What happens to your body if you have spinal cord damage after a car accident?

Spinal cord trauma is perhaps the most devastating type of injury that can occur as a result of a vehicle accident. Predicting how a person will be affected as a result of spinal cord trauma is challenging because no two spinal cord injuries are exactly alike.

what happens to your body if you have spinal cord damage after a car accident

There are various levels of spinal cord trauma that can occur that affect different parts of the body. Here, we want to give a general overview of what could happen to an individual as a result of a vehicle accident spinal cord injury.


The symptoms you can expect

Data available from the National Spinal Cord Injury Statistical Center (NSCISC) shows us that vehicle accidents are the leading cause of spinal cord injuries across the US each year. No two spinal cord injuries are exactly alike, and the signs and symptoms experienced by one car accident victim may not be the same as the signs and symptoms associated with another victim.

Most people understand that spinal cord injury symptoms range widely depending on the level of the initial trauma. For example, a person who experiences a complete spinal cord injury will likely lose all mobility and functioning below the site of the injury. However, victims of less severe spinal cord injuries may retain some level of motor functioning.

Some of the conditions that can exist below the level of injury that could lead to significant complications for a victim include:

  • Loss of bowel or bladder control
  • Inability to regulate blood pressure or heart rate
  • Trouble walking or problems with balance
  • Trouble breathing, coughing, or clearing the lungs
  • Reflex issues
  • Inability to regulate temperature

Looking beyond the usual spinal cord injury symptoms

Since 2015, the NSCISC says that around 30% of individuals with spinal cord injury victims are re-hospitalized one or more times during any given year following the initial injury. Some of the main reasons individuals are re-hospitalized include diseases with the genitourinary system, skin diseases, and issues with the respiratory system, digestive system, circulatory system, and musculoskeletal system.

Unfortunately, mortality rates for those who have sustained a spinal cord injury significantly increase over those in the general population who have not sustained these injuries. Some of the leading causes of death of those who have sustained a spinal cord injury but lived beyond the first year include pneumonia and septicemia, both of which affect those who have weakened immune systems and decreased internal organ functioning. 

Mortality rates for those who have sustained spinal cord injuries have been increasing due to issues with the endocrine system, metabolic and nutritional diseases, nervous system diseases, musculoskeletal disorders, mental disorders, and even additional accidents.

Let our Chicago car accident attorney help you

If you or somebody you care about has sustained a spinal cord injury as a result of the careless or negligent actions of another driver in Illinois, you need to work with a skilled Chicago car accident attorney immediately.

A lawyer can help recover full compensation for your losses by conducting your complete investigation, uncovering the evidence needed to prove liability, and vigorously negotiating to obtain maximum compensation on your behalf. Contact us today.