Motor vehicle accidents: Living with spinal cord injuries

Thousands of car accident victims nationwide, including in the Long Beach area, have to learn to live with the consequences of spinal cord injuries. The effects of spinal cord injuries can vary from mild to severe, be temporary or permanent and complete or incomplete, depending on the location and the severity of the damage. Understanding the different SCI types could make it easier to learn to live with it.

Spinal cord injuries occur when there is a break or tear in the spine that causes pressure on the spinal cord.  A fracture in the neck or back will not cause paralysis if there is no damage to the spinal cord. Complete SCI refers to a condition that caused complete paralysis below the location of the lesion and incomplete SCI refers to several conditions, such as retaining some sensation below the point of the injury, but no movement. The patient may even continue to have movement and feeling but to a lesser degree.

The location of the lesion of the spinal cord will determine the type of paralysis it causes. If  a SCI happened in the neck area, paralysis below the lesion is called Quadriplegia or Tetraplegia. If the damage is in the Sacral, Thoracic or Lumbar area, the injury will cause paraplegia. These terms classify paralysis and describe the level of control victims have over their limbs and other bodily functions.

The lives of victims of a motor vehicle accidents that were left paralyzed will never be the same again. Medical treatment, therapy, changing living and work environments and modification to vehicles to accommodate the paralysis are but some of the consequences that can cause havoc in financial stability. If the car accident that caused the spinal cord injuries resulted from another party’s negligence, financial relief may be pursued through the civil justice system of California. This could be a daunting prospect at a difficult time, but help is available. A personal injury attorney with experience in fighting for the rights of catastrophic injury victims can increase the chances of recovering documented monetary damages.