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Long-term effects of spinal cord injuries due to auto accidents

On Behalf of | Dec 13, 2023 | Severe Injuries

Car collisions impact victims differently. Some may only sustain minor cuts and bruises, allowing them to go home after a quick hospital visit. However, others may experience severe injuries that can profoundly affect them for life.

Spinal cord injuries (SCI) disrupt the body’s central nervous system, which is composed of the spinal cord, brain and surrounding nerves. SCI can be complete, entailing total loss of sensory and motor functions, or incomplete, allowing some sensation and movement in select body parts.

Studies reveal around 17,730 SCI cases occur annually. Car crashes are the leading cause of SCI, accounting for almost 40% of the incidents. Unfortunately, the most traumatic kind can leave long-term damage.

Spinal cord injuries are life-altering

SCI can influence multiple facets of life, which may persist for several years to a lifetime. Some of these areas include:

  • Physical pain, suffering or discomfort: SCI can lead to partial or complete paralysis that can drastically change how affected parties move around and perform daily functions. To preserve the quality of life, they would require constant assistance. Further, even if their condition improves over time, they may still have to manage chronic pain in the back or neck.
  • Side effects or complications: If not immediately treated, SCI can trigger other health problems, such as breathing difficulties, pressure sores, and bowel and bladder dysfunctions.
  • Financial struggles: Extensive medical care, follow-up appointments, therapy sessions and other related expenses can quickly pile up. Depending on the gravity of the injury, patients may be incapable of returning to work and earning income.
  • Mental and emotional health issues: The sudden loss of mobility and independence can induce negative thoughts, as well as feelings of anxiety, fear and depression. The injured may find it challenging to maintain their relationships and social circles.

Understanding these effects can help those with SCI manage expectations, consider potential support systems and adapt to their new realities.

Adjusting to life with a spinal cord injury takes time

SCI rehabilitation is not meant to be a solo journey. It can be a lengthy process that requires legal guidance. A proper advocate can assist victims in recovering compensation from liable drivers and their insurance companies. This determined act of courage can show other injured parties that they can also seek justice and thrive in the next chapter of their lives.