A car accident can damage any part of your body, but an injury to the back or neck can have life-changing consequences. Spinal cord trauma can affect your career, relationships and enjoyment in life, and motor-vehicle crashes are a primary cause of these injuries.
Currently, an estimated 282,000 people in the United States live with a spinal cord injury, according to the National Spinal Cord Injury Statistical Center. The lifetime cost of spinal trauma is exorbitant: A 25-year-old who is diagnosed with high tetraplegia will spend more than $4 million to cover ongoing medical bills and other expenses.
Although there are several causes of spinal cord injuries, the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development reports that these four factors contribute to most cases:
- Fall injuries;
- Pelvic fractures;
- Blunt force trauma to the neck or head; and
- Penetration wounds near the spine.
If you or a family member sustained a spinal injury due to a drunk, distracted or reckless driver in Texas, contact The Robson Law Firm. An accident attorney in Austin will help you claim compensation for lost wages, past and future medical bills, and non-economic damages. Call 512-345-8200 to schedule a free consultation.
Emergency Care for a Spinal Injury after a Car Crash
Your top priority after any accident is to seek medical attention. If you are physically able, then check other people for injuries. Common symptoms of spinal cord trauma include:
- Not being able to move the neck;
- Complaints about back pain;
- Numbness in the limbs; and
- Signs of a wound to the head, neck or back.
Follow these five steps if you believe that another person in an accident sustained an injury to the spine:
- Contact law enforcement and request medical assistance;
- Try to keep the person as still as possible;
- Perform CPR if the victim is unconscious, but do not lift the head from the neck;
- Do not remove the helmet if the victim is wearing one; and
- To prevent choking, roll the victim onto his or her side.
Health Complications Associated with Spinal Cord Injuries
Spinal trauma is usually associated with paralysis, but these injuries can affect several of the body’s most essential functions. According to MedicineNet, an SCI can cause:
- Difficulty breathing;
- Abnormal heartbeat;
- Inability to control the bladder;
- Persistent pain;
- Pressure sores;
- Sexual incontinence;
- Blood clots; and
- Muscle spasms.
Rehabilitation after a Spinal Injury
According to WebMD, rehabilitation centers can teach patients with SCIs how to perform daily tasks and avoid complications related to their spinal injuries. There is no one-size-fits-all rehabilitation program; the specific schedule depends on the location and severity of the injury.
During rehabilitation, patients learn how to manage bladder and bowel functions and build endurance, flexibility and strength. They also learn how to treat muscle spasms, urinary tract infections and other complications. These programs also help patients adjust emotionally to life after a spinal injury.
If you suffered a spinal injury due to a reckless, drunk or otherwise negligent driver in Texas, contact an Austin accident attorney from The Robson Law Firm. Call 512-345-8200 today to schedule a free initial consultation.