What To Do If You Sustain A Spinal Cord Injury After A Car Accident
If you or somebody you love has sustained a spinal cord injury caused by the negligence of another driver in Illinois, there are various steps that you can take to help ensure your well-being and that you recover maximum compensation for your losses. Here, we want to walk you through what you need to do after sustaining a vehicle accident spinal cord injury, and we strongly encourage you to reach out to a skilled Chicago car accident lawyer who can help you with every step.
How Will You Know You’ve Sustained a Spinal Cord Injury?
Information available from the National Spinal Cord Injury Statistical Center (NSCISC) shows that vehicle accidents are the leading cause of spinal cord injuries across the US each year. It is not uncommon for individuals to not realize how severe their injuries are right after a vehicle accident occurs, usually due to the amount of adrenaline running through their bodies after the crash occurs. Sometimes, spinal cord injury will be very obvious and result in complete or partial paralysis. However, any person who notices the following symptoms after an accident must seek immediate medical care:
- Significant pain in the spinal cord area
- Any numbness or tingling in the extremities
- Loss of bladder or bowel control
- Trouble breathing
- Trouble with balancing or walking
What You Need to do Immediately
If you think that you have sustained a spinal cord injury or have been taken to the hospital after a known spinal cord injury caused by a vehicle accident, the number one priority is to continue all medical treatment that can help alleviate the symptoms and begin the recovery process.
Most spinal cord injury victims will be unable to gather any evidence they can help prove liability for what happened, so they should ask a family member or friend to do a few things:
- Contact an attorney. Anytime a person sustains a spinal cord injury caused by the actions of another driver, they need to speak to an attorney who can get to work immediately. A skilled spinal cord injury lawyer in Illinois can begin the investigation process, gather evidence, and handle all communication with other parties.
- Interact with law enforcement. Someone will need to liaise with law enforcement officials to ensure that an accident report has been completed. The police need to be involved so they can conduct a preliminary investigation into the incident.
- Gather evidence. If it is at all possible, someone should begin gathering evidence that could help prove liability for the case. The reality is that evidence begins to disappear very soon after an accident occurs. A friend or family member can go to the accident scene and take photographs of the area, debris, skid marks, vehicle damage, and more.
- Insurance report. Most insurance carriers require that vehicle accidents be reported within a day or two after the incident occurs. A spinal cord injury victim may not be able to do this on their own. They should ensure that their attorney makes the initial report or that a friend or family member contacts the insurance carrier on their behalf.
The sole focus of a spinal cord injury victim after these tragic accidents must be on making as complete of a recovery as possible. Spinal cord trauma victims cannot focus their attention on recovering compensation and dealing with insurance carriers. A skilled spinal cord injury lawyer in Chicago can handle that aspect of the process for them.