How to Recognize a Spinal Cord Injury After a Car Accident

A car crash can result in serious injuries, and spinal cord damage is one of the most severe. The spinal cord is responsible for transmitting signals between the brain and the rest of the body, helping control movement and sensation. The force of a car accident can easily compress or even sever the spinal cord.

If you suffered a spinal cord injury after a car accident, it is important to seek immediate medical care. The faster that you receive treatment, the better your outcome is likely to be. However, not every spinal cord injuries are apparent right away—so it is important to know the symptoms and go to the hospital as soon as possible.

What Is a Spinal Cord Injury?

The spinal cord is a column of nervous tissue that runs from the base of your neck to just above your tailbone. When you suffer an injury to the spinal cord, the damage can interrupt messages from the central nervous system to the rest of your body. As a result, you can lose feeling and function below the injury site. 

Some spinal cord injuries are incomplete, meaning that you retain some feeling and function below the injury. In very severe cases, spinal cord injuries result in complete and permanent paralysis. A doctor can assess your condition and recommend the best course of treatment based on your symptoms.

Common Symptoms of a Spinal Cord Injury

Spinal Cord Injury After a Car Accident

Some spinal cord injuries are obvious right away. The most tell tale sign of this condition is severe back pain that does not go away. You may also experience paralysis and a loss of sensation. However, some symptoms do not occur right away and begin to worsen in the hours, days, or even weeks following the car accident.

If you experience any of the following symptoms after your accident, seek emergency medical care as soon as possible:

What to Do If You Are Injured in a Car Accident

The moments after a car accident can be scary, especially if you suffer spinal cord damage. In these situations, it is important to seek help as soon as possible and receive emergency medical care for your injury. You should also speak to an attorney about filing an insurance claim or lawsuit against the driver who caused your accident.

First, call 911 and report the accident to the police. Talk to the responding officer if possible and collect his or her information so that you can obtain a copy of the report later.

Next, seek medical attention right away, even if you do not feel hurt. A doctor must stabilize your condition as soon as possible so that you can avoid potentially life-threatening complications. Save all of your medical records; these documents will serve as powerful pieces of evidence in your future claim.

Once you have received the care that you need, contact a Missouri spinal cord injury attorney to discuss your legal options. Your lawyer can evaluate your case and help you take your first steps toward recovering the compensation that you deserve.