Injuries to the neck and back are a common result of serious vehicle collisions and other accidents. Unfortunately, if those injuries impact the spinal cord itself, injured people may face lifelong challenges. What should you know about these injuries?
What impact can a spinal cord injury have?
Because the spinal cord links the brain to the rest of the body, an injury to this part of the body can permanently change a person’s physical abilities. The impact of a spinal injury can involve:
- Weakness in the areas below the injury
- Difficulty breathing
- Issues with bowel or bladder function
- Changes in sensitivity, including numbness or difficulty sensing temperature
- Loss of movement or paralysis in the areas below the injury
These changes can alter a person’s ability to enjoy their life, pursue a career or have fulfilling relationships in the way that they did prior to their injury.
In addition to the lifelong physical challenges caused by spinal injuries, injured people face significant costs for surgery, medication and rehabilitation treatment. The first year of treatment alone can cost hundreds of thousands of dollars for any injury that impacts a person’s motor function. Over a lifetime, this can add up to over one million dollars of healthcare costs directly related to the injury.
If a crash or other accident leads to a spinal cord injury, injured people should consider their legal options. They may be able to receive compensation to support their healthcare needs, offset the impact of lost wages and address the many ways that a spinal cord injury impacts their life.