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Spinal Cord Injuries From Motorcycle Accidents

Our spines carry impulses from our brains to nerves, sending our body signals. When the spine becomes injured in a motorcycle accident, the resulting spinal cord injury can affect many different bodily functions, sometimes causing complete or partial paralysis. While paralysis is a physical phenomenon, there can also be mental, emotional, and social effects.

Unfortunately, medical science has not discovered a way to repair spinal cord injuries effectively. You may need lifelong medical care if you have suffered an injury due to a motorcycle crash. Filing a claim against the negligent driver and other defendants who caused your accident could allow you to recover compensation. Understanding the long-term effects of your spinal cord injury and working with an experienced attorney will help you obtain fair compensation for your injuries.

Spinal Cord Injury Symptoms

You may not have any symptoms of spinal cord injury immediately after your motorcycle accident. In the days after the crash, you could begin to discover more symptoms. It is essential that you receive medical treatment and a comprehensive evaluation. Sometimes spinal cord injuries are difficult to diagnose at first, but the sooner a doctor can evaluate you, the sooner you will receive the treatment you need.

A doctor's examination, along with x-rays and other diagnostic tests, might reveal injuries you were not even aware of immediately after the accident. The time between your treatment and the injury could affect the complications you might have in the future and how much recovery you may experience through rehabilitation. In the days after your motorcycle accident, pay attention and notice whether you experience any of the following symptoms that could indicate a spinal cord injury:

  • Sexual dysfunction
  • A loss of bowel or bladder control
  • A feeling of pain or pressure in the back, neck, or head
  • Problems with balance or coordination
  • Weakness or immobility in any part of the body
  • Tingling or numbness in the fingers, toes, or other extremities
  • Neck or back stiffness
  • Breathing problems
  • Trouble with balance, coordination, or mobility
Complete Spinal Cord Injuries

Motorcyclists who have been diagnosed with complete spinal cord injuries after an accident lose all feeling and movement below the location on the spine where the injury occurred. For example, if the spinal cord in the neck area becomes injured, the patient may lose feeling and sensation everywhere below the neck. The patient may still be able to blink and use their mouth. Paraplegia refers to loss of movement in the legs, trunk, and feet. Quadriplegia, also known as tetraplegia, refers to paralysis from the neck down, including a person’s hands and arms.

Incomplete Spinal Cord Injuries

Motorcycle accident victims may suffer incomplete spinal cord injuries. With these types of injuries, the patient maintains some degree of motor function and sensory input below the location of the injury. The amount of function depends on the specific injury. The following are some of the different types of incomplete spinal cord injuries motorcyclists can experience:

  • Anterior cord syndrome: In this case, only the front of the spinal cord is affected. Victims may lose sensation below the injury points and have difficulty maintaining a steady body temperature
  • Central cord syndrome: In this case, only the middle of the spinal cord is affected. Victims with this condition may lose the ability to move their arms, but they may still be able to move their legs.
  • Posterior cord syndrome: In this case, only the back of the spinal cord is affected. Victims might lose some of their coordination, but may still be able to experience sensations.
Spinal Stenosis

Spinal stenosis injuries may occur when the force of the motorcycle accident causes the back to fracture or dislocate. These injuries put pressure on the spinal nerves and can cause pain. Victims can also experience weakness, loss of feeling, and the tendency to fall down easily.

Have You Suffered a Spinal Cord Injury in a Motorcycle Accident?

Spinal cord injuries are some of the most devastating injuries a person can sustain. Have you or your loved one been diagnosed with a complete or incomplete spinal cord injury caused by a motorcycle accident? If so, it is worthwhile to discuss your case with a local personal injury attorney. If another person or company's negligence caused the accident that resulted in your spinal cord injury, you may be able to hold them liable for your expenses. Contact Arnold & Smith, PLLC, today to schedule your initial consultation.

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