If you experience changes in sensation or motor function after a car crash, you might have a thoracic spinal injury. The lifetime costs of a spinal cord injury can be extensive, but you might have options to recover compensation for these expenses.
If you suffered thoracic spinal injuries from an auto accident that was someone else’s fault, you might be able to recover damages for your medical bills and other losses. The auto accident team at Max Meyers Law will help you fight for a fair settlement for your spinal injury. To get your free consultation, call us today at 425-399-7000.
What a Thoracic Spinal Injury Is and How It Can Happen in a Car Wreck
The thoracic region of your spine is primarily between your shoulder blades in your back. It is the area between the base of your neck and the lumbar level of your spine, which begins roughly at your waist.
A severe blow to the back or chest can fracture or crush bones in your vertebrae, causing a thoracic spinal injury. If a foreign object pierces your back in the crash, that can damage the spine. Sudden violent movements of your body—such as being thrown about in the collision or ejected from the vehicle—can also injure this area of your body.
The Difference Between a Complete and Incomplete Spinal Injury
A complete spinal cord injury is one in which you lose all sensation and motor function below the point of your injury.
If you have an incomplete spinal cord injury, you have some sensation or motor function below the level of the injury, but the degree of function you retain can vary.
The Symptoms of a Thoracic Spinal Injury
Only a doctor can diagnose this type of car crash injury. You should seek immediate treatment if you are experiencing:
●Neck or back pain;
●An inability to move your hands, feet, arms, or legs;
●Lack of coordination of any area of your body;
●Trouble walking or maintaining balance;
●Twisting in your back or neck;
●Loss of bladder or bowel control; or
●Numbness, tingling, or lack of feeling in your hands, feet, fingers, or toes.
You should always see your doctor after a car accident if you suspect any injuries occurred, especially those to your back or spine. An injured spinal cord is extremely fragile. Medical professionals must immobilize it at once to preserve any remaining neurological function and prevent further injuries.
Unfortunately, doctors usually cannot reverse spinal cord damage. At best, they can prevent additional injuries and help people adjust to their “new normal.”
Recuperation Time for Thoracic Spinal Injury
After the initial crisis management, you will stay in the hospital or spinal injury center until you are ready for transfer to a rehabilitation center. You will learn how to adapt to your life and achieve as much independence as possible. The focus at this stage is to avoid complications and maintain strength and overall wellness.
Since spinal cord injuries are not reversible, the prognosis can be grim. If you do recover functions, most of the improvement will happen during the first six months after the car accident. On occasion, people experience minor improvements up to a year or two after the crash.
How a Thoracic Spinal Injury Can Change Your Life
Complete or partial paralysis will impact your mobility and independence. Many victims of spinal injuries also experience a series of secondary problems, as well. These issues can include:
●Chronic nerve pain in patients with incomplete spinal cord injuries;
●Muscle or joint pain from having to overuse some muscle groups to compensate for the loss of function of other areas;
●Loss of sensation below the injury;
●Circulation problems like blood clots, swelling of extremities, low blood pressure, or life-threatening high blood pressure;
●Loss of bladder control or bowel control;
●Weight loss or gain;
●Weakness or rigidity of muscles and muscle atrophy;
●Infertility and loss of sexual function; and
With help from an auto accident attorney, you might be able to recover compensation for these losses and the other expenses you will face because of the car crash.
Your Potential Compensation After a Car Accident
You can file an insurance claim for compensation for any expenses or losses related to the accident, including:
●Medical expenses, like the ambulance ride, emergency room care, hospital stay, intensive care unit, spinal injury treatment center, rehabilitation facility, prescription drugs, and physical and occupational therapy;
●Equipment and adaptive devices, such as wheelchairs, adaptive vehicles, and home modifications;
●Lost income for recuperation time and decreased earning potential;
●Pain and suffering for the physical pain and emotional distress as well as the disruption to your life; and
●Long-term consequences, like depression, loss of enjoyment of life, loss of independence, disability, and your spouse’s loss of consortium.