Spinal cord injuries are a common injury in car accidents. Often, these injuries occur when a person is thrown very violently against a hard surface during a car collision. In many instances, this occurs when a passenger or driver is not wearing a seat belt and is thrown from the vehicle. In some cases, the victim is moved at the accident scene, and this can actually make the spinal cord injury worse. For this reason, it is important to not move an injured person at an accident scene unless absolutely necessary.
A spinal cord injury victim is generally taken to the emergency room via ambulance as quickly as possible. The injured person is placed on a stiff board and has a cervical collar placed around his or her neck. This helps support the body and prevents further movement which can cause further damage. At the hospital, a physician has x-rays and other tests performed to determine the extent of the injuries. Pain management is essential because the patient is often in severe pain.
In the short term, surgeries may be required. A lengthy hospital stay is also usually required, as are medications and more tests. In the initial stage of recovery, the patient may remain in the hospital for some time. In many cases, the patient with a spinal cord injury has severely limited mobility and has major permanent or long-term injuries. Part of the hospital visit is dedicated to helping the patient adjust.
Once the patient is home, he or she often finds that life is much altered. In most cases, the patient is completely immobile or gets around via wheelchair. The home may need to be renovated to allow for wheelchair access. Home nurse services may be needed to help the patient if the patient is bed-ridden. Work may not be possible for months or years. If the patient had a physical job, he or she may not be able to return to work.
In the long term, the patient must adjust to the new way of life. Long-term therapy and treatments might be needed. Physical therapy is often needed to help the patient recover as much mobility as possible. In many cases, long-term pain management is also needed. In addition to the physical toll of a spinal cord injury, a patient often feels angry or depressed after this injury. Substance abuse problems and isolation are frequent problems of patients with spinal cord injuries. Some patients require therapy to work through these issues.
Spinal cord injury patients face many losses and substantial long-term medical bills. Florida laws protect such patients if their injuries are caused by a car accident or someone’s negligence. If someone’s recklessness or negligence has caused a car accident that has left you or a loved with a spinal cord injury or another personal injury, contact a qualified Florida attorney. Without legal help, you may face the majority of medical bills alone.