When you think about the impact of a serious car accident in Indiana and the damage to vehicles alone, it’s no wonder those involved don’t always leave the scene unscathed.
While a number of injuries such as cuts, contusions and broken bones can result, perhaps one of the most serious outcomes of a car accident in Indiana is a spinal cord injury.
Car Accident Impact and Spinal Cord Injuries
When your vehicle suddenly comes to a halt in a car accident in Indiana, your body is left to deal with the blow. While airbags and seat belts can help, sometimes the vertebra surrounding the spinal cord – which extends 18 inches from the base of the skull to the waist – can be fractured or even crushed. In other cases, the spinal cord itself sustains direct trauma.
This can result in a spinal cord injury when the delicate cord, which sends messages from your brain to the rest of the body, is torn or even severed.
Since this kind of injury is so life-changing, you may decide filing a personal injury claim will help account for the changes you’ll face, especially if someone else’s carelessness behind the wheel led to your car accident in Indiana.
Symptoms of a Spinal Cord Injury
Since the spinal cord controls a majority of functions in our body, the initial symptoms of a spinal cord injury are vast, and include:
- Severe back, neck or head pain
- Coordination problems
- Numbness and tingling sensations
- Loss of feeling
- Breathing problems
If you’ve been involved in a car accident in Indiana and have experienced any of the above symptoms, you’ll want to seek immediate medical help. Soon after, you may find you’ll benefit greatly from the help of an Indianapolis personal injury lawyer, who can guide you in the injury claims process.
Spinal Cord Injury Classifications
In general, spinal cord injuries are classified as complete, which means a total loss of mobility below the point of injury, or as incomplete, in which mobility is retained but only in the area above the point of injury.
Regardless of the type of spinal cord injury sustained, there will be a long road ahead and you may need compensation to account for your medical bills and extensive time away from work. To help you through this time, an Indianapolis personal injury lawyer can investigate the circumstances of your accident and determine who is liable for your injuries. This way, you can focus on the treatment that lies ahead.
Treatment for Spinal Cord Injury
After the initial effects of a spinal cord injury have worn off, doctors can make a more realistic long-term diagnosis. This can mean a hospital stay of days or even weeks before swelling has reduced enough for an accurate assessment.
Once the extent of your spinal cord injury is known, you may undergo some of the following treatments, depending on what your medical team deems best:
- Immobilization (includes special beds, traction devices such as metal braces and body harnesses)
- Experimental treatments
Even if you have health insurance, you may still be left with hefty deductibles after such a serious car accident in Indiana. By talking with an Indianapolis personal injury lawyer who can assess the details of your accident, you may discover you don’t have to shoulder those expenses when someone else caused your car accident in Indiana.
Long-Term Implications of Spinal Cord Injury
The damage from a spinal cord injury is irreversible. While proper treatment can help stop further damage, paralysis often results. With this in mind, your long-term goals will be geared toward adjusting to everyday life and minimizing other persistent complications, like joint contractures and bladder and bowel dysfunction.
With the help of equipment and technology, some spinal cord injury victims are able to return to the workforce. Counseling and therapy may be needed to help adjust back to daily life, whether or not you are able to return to a job. With this in mind, you’ll want to work with an Indianapolis personal injury lawyer to help secure the maximum compensation possible from your claim, to help you best adjust to the changes you’ve had to face.