Other than a traumatic brain injury, the type of injury that most people fear from a car accident is a spinal cord injury. Bones, cuts and lacerations can heal, often within weeks. However, when you suffer an injury to your spinal cord, you may face losing your ability to return to the life you had prior to the accident, for months or possibly forever.
While many people do go on to live normal lives after paralysis, few things remain the same. If you or a loved one suffer a spinal cord injury in an accident caused by someone else, you may want to seek support in pursuing the compensation you deserve and will need to help with current and future medical and care needs.
Some facts about SCI
When Christopher Reeve became paralyzed after an accident, he and his wife started a foundation to help people suffering from SCI. A study conducted by the Christopher & Dana Reeve Foundation discovered the following relating to SCI victims:
- Over 50 percent of SCIs occur in the cervical (neck) region of the body
- Another 33 percent occur in the thoracic (upper back) region of the body
- The remainder occur in the lumbar (lower back)
- Four of every five people who suffer an SCI are men, with a high proportion being in their 20s or teens
- Most instances of SCI occur in motor vehicle accidents
- Other common causes in descending order include sports injuries, falls and violence
Even though most victims tend to be teenagers or people in their 20s, the number of older people suffering from SCI continues to rise.
Complete or incomplete SCI
The type of SCI you suffer from remains one of the determining factors in whether you will recover. If you suffer an incomplete SCI, you retain some feeling and mobility below the injury site, and your prognosis for recovery may be good. It is certainly higher than if you suffered from a complete SCI, in which you retain no feeling or mobility below the site of the injury.
As the name infers, a complete SCI involves a complete disruption or destruction of the spinal cord. In contrast, you may have a bruised spinal cord that remains intact. With the proper care, you could regain mobility and sensation below the site of the injury.
The damage doesn’t always stop after the trauma
The trauma that caused your SCI is not the only danger you face in the first hours and days after your accident. Your body may release toxins at the injury site, and loss of oxygen is a real possibility, both of which may cause more damage to your spinal cord. The key to minimizing this damage may be quick access to quality medical care and the appropriate treatment.
The damage to your finances doesn’t stop after the trauma
Even if your prognosis for recovery remains high, you could be out of commission for some time. Medical costs, lost income and other damages continue to pile up daily. If the other driver caused the accident that caused your SCI, you may consider exercising your right to seek compensation through the filing of a personal injury claim.