Understanding Spinal Cord Injuries

Spinal cord injuries are not all the same. It can be partial or complete, simple or complex. The spinal cord is where a myriad of nerves runs down the middle of the back which serves as signal carriers between the brain and the rest of the body. When the spinal cord is damaged for whatever reason, the signals can be disrupted, preventing the body from receiving the orders of the brain. Damage to the spinal cord can be through trauma or disease.

Spinal cord injury through trauma can result from:

  • Falls
  • Physical assault
  • Car accidents
  • Worksite accidents
  • Gunshot or knife wounds
  • Sports injury

The severity and location of the damage will determine the extent of the signal disruption. In car accidents or similar blunt force trauma, broken bones can be shoved into the spinal cord from the force of the impact or alternatively the force can compress the vertebra enough to damage the spinal cord. So while there may be no outward physical damage, the spinal cord may be affected and should be immobilized to avoid more damage. This is why first responders in car accidents are cautioned not to move an injured person unless absolutely necessary.

The effects of spinal cord injuries range from mild and temporary to complete and permanent paralysis. The most serious spinal cord injuries are when they occur in the high cervical nerves (C1-C4) which are located nearest to the neck. Many victims of negligent car accidents sustain this kind of injury and become completely disabled, requiring 24-hour care and a radically reduced quality of life. As pointed out on the website of law firm Crowe Mulvey, the financial and emotional burden can be overwhelming.

If you have sustained spinal cord injuries because of the negligence of others, you should seek compensation for this potentially life-changing injury. Contact a personal injury lawyer in your area for an initial assessment of your case.

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