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Spinal cord injuries: Paralysis can happen in a car crash

On Behalf of | Mar 27, 2024 | Motor Vehicle Accidents

Many injuries can happen when a person is involved in a car crash. Some of these are very serious. One catastrophic injury that’s possible involves the spinal cord. Paralysis can occur when a person has an injury to their spinal cord.

The spinal cord is a crucial part of the central nervous system, running down the middle of the back and transmitting signals between the brain and the rest of the body. Damage to the spinal cord can disrupt these signals, leading to loss of movement and sensation below the level of injury.

Types of paralysis from spinal cord injuries

Paralysis from spinal cord injuries is classified based on the extent and location of the injury. There are two main types of paralysis – quadriplegia and paraplegia.

Quadriplegia, which is also known as tetraplegia, affects all four limbs and typically occurs from injuries to the neck region of the spinal cord. Individuals with quadriplegia may also experience loss of function in their torso and require comprehensive medical and personal care.

Paraplegia involves paralysis of the legs and lower body, usually resulting from injuries to the mid-back or lower back sections of the spinal cord. Depending on the level of injury, individuals with paraplegia may retain some degree of independence.

The path to recovery and adaptation

Recovery from a spinal cord injury varies significantly from person to person. While some individuals may experience partial recovery of function, many face permanent paralysis.

Rehabilitation is critical in helping those affected adapt to their new circumstances. Comprehensive rehabilitation programs focus on physical therapy to maximize remaining functions, occupational therapy to adapt to daily activities and emotional support to navigate the psychological impact of the injury.

Getting necessary medical and life care is challenging after a spinal cord injury. It can also be a costly undertaking. Victims of spinal cord injuries that were caused by another party’s negligence may opt to pursue a compensation claim to help recover financial damages related to the crash. This is a complex undertaking that must be initiated within a set time that’s set by state law, so having legal assistance is generally wise.