After being involved in a collision, one of the risks is that you may have a spinal cord injury. The impact of a crash can cause damage to the spine, whether that’s by moving disks or breaking them. If that happens and the spinal column is misaligned, there is a risk of crushing or tearing the spinal cord.
Spinal cord injuries are either complete or incomplete. The majority of injuries that happen are incomplete, which means that the person retains at least some function, feeling or sensation below the point of the injury. A complete injury means that the spinal cord was completely severed and that information is not reaching the lower areas of the body.
What should you do if you think you have a spinal cord injury after a collision?
If you think that you have a spinal cord injury, the first step is to call 911 or to have someone else do so for you. If you are unable to feel your legs, torso, chest or other region of the body, stay exactly where you are unless it is unsafe to do so. In most cases, the safest thing you can do is stay still until the emergency crew comes, so that they can brace you and move you with the least amount of shifting of the spinal column.
Immediate medical treatment can make a big difference in the outcome for patients with spinal cord injuries, so it’s vital to seek medical attention as soon as you can. Swelling and movement have the potential to make the injury worse, so seeking care to reduce the risk of further damage is necessary.
What can you expect if you’re diagnosed with a spinal cord injury after a crash?
If you are diagnosed with a spinal cord injury following a collision, then it’s your right to pursue a claim against the at-fault driver. You should be focused on your medical care and health, not on the expenses that may be accruing. In most cases, victims of crashes have the option of seeking compensation from the other party’s insurance, so that they can have the money needed to support themselves and get the care they need.