Vehicle crashes are a leading cause of spinal cord injury (SCI). In fact, rear-end collisions are notable contributors to SCI.
It is important to seek medical attention after a vehicle crash — even a minor collision — since symptoms are not always easy to recognize.
The spinal cord is a highway of nerves through which impulses from the brain travel to other parts of the body. This is a sensitive area vulnerable to damage from trauma such as the impact caused by a rear-end collision. There are two types of SCI: complete and incomplete. Complete means that the victim will lose all ability to feel below the site of the injury, while an incomplete SCI allows some function to remain.
Symptoms may not immediately indicate SCI. They can include breathing difficulties, digestive issues, exaggerated muscle spasms, bladder control problems or loss of feeling to heat, cold and touch. However, in the most severe cases, damage to the spinal cord can cause paralysis of the legs or quadriplegia of both arms and both legs, depending on the area of the injury.
What to expect
An injury to the spinal cord can affect every aspect of your life. At this time, there is no way to reverse SCI. Depending on the severity of the injury, treatment can cost hundreds of thousands of dollars, including everything from medications to electrical stimulation for nerves in order to restore certain functions, such as easier breathing and the movement of arms and legs. If you suffer a spinal cord injury as the victim of a rear-end collision or another type of vehicle crash, you have a right to expect full and fair compensation to cover your current and future medical expenses and more.