victims suffering from spinal cord injuries as a result of a crash need
ongoing rehabilitation to cope with impairment
and to process what they've lost.
Paralysis and Other Effects of a Spinal Cord Injury
The spinal cord may be damaged in many ways during a crash, including compression between vertebrae, laceration from bone fragments, or swelling after the accident. Trauma to the spinal cord disrupts the transmissions between the brain and the rest of the body, making it difficult or impossible for the two to communicate.
Spinal cord injuries can have a wide range of effects, including:
- Ongoing medical treatment. Patients may need surgery to remove bone fragments or relieve pressure on the spinal cord. Many victims who receive emergency intervention and rehabilitation therapy can reduce the initial impairment, while others benefit from medication and psychological counseling.
- Paralysis. Paralysis from a spinal cord injury can affect mobility or sensation in one or several parts of the body. Monoplegia is the term for paralysis in one limb; hemiplegia affects one arm and one leg on the same side of the body. Paraplegia—the loss of use of both legs—and quadriplegia—loss of movement in both arms or legs—are severe conditions that often result in pressure sores or blood clots from a lack of movement,
- Lost abilities. A person who suffers paralysis may experience loss of bowel or bladder control, loss of sexual function, gallbladder stones, osteoporosis, and lost or interrupted sensation in the limbs. With more severe injuries, a person may be unable to breathe on his own or struggle to control other bodily responses, such as heart rate, blood pressure, or sweating. Depending on the extent of injury, the patient may be completely unable to earn a living.
- Pain and suffering. The inability to control your arms or legs is one of the most frightening things a person can ever experience. Victims in these cases will be forced to adjust to a completely different way of life, and may take years to fully process the changes and enjoy life.
If your Florida car accident was the result of someone else’s negligence, you may be able to recover financial compensation for your spinal cord injury. If you're not sure who's at fault for your injuries, simply fill out the quick contact form on this page today to schedule a consultation with our car accident attorneys.