What if I Sustain a Spinal Cord Injury From a Car Accident?
A spinal cord injury is often debilitating and life-changing. Not only is there physical or sometimes permanent damage below the site of injury, but there are also mental effects as well. While every car accident is different, car wrecks are a leading cause of spinal cord injuries across the country. Knowing what to do after suffering such an injury can make a huge difference in recovery time and the severity of the injury.
The violent nature of any car accident is enough to cause a spinal cord injury. A blow to the spinal cord can result in trauma to surrounding ligaments, nerves, tissues, discs, and vertebrae. This could lead to breaks in vertebrae or the surrounding tissues becoming crushed, which then results in damage to the nervous system. Damage to the nervous system and other areas of the spinal cord can include adverse health effects, such as:
- Paralysis or loss of movement.
- Extreme pain or pressure in neck, head, or back.
- Loss of ability to feel heat or cold.
- Difficulty breathing.
- Weakness or numbness.
It is imperative to seek medical treatment following a car accident, even if you do not feel injured. This is because spinal injuries can manifest hours, sometimes days, following a car accident, particularly when the shock and adrenaline of the accident has worn off. Because there is such a large range of symptoms associated with a spinal injury, only a doctor or medical professional is able to properly diagnose the condition through a series of tests and examinations.
There are ways you can prevent the risk of a spinal cord injury and reduce its severity. A few steps you can follow include:
- Always wear a seat belt, even for short trips.
- Make sure your airbags are functioning properly. Never drive a car that has malfunctioning airbags.
- When riding with children, make sure they are in their proper car seats or booster seats that fit their weight and height. Make sure they are always seated and buckled in securely.
Spinal Cord Injury Costs
Because of their complex nature, treating a spinal injury can see extensive costs and long recovery periods. Treatments depend on severity and location of the injury, ranging from chiropractic care and over-the-counter medications to corticosteroid injections and physical therapy. Occasionally, surgery may be recommended to correct the spinal injury if other treatments fail.
The prognosis for a spinal cord injury ultimately depends on several factors, such as health, age, severity, and location. For instance, severe injuries that require surgery could take months, if not years, to heal. The most severe injuries such as paralysis are permanent. Other less severe injuries such as whiplash can take a few weeks to recover.
Those who have a spinal injury may have thousands of dollars in medical bills and lost wages due to extended recovery periods. This is especially true when the injury was so severe that treatment requires long-term care or medical assistance equipment, such as a wheelchair or converted handicap van.
Legal guidance is highly recommended when suffering from a spinal injury due to a car accident, as these cases are often complex.
Washington DC Car Accident Attorneys at the Law Offices of Duane O. King Help Clients Suffering From Spinal Cord Injuries
If you have a spinal cord injury due to a car accident, then contact our Washington DC car accident attorneys at the Law Offices of Duane O. King right away. Our skilled team has years of experience and looks forward to helping you immediately. Call us today at 202-331-1963 or fill out our online form for a free consultation. Located in Washington, D.C., Alexandria, Virginia, and National Harbor, Maryland, we proudly serve clients in Prince George’s County, including Laurel, Beltsville, Adelphi, College Park, Greenbelt, Mitchellville, Woodmore, Greater Upper Marlboro, Springdale, Largo, Bowie, Capitol Heights, District Heights, Forestville, Suitland, Seat Pleasant, Clinton, Oxon Hill, Temple Hills, and Fort Washington.