According to the Mayo Clinic, car accidents are the most common cause of spinal cord injuries in the United States, accounting for over 50% of all spinal cord injuries each year. The second most common cause is falls, followed, in order, by acts of violence, sports and recreation injuries, and diseases, such as cancer, arthritis, or osteoporosis. Any time a spinal cord injury is caused in any kind of accident, it is a good idea to consult with one of our experienced personal injury attorneys to see if you might be entitled to some compensation.
What Are the Symptoms of a Spinal Cord Injury?
According to Mayo Clinic, symptoms of a spinal cord injury may include loss of movement;
loss or alteration of sensations, including the ability to feel heat, cold, and touch; loss of bowel or bladder control; exaggerated reflex activities or spasms; changes in sexual function, sexual sensitivity, and fertility; pain or an intense stinging sensation caused by damage to the nerve fibers in your spinal cord; and difficulty breathing, coughing or clearing secretions from your lungs. In addition to those possible symptoms, signals of an emergency with the spinal cord following an accident include extreme back pain or pressure in your neck, head, or back; weakness, incoordination, or paralysis in any part of your body; numbness, tingling, or loss of sensation in your hands, fingers, feet or toes; difficulty with balance and walking; and an oddly positioned or twisted neck or back.
What Are Possible Effects of a Spinal Cord Injury?
Injury to the spinal cord, which is defined as damage to any part of the spinal cord or nerves at the end of the spinal canal, can affect all aspects of your life. Strength, sensation, mobility and even mental and emotional health can all be adversely affected by a spinal cord injury. Any level of disability can change your work life, your family life, and your social life. Currently, repair of spinal cord injuries is not possible, but physical therapy and other treatments may help victims of these injuries live independently and be productive.
Do the Symptoms of Spinal Cord Injury Always Show Up Right Away?
Spinal cord injuries sustained in an accident may not cause symptoms right away. Sometimes, symptoms are subtle or build over time. Unfortunately, not getting immediate treatment and diagnosis for a spinal cord injury can lead to further injury and increased severity. If signs of a spinal cord injury show up after an accident, even if it seems like it has been too long to be related, remember that symptoms can be delayed and that getting medical attention as soon as possible is imperative. If you have been in an accident and discover a previously hidden spinal cord injury, contact our law office to see if you may be eligible for compensation.