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What should you know about spinal cord injuries after a crash?

On Behalf of | Jun 12, 2024 | Personal Injury

Many injuries can occur as a result of a motor vehicle crash, one of which is a spinal cord injury (SCI). These are often catastrophic injuries that can lead to lifelong challenges, depending on the severity, type and location of the harm in question.

The location of an SCI matters because all effects of the SCI will occur below the injury. This means that more of the body is affected by an injury to the neck than one to the lower back. For example, a cervical spine injury can lead to paralysis of all four limbs plus the trunk, but a lumbar injury could result “only” in paralysis of two limbs.

What are the types of SCIs?

All SCIs are classified as either complete or incomplete. This categorization of injuries is determined by how much the nerves are impacted. If the nerves at the site of the injury are fully severed, the injury is complete. If the nerves are partially severed, the injury is incomplete. Typically, an incomplete injury has a chance of a greater recovery than a complete injury. This is because the nerves are still connected, which can aid recovery.

What other factors affect SCI recovery?

There are several other factors that affect the potential for recovery after an SCI. One of the most impactful is the speed of medical care after the injury. When the spine is stabilized immediately, the potential for a worsening of the injury is decreased.

Prompt medical care can address spinal shock. One of the more common effects of spinal shock is inflammation of the spinal column. This can make the effects of the injury more pronounced for the first few days after the injury occurs.

The cost of care for an SCI can be considerable and may last a lifetime. Victims of these injuries may opt to pursue a compensation claim to help recover the expenses of their injuries. The claim should include the past, present and future costs that are related to the incident at issue. Working with a legal representative who can assist with getting a case against a liable party together can take much of the stress out of this process.