Spinal cord injuries are a common result of car accidents and they can be among the most painful and devastating personal injuries caused by car accidents. Spinal cord injuries often leave victims unable to walk and unable to resume normal activities. They often require years of treatment and rehabilitation as well as getting used to life anew. Many injuries prove to be permanent, although new research and treatment is offering more options and fuller healing than ever before.
The spinal cord is a complex system of nerves, bones, and cartilage. A part of the nervous system and the largest nerve in the body, the spinal cord affects virtually every part of the body, which is why an acute spinal cord injury can affect many parts of the body. A healthy spinal cord has nerve fibers which carry messages all over the body from the brain. This is what allows us to move, walk, and feel sensory input from our body.
While a spinal cord injury can occur from illness, many such injuries are the result of car accidents, truck accidents, and other accidents. Usually, in these accidents, the spinal cord is pinched by the backbone as bones are crushed or ground together in a collision or accident. As a result, the spinal cord sustains injury and becomes swollen or bruised. In some cases, an accident is severe enough to tear or damage the nerve fibers or spinal cord directly. In either case, after an injury, all the spinal cord nerves below the damaged area cannot communicate effectively with the body. This can affect sensory perception, movement, and can cause paralysis. Usually, the nerves above the injury continue to function normally.
Since the spinal cord is so complex, the actual effects of an acute spinal cord injury can vary widely. The potential for recovery can also vary widely. Some patients never walk again while others regain their former lives after much work, treatment, and rehabilitation. Usually after an injury, a doctor can help determine the extent of the injury by determining mobility and by taking X-rays. A doctor usually takes a “pin prick” test to determine how much sensory acuity a patient has lost.
If you have been in a car accident and have sustained a serious personal injury such as a spinal cord injury, you will need to build a support team around yourself to heal more fully. There are many support groups for spinal cord patients and their families. These can be powerful resources for learning more about your injury and learning to cope with your injury. Working with qualified professionals and health care providers can also help you get the care you need.
As well, it is often important to speak to a qualified Florida personal injury attorney. An attorney can investigate the accident that caused your illness. He or she can also protect your rights and ensure that you have access to all the resources you have access to under the law. An attorney can also ensure that you have the financial resources to seek the best possible medical help. In some cases, this can help you recover more fully.