What Are the Symptoms of a Spinal Cord Injury?

Spinal cord injuries are, unfortunately, one of the most common injuries that occur from car accidents, and among the most severe. According to Chaffin Luhana, a personal injury law firm based in New York and Pittsburgh, you may not be immediately aware of your injury as symptoms can take several days, even weeks to develop. If you have been the victim of a car accident and suspect you have an injury of any kind, it is highly encouraged that you visit a medical professional as soon as possible. Not only will this ensure you get the proper treatment as soon as possible, but you will also gain the necessary documentation needed to strengthen your case for compensation.

Most Common Types of Spinal Injuries from Car Accidents

Whiplash-Of all spinal cord-related car accident injuries, this is certainly one of the most common. Your collision doesn’t have to occur at a high speed for you to sustain an injury such as whiplash. The primary reason that it happens so often is that even drivers and passengers who take the precaution of wearing a seatbelt can experience whiplash. The seatbelt keeps your body in position while your head is pushed forward by the force of the collision, injuring muscles, ligaments, and nerves. Rear-end collisions are the most common instance where this injury can take place.

Spinal Fractures-These injuries occur for quite the opposite reason – if the seatbelt fails to hold your body properly in place, your body may twist or otherwise shift in ways that can severely damage muscles and joints. For instance, the lower half of your body may be held in place while the upper half is bumped around. The most common manifestation of a spinal fracture is a compression fracture, wherein a crack forms along the vertebrae.

Both of these injuries are a type of spinal cord injury. This injury occurs if the spinal cord is bruised, lacerated, or even severed during a collision. In extreme cases, such an injury can result in permanent paralysis.

Symptoms of a Spinal Cord Injury

Because these injuries can occur together, it is important to know what to look for when attempting to distinguish a spinal cord injury from the others. Some symptoms to look for include:

  • Difficulty walking
  • Incontinence
  • Loss of motor control in your arms and legs
  • Numbness or tingling
  • Loss of consciousness
  • Headaches

You must vigilantly monitor your physical condition following a car accident, regardless of the kind of injury you suspect you may have. Certain symptoms can take several days to develop while others are immediately apparent. See a medical professional immediately following the incident to ensure you receive the proper care and documentation.

If you wait too long after an accident to seek medical help, you risk losing key evidence of your physical condition between the date of the incident and throughout the process of filing your claim and receiving a settlement. Such an oversight can severely hinder your chances of having your medical expenses covered, and leave you stressed and less able to heal peacefully. Look out for yourself and your future by seeking the proper care and consultation as soon as possible.