How do Spinal Cord Injuries Affect the Body?

Vehicle accidents are the leading cause of spinal cord injuries across the United States. Unfortunately, the careless or negligent actions of drivers on the roadway often cause these devastating accidents. Here, our injury lawyers in Nashville examine what will happen to a victim’s body if they damage their spinal cord in a car accident. The symptoms that a victim experiences will depend on the initial severity of the injury as well as how quickly they receive medical care and the effectiveness of the medical care.

Spinal Cord Injuries and Vehicle Accidents in Tennessee

Data provided by the National Spinal Cord Injury Statistical Center(NSCISC) show us that vehicle accidents are the leading cause of spinal cord injuries in the US. Since 2015, more than 38% of all spinal cord injuries have been caused by vehicle crashes in this country. Aside from vehicle accidents, other common causes of spinal cord injuries include falls, sports injuries, violence, and medical mistakes.

Symptoms of Vehicle Accident Spinal Cord Injuries

The spinal cord is responsible for sending messages from the brain to the rest of our bodies. When a spinal cord injury occurs, this can significantly impact our ability to live a normal life.

However, not all spinal cord injuries are exactly alike. The reality is that there are different levels of spinal cord injury that need to be understood in order to examine how these injuries will affect a car accident victim. Some spinal cord injuries are considered “complete,” which means that the spine is completely severed or compressed. In these cases, an individual will be paralyzed from the site of the injury down. This could result in quadriplegia or tetraplegia, depending on where the injury occurs.

However, not all spinal cord injuries are considered complete. An “incomplete” spinal cord injury victim can still suffer from a range of symptoms, though this may not include complete paralysis. As we look at some of the symptoms of an incomplete spinal cord injury, we want to point out that victims may experience most of these symptoms or only one or two of the symptoms listed here. Additionally, there are other symptoms associated with spinal cord injuries that a doctor will be able to explain to you in detail.

  • Issues with balance or walking
  • Trouble standing up from a seated position
  • The inability to move in extremity (partial paralysis)
  • Severe or constant headaches
  • Pain, pressure, or stiffness in the back or neck area
  • Muscle spasms
  • Numbness or tingling in the extremities
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Bowel or bladder control issues
  • Trouble focusing
  • Problems with emotions or social interactions

When a person experiences symptoms resulting from a complete or incomplete spinal cord injury, this can affect them for the rest of their lives. Spinal cord injury victims may need intensive physical therapy and rehabilitation and possibly in-home care for the remainder of their lives. Many people can experience a spinal cord injury in conjunction with a traumatic brain injury.

Anytime a person sustains a spinal cord injury as a result of a vehicle accident caused by the actions of another driver, they need to seek legal assistance immediately. Spinal cord injuries can become incredibly costly, often reaching into the hundreds of thousands or even millions of dollars. Consult with a Nashville spinal cord injury attorney who can fully investigate the case, determine liability, and negotiate with insurance carriers and at-fault parties to recover full compensation.