A previous post talked about severe neck and spine injuries as a result of a car accident, specifically, soft tissue injuries including herniated or ruptured discs. A more severe spinal cord injury that may occur as a result of car or truck accident, or other accident, is paralysis, including paraplegia or quadriplegia. To speak with a personal injury lawyer with experience in paralysis cases, contact Passen & Powell at (312) 527-4500 for a free consultation.
Paraplegia or quadriplegia occurs when there is severe injury to the cervical or C segment of the spine. The cervical segment of the spine is closest to the head and neck, where the brain connects to the spine and the rest of the body. Because of this, cervical injuries may cause paralysis, or loss of function, to other parts of the body, including the chest, arms, and legs.
The spinal cord is situated within the spine, and the spine is made up of 29 vertebral segments:
• 7 Cervical – C segment (neck)
• 15 Thoracic – T segment (chest)
• 5 Lumbar – L segment (back)
• 5 Sacral – S segment (tail)
A severe injury to any vertebral segment is serious. It can cause paralysis, and permanently alter the life of the victim and the victim’s family. If you or a loved one has suffered a serious spinal injury as a result of a car or truck accident, contact a top personal injury and paralysis attorney.
A well-known quadriplegia case is that of Christopher Reeve (“Superman”), who suffered a complete spinal cord injury after falling off a horse. He suffered a complete spinal cord injury at the C-3 interval, meaning the injury was in his neck, close to the brain.
If the injury occurs above C-4, a ventilator may be required for breathing. This is because the diaphragm is controlled by spinal nerves exiting at the upper level of the neck, or the C-3 to C-1 levels. Such injuries also require extensive, long-term care. A motorized wheel chair and special bed may be needed, which creates mechanical maintenance costs in addition to medical costs.
C segment spinal injuries are life-altering injuries, for both the victim and the family. The victim must adjust to having very limited, or no use of limbs, and the family must adjust to new needs, physically, emotionally and financially, of the victim. To speak with a top personal injury lawyer about a potential case relating to a severe spinal cord injury or paralysis, call Passen & Powell at (312)-527-4500 for a free consultation.