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Spinal cord injuries often have a lifelong impact on victims

On Behalf of | Jul 5, 2024 | Catastrophic Injuries

People who are involved in crashes or accidents are at risk of a variety of injuries. While many of those injuries aren’t too serious, some are catastrophic. A spinal cord injury (SCI) falls under the latter category.

The spinal cord transmits messages throughout the body and brain. When it becomes damaged, those messages can change or stop, which leads to changes in how the body functions.

Categories of SCIs

SCIs are all divided into two distinct categories—complete and incomplete. This is determined by the condition of the nerves at the site of the injury.

If nerves are fully severed, this is a complete injury. These injuries are associated with a complete loss of feeling and sensation in the affected area. Typically, victims who have this type of SCI won’t have a complete recovery.

If nerves remain connected at the site of the injury, it’s an incomplete injury. Victims with this type of injury may still move the affected area of the body, but those movements might be limited. They may also have limited to full sensations in the affected area. People who have this type of SCI have a chance of a better recovery than someone who has a complete injury.

Location of the injury

The location of the injury determines what areas of the body are affected by it. The effects are always present below the level of the injury. This means that the higher an injury is on the spinal cord, the greater the area that might be affected. For example, a neck injury can lead to paralysis in all four limbs, but a lower back injury could cause paralysis in the legs.

Getting medical care for an SCI can be a costly undertaking. If an injury is the result of another party’s negligence, the victim may opt to pursue a claim for compensation. This is sometimes a complex effort because it must be shown that the injury was due to negligence and that the damages were directly related to the injury. Because of this, seeking legal assistance is often beneficial for these victims.