Any vehicle accident is traumatic. Most people do not even realize they have an injury until it’s too late. A person involved in a small fender bender may believe they have not received any injuries, when in fact the contrary is true. Whiplash for example, is when the head is forced backwards, and then slammed forward on impact. The injury is fairly unnoticeable until the next day when the victim realizes they are in excruciating pain every time they try to move their head or neck.
How Spinal Injuries Occur
Spinal cord injuries can occur in mild accidents, such as the whiplash injury, or they can occur from being thrown from a vehicle or being hit as a person is walking. Any impact that forces the body to endure motion or obstacles that exceeds the limits of its flexibility or physical structure can result in a spinal cord injury. In some cases, no bones may be broken, but the inflammation caused by a traumatic event can leave a person temporarily paralyzed. In more severe accidents, where the bones in the spine are fractured, the spinal cord may be severed and permanent paralysis occurs.
Why It Is Important to Remain Still Until Paramedics Arrive
When an accident occurs, people involved have no true idea of what may be physically wrong with them. If you are involved in an automobile accident of any kind, the best solution is to remain completely still until medical help arrives. Even if the vehicles just bumped into each other, the damage to the spine may not be apparent. Once paramedics have arrived on the scene they can examine you to determine if there is any concern for alarm. If they have any doubt, they will place you on a rigid backboard to protect your spinal cord.
Because the spinal cord is so fragile, any sudden or jerky movements may result in damage to the sensitive nerves causing paralysis. Depending on the severity of the injury, the paralysis can be permanent causing you to lose the use of your arms or legs. Most first responders will only move an accident victim if their life is in danger or the scene of the mishap is unsafe and cannot be secured.
The Long-Lasting Effects of Spinal Cord Injuries
Spinal cord injuries dramatically affect the quality of life of an individual. Medical attention may be required for the rest of a person’s life if the injury is severe enough to cause paralysis. Whether the paralysis is temporary or permanent, the physical therapy, medical attention and other expenses associated with the accident will have to be paid for by someone. Hiring a personal injury attorney will help you get the compensation needed to cover the expenses for this type of traumatic injury. The length of treatment can range anywhere from a few weeks to the rest of a person’s life.
A spinal cord injury received because of an accident can cause both physical and emotional distress. The mental and emotional effects of such an accident can be just as debilitating as the injuries a person receives. While the compensation received on behalf of the victim, may not take away their pain and suffering, it does offer them the knowledge that they do not have to worry about paying for their treatment.