Spinal Cord Injuries From Car Accidents: What you need to know…

by Jul 22, 2021Medical Malpractice, Personal Injury

Spinal Cord Injuries From Car Accidents: What you need to know…

by Jul 22, 2021Medical Malpractice, Personal Injury

Spinal Cord Injuries From Car Accidents
Spinal Cord Injuries From Car Accidents

Few injuries are as serious or as life-altering as spinal cord injuries. One of the reasons why spinal cord injuries are so devastating is because the spinal cord is home to the nerves that allow the body to communicate with the brain. If you have a spinal cord injury, you could end up partially paralyzed, completely paralyzed, or with other motor skill debilitations.

There are a lot of ways that your spine could be injured. However, one of the more common causes of spinal cord injuries is automobile accidents. If you or someone you love has sustained a spinal cord injury in a car accident in Boynton Beach, Florida, talk to us at Bodden & Bennett. We can review the accident details, examine how it took place, and help you choose the best steps in the future.

Symptoms of Spinal Cord Injuries from Car Accidents

If a car accident involves a significant blow to your back, you should talk to a physician immediately and get a checkup. You want to ensure that your spinal cord did not suffer damage.

Spinal cord injuries are insidious in that they are not always readily apparent. Some spinal cord injuries develop progressively. During the accident, the spine’s supporting structures could have been damaged. This can put pressure on the spine and create an issue that will only get worse with time.

This is why if you suffer a blow to your back, contact a physician immediately and then keep your eyes open for symptoms like:

  • Impaired breathing following the injury
  • Weakness, paralysis, or lack of coordination in any part of the body
  • Your neck or back are twisted in an abnormal position
  • Losing feeling or sensation in your fingers, toes, hands, or feet
  • Incontinence issues. An inability to control your bladder or bowels may indicate a serious spinal cord issue that needs to be addressed immediately
  • Difficulty keeping your balance or walking


Why Are Spinal Cord Injuries Prevalent in Car Accidents?

According to a National Library of Medicine National Institute of Health report, the chances of sustaining a serious spine injury in car accidents are quite high. This is due partly to the absence of adequate safety measures, poorly designed roads, and problems in the quality of driving seen today.

When there is a car accident, a sudden blow can affect the spinal cord and its surrounding tissues. These include the discs, ligaments, and vertebrae.

The resulting trauma can break the vertebrae or cause sensitive tissues around the vertebrae to become dislocated or crushed. In some cases, spinal cord injuries lead to spinal cord bleeding.

As the injury travels down the spinal cord, it impacts the nervous system. This, in turn, impedes proper motor function. Any damage to the spinal cord can potentially impact a person’s motor skills, even if the spinal cord is not severed.

The severity of the injuries depends on the force of the accident, the part of the spine that was injured, and the overall health of the injured individual. Because of the complexities involved in spinal cord injuries, we recommend that you consult a spinal cord injury lawyer after talking to a physician to see if you have the right to seek compensation for your injury.

The Long and Short-Term Effects of Spinal Cord Injuries from Car Accidents

Spinal cord injuries leave you with serious, long-term, or even permanent consequences. Spinal cord injuries from car accidents are not just limited to physical impairments. A serious spinal cord injury can impact your cognitive skills and leave you with mental deficiencies. Some impairments typically linked to spinal cord injuries include:

  • Anxiety
  • Chronic pain
  • Depression
  • Diminished senses
  • Impaired body functioning
  • Muscle spasms
  • Paralysis
  • Reduced quality of life

Spinal cord injuries are the leading cause of paralysis in the United States. Paralysis can present itself in various forms. The type of paralysis experienced depends on where in the spine the injury took place.

Following a car accident, some people experience paralysis on just one side of their body. This paralysis is linked to brain damage. People with paraplegia lose the ability to control their lower extremities.

People with quadriplegia have both their arms and legs affected. This is the result of severe neck injuries.

Spinal cord injuries can lead to mental and cognitive impairments. These include memory problems, the inability to concentrate, or the complete inability to move or function.

It is important to note that spinal cord injuries do not typically recover completely on their own. If you do not see a physician immediately after an accident, normal body movement could exacerbate your injuries. Even if your pain seems minor, you should still see a physician. A spinal cord injury that starts out feeling mild can become severe if it is overlooked. Also, if you don’t see a doctor right away, this could impact the possible value of your settlement.

Your Spine Is a Key Part of Your Central Nervous System

Your central nervous system consists of your brain and spinal cord. The spinal cord is very delicate. It is made of soft tissues encompassed by bones. It starts at your brain and travels down to your pelvis. At the bottom end of your spinal cord, there are a group of nerve roots called cauda equina.

Your spinal cord is made up of nerve cells that travel out to different parts of your body. These nerves or tracks carry messages between your brain and the rest of your body. These motor tracts are what control muscle movement. There are also sensory tracks that tell your body about temperature, pressure, pain, and the position of your limbs.

In a car accident, your nerve’s fibers can experience traumatic injuries. A spinal cord injury can affect your legs, torso, bladder, and bowel and impede sexual function. A spinal cord injury in the cervical area can affect your arms and even your ability to breathe.

Complications You Might Experience Following a Car Accident-Related Spinal Injury


Respiratory Issues

Spinal cord injuries can affect your chest muscles, including your diaphragm, your abdomen, and your chest wall. This can make it difficult for you to breathe or cough. The symptoms you have indicate what part of your spine is injured. For example, a thoracic or cervical spine injury leads to an increased risk of lung problems or pneumonia.

Changes in Muscle Tone

Spinal cord injuries can lead to uncontrolled tightening or spasticity in muscles. On the flip side, it can lead to limp or soft muscles that do not have muscle tone.

Sexual Health

There are psychological and social consequences of spinal cord injuries that are linked to sexual adjustment after a spinal cord injury. Depression, emotional distress, lower self-esteem, and feelings of being unattractive may cause people to withdraw from social and sexual intimacy. This could lead to the deterioration of an existing relationship or prevent a person from starting a new relationship. Since sexual function is an interaction of the spinal cord reflexes, hormones, psychological factors, and other influences, spinal cord injuries can negatively impact this aspect of life.


Following a spinal cord injury, a car accident victim may experience chronic pain. This can include muscle pain, nerve pain, or joint pain. The pain can become so intense that a person is unable to carry out everyday aspects of life.

Emotional Distress

Coping with a spinal cord injury leaves people feeling depressed. Loss of mobility, loss of freedom, and the inability to interact with the people and things they loved as they did before the injury can lead to anxiety. It can take years for a person to fully accept and adapt to the changes that serious spinal injuries cause.

Spinal Cord Injuries Are Expensive

Spinal cord injuries usually require extensive treatment. These treatments are expensive and can last for years. That is why you must consult with a spinal cord injury lawyer in Boynton Beach, Florida, who has experience in handling spinal cord injury lawsuits.

Our attorneys at Bodden & Bennett have extensive experience helping victims who have suffered from injuries after an automobile accident. We have a clear picture of typical annual healthcare costs and living expenses for someone who suffered a spinal cord injury.

Depending on the severity of the injury, you could expect to spend between $550,000 and $1.12 million in your first year recuperating from a serious spinal cord injury. From there, you may need between $73,000 and $196,000 each year for follow-up care.

Can You Sue If You Have a Spinal Cord Injury after a Car Accident?

Absolutely. You may have more than one lawsuit if you suffered a spine injury from a car accident. If your insurance company underpays, you may be able to sue for unpaid or overdue medical bills and other expenses associated with your medical care and lost wages.

You may also be able to sue the at-fault driver for the injuries. This suit could include pain-and-suffering compensation, future medical care, future wage loss, and other factors related to your injury.

An Ounce of Prevention Is Worth a Pound of Cure

No one wants to be in a car accident. Unfortunately, you can’t always control how other people drive. Take safety precautions by being a proactive driver. Wear your seatbelt, drive within the speed limit, and pay attention to traffic rules.

If you are a victim of a car accident in Boynton Beach, Florida, contact your physician and get needed medical care immediately. Then, contact a spinal cord injury lawyer at the Bodden & Bennett Law Group to take steps to begin rebuilding your life after the accident.

Pin It on Pinterest

Share This
Skip to content