Common Spinal Cord Injuries from a Truck Accident
The devastating force and impact involved in a truck accident can lead to various types of spinal cord injuries (SCIs). Here are the most common types of SCIs victims suffer and their potential consequences.
Spinal fractures can happen in different regions of the spine, including the cervical (neck), thoracic (mid-back), and lumbar (lower back) regions. These fractures range from relatively minor compression fractures to more severe burst fractures or dislocations. Depending on the location and severity of the fracture, individuals may experience significant pain, limited mobility, and potential damage to the spinal cord itself.
The spine consists of vertebrae separated by intervertebral discs that act as cushions and provide flexibility. When a disc is herniated, the soft inner material protrudes through the tougher outer layer, pressing against nearby nerves or the spinal cord. This can lead to intense pain, numbness, tingling, and weakness in the affected area. In severe cases, surgery may be required to alleviate the symptoms and restore function.
Spinal Cord Contusions
A spinal cord contusion refers to bruising or swelling of the spinal cord. It occurs when the force of impact compresses or stretches the spinal cord, damaging its delicate tissues. Truck accidents, especially those involving high speeds or sudden deceleration, can cause severe contusions along the length of the spinal cord. The consequences can vary widely, ranging from temporary sensory disturbances to complete or partial paralysis.
Spinal Cord Compression
Spinal cord compression is a condition characterized by the compression of the spinal cord due to displaced bone fragments, swelling, or herniated discs. The pressure on the spinal cord can disrupt its normal function, causing a variety of symptoms, including pain, numbness, muscle weakness, and difficulty with coordination. Prompt medical intervention, such as decompression surgery, is often necessary to prevent further damage and improve the chances of recovery.
Complete and Incomplete Spinal Cord Injuries
Truck accidents can also result in complete or incomplete SCIs. In a complete SCI, there is a total loss of sensory and motor function below the level of injury. This means that individuals may experience paralysis and loss of sensation in their lower body (paraplegia) or throughout their entire body (tetraplegia). In incomplete SCIs, some degree of sensory or motor function may be preserved. However, these injuries can still significantly affect mobility, sensation, and overall quality of life.
Compensation for Spinal Cord Injury Victims
When a preventable truck accident caused by another party’s negligence results in an SCI, you may be entitled to various types of compensation. For example, economic damages to cover medical expenses, including hospital bills, surgeries, rehabilitation, medication, and assistive devices, lost wages, or diminished earning capacity if you are unable to work. In addition, non-economic damages can be pursued, which include pain and suffering, emotional distress, loss of enjoyment of life, and loss of consortium. In cases involving severe negligence or intentional harm, the court may also award punitive damages to punish the responsible party and deter similar behavior in the future.
With so much on the line, it is critical for spinal cord injury victims to consult a trusted Atlanta Truck Accident Lawyer. They can evaluate the specific circumstances and help you recover enough compensation to fully cover your losses.