Spinal cord injuries can have many different causes, and they can occur in a wide range of accidents, including motor vehicle collisions, pedestrian accidents, and slips and falls. The severity of spinal injuries can also vary significantly depending upon the circumstances of the injury and where, precisely, in the spine or spinal cord it occurred. How can you know if you have a spinal injury in order to file a claim against the liable party? Our Seattle personal injury lawyers can explain in more detail.
Head or Neck Injury Should Lead to Immediate Assessment
After a car crash or another serious type of accident, you may realize that you have some injuries but may not know if you have suffered a potentially catastrophic injury such as a spinal injury. According to the Mayo Clinic, signs and symptoms of a severe spinal injury are not always obvious or immediate. In fact, the numbness or even paralysis that results from many spinal injuries can “come on gradually,” as the Mayo Clinic clarifies.
Given that many head and neck injuries also result in injuries to the spinal cord or the spine, it is critical to have a full medical assessment any time you suspect you may have suffered a head or neck injury. The Mayo Clinic even suggests that a person with signs of a head or neck injury should assume they have a spinal injury until a doctor has said that they do not since “the time between injury and treatment can be critical in determining the extent and severity of complications and the possible extent of expected recovery.”
Common Emergency Signs of a Spinal Injury
While some spinal injuries after accidents do not result in immediate signs or symptoms—but could later lead to paralysis if not properly identified and treated—some spinal injuries produce immediate signs and symptoms that should involve emergency treatment. The Mayo Clinic cites the following as indicators of a spinal cord injury that should be handled as an emergency situation:
- Extreme pain in the back, neck, or head following an accident;
- Weakness or paralysis that occurs in any part of the body, even if it is not near the spinal cord or spinal column;
- Lack of coordination or any difficulty walking or maintaining balance;
- Any loss of bladder control or bowel control;
- Difficulty breathing after an accident and injury;
- Numbness or tingling that occurs in the hands, fingers, feet, or toes;
- Neck or back that has become “oddly positioned” following an accident.
Contact a Washington State Spinal Cord Injury Attorney
Spinal cord injuries are extremely serious, and they need to be identified by a health care provider as early as possible so that you can receive treatment. When spinal injuries are not identified in a timely manner, they can result in permanent paralysis that can include paraplegia or tetraplegia. If you have any signs of a spinal injury, or if you even have any signs of a head or neck injury after an accident, you need to be assessed for a possible spinal injury. An experienced Washington State spinal cord injury lawyer at our firm can help you with your case and assist you in seeking compensation after a spinal injury in an accident. Contact Khan Law Firm today.