Spinal Cord Injury: What You Should Know

An automobile accident that causes a spinal cord injury can result in chronic pain and complications. The spinal cord provides a link between the brain and the remainder of the body’s central nervous system. Damage to the spinal cord can cause loss of movement and control of bodily functions.

What to Know About Spinal Cord Injury

The Mayo Clinic states that “damage to any part of the spinal cord or the nerves at the end of the spinal canal often causes permanent changes in strength, sensation, and other body functions below the site of the injury.” Effects of a spinal cord injury can impact every aspect of an individual’s life.

An individual’s ability to control their limbs after a spinal cord injury depends on where the injury took place along the spinal cord and the severity of the injury. Any kind of spinal cord injury may result in one or more of the following symptoms:

  • Loss of movement
  • Exaggerated reflex activities or spasms
  • Loss or altered sensation (such as inability to feel heat, cold, and touch)
  • Loss of bowel or bladder control
  • Pain or an intense stinging sensation caused by damage to nerve fibers
  • Numbness, tingling, or loss of sensation in hands, fingers, feet, or toes
  • Impaired breathing
  • Oddly positioned or twisted neck or back

Emergency symptoms after an accident could include:

  • Extreme back pain or pressure in neck, head, or back
  • Difficulty with balance/walking

If an individual experiences significant trauma to their head or neck, immediate medical evaluation is needed. If you suspect a neck or back injury, don’t move the injured person. (This could cause permanent paralysis and other serious complications.) Keep the individual still and call 911. Place heavy towels on both sides of the neck or hold the head and neck to prevent movement until rescue workers arrive. If basic first aid is needed (such as to stop any bleeding), avoid moving the head or neck when providing care.

The Cost of Spinal Cord Injury Care

The National Spinal Cord Injury Statistical Center reports that approximately 291,000 Americans are living with a spinal cord injury. Car crashes are the leading cause of injury, followed closely by falls. The average yearly expense for a person living with a spinal cord injury varies greatly based on severity of injury and other factors. For an individual affected with paraplegia, average costs for the first year of injury are $550,381 and $72,909 for each subsequent year. Suffice to say, living with a spinal cord injury is expensive.

While car accident victims may experience injuries on almost any part of the body, spinal cord injuries tend to be among the most severe.

If you or a loved one has suffered from a spinal cord injury due to an accident, rely on the experienced team at Schuerman Law to help you defray the costs associated with care. Schuerman Law has been working with personal injury claims for over 40 years. John Schuerman will compassionately advocate for injured individuals as well as their families while fighting for full compensation of their claims. Schuerman Law offers evening and weekend appointments in addition to home and hospital visits. Schedule a free consultation today by calling 1-800-274-0045.