A sudden impact, from a truck or car accident, that compresses a person’s neck or causes it to twist in an abnormal fashion may result in a significant neck injury, according to the National Institutes of Health. Often referred to as cervical neck injuries, these injuries can involve the bones and muscles of the neck and back, as well as the spinal cord. While some minor neck injuries may heal or respond well to medical intervention, severe neck injuries may create lifelong complications and disabilities that seriously affect a person’s quality of life.
Spinal cord injuries resulting from a rear-end collision or other devastating accident, may result in paralysis for an accident victim. According to the Shepherd Center, there are an estimated 450,000 people living with spinal cord injuries in the United States. Approximately 36 percent of those occurred from motor vehicle accidents.
The type of paralysis is dependent on where along the spinal cord the injury takes place. According to the Mayo Clinic, the spinal cord is comprised of nerve cells that function to transmit messages from the brain to other parts of the body. When an injury in the spinal cord occurs, all muscles and nerves below the injury site cease to function and the injured victim often experiences limited mobility as a result. Not all spinal injury patients are limited to wheelchairs, crutches and braces; however, these mobility aids do help them travel longer distances.
Paraplegia is just one form of paralysis where the injured person is no longer able to use their lower limbs and has little to no feeling in those appendages. When a person is pronounced quadriplegic, they are unable to use all four limbs and may experience limited sensations in their body as well.
Shorter life expectancy
The Shepherd Center reports a person who has a spinal cord neck injury is more likely to die from respiratory infections or pneumonia, which is the most common cause of death for people with SCIs. Unexplained heart attacks and unintentional injuries resulting from the injured person’s disabilities can also cause death.
A broken neck sustained in a car accident may or may not cause damage to the spinal cord, according to Apparelyzed.com. If the spinal cord is traumatized or torn in half, and the body suddenly loses its nerve supply, there may be an extreme drop in blood pressure and change in respiratory function, which can cause further medical issues.
Spinal cord damage can result in devastating injuries that can change the course of a person’s life. People who are injured due to the negligence of another person may be able to seek compensation for their physical and emotional trauma.