Hunter & Cassidy Law

What should you know about SCIs in car wrecks?

On Behalf of | Mar 15, 2024 | Motor vehicle accidents

Spinal cord injuries (SCIs) resulting from car crashes are traumatic events with potentially devastating consequences. The impact of the injury largely depends on the location of the damage along the spinal cord

Understanding a bit about SCIs, how they affect the victim and what determines the long-term outcome may help those who are dealing with this situation. 

Location matters

The spinal cord is divided into four main regions. From top to bottom, these are the cervical, thoracic, lumbar and sacral. 

Injuries to the cervical spine, located in the neck, can result in paralysis of all four limbs. This is because the cervical spine controls signals to the majority of the body. Any injuries to the thoracic, lumbar or sacral spine may lead to paraplegia. These injuries can also affect the trunk and body systems below the level of the injury. 

Complete versus incomplete

A complete spinal cord injury means there is no sensory or motor function below the level of the injury. An incomplete spinal cord injury means that the person retains some motor function and sensory ability below the level of the injury. 

The degree of recovery from an incomplete injury can vary widely with some individuals regaining a considerable amount of function over time through intensive rehabilitation. That same recovery outlook isn’t as good for complete injuries.

Medical care and rehabilitation for SCIs can be costly, which is difficult for victims who are also dealing with a loss or reduction in income. These victims may opt to pursue a compensation claim from the negligent driver who caused the crash. Seeking assistance from someone familiar with these matters is beneficial so the victims can focus on rebuilding their lives while their case makes its way through the process.