A person’s entire life can change in an instant. He or she can be driving down the road one minute and in the blink of an eye be hurt in a severe motor vehicle collision. Spinal cord injuries are commonly seen following such car accidents. These injuries may happen in a second, but the negative consequences associated with them can last a lifetime.
The spinal cord is the bundle of nerves that runs between the vertebrae from the base of the brain to the tail bone. Smaller branches of nerves then extend from the cord and run to other areas of the body. These nerves allow people to move, feel different sensations and perform a number of bodily functions.
The cord can suffer an injury if a person experiences a significant hit to the back or neck and the vertebrae is dislocated, crushed, fractured or compressed. For some people, this will result in immediate impairment below the site of the injury, either complete — where all sensory and motor function is lost — or incomplete — where one still has some sensory or motor function. For others, the following symptoms may be seen, which can lead to further injury if not promptly treated:
- Weakness or paralysis
- Back and/or neck pain
- Difficulty balancing
- Inability to control one’s bladder and bowels
- Impaired breathing
A spinal cord injury not only hurts physically; it can have severe emotional and financial consequences for the victim and his or her family as well. Thankfully, under the right circumstances, Texas residents who have suffered this type of injury in car accidents and some of their loved ones may be entitled to seek compensation for their losses. With the assistance of an experienced personal injury attorney, one may file any applicable legal claims against anyone believed responsible for one’s injury. Relief may then be sought through negotiations or if needed, litigation.