Car and motorcycle accidents are the leading causes of spinal cord injuries in the United States. They account for almost half of new spinal cord injuries annually. These injuries can negatively impact every aspect of a victim’s life. If your loved one suffered a spinal cord injury in a South Carolina crash, they’ll face some challenges. Not only will they have to deal with physical limitations, but treatment and recovery will be costly. You may be wondering if they are eligible for compensation.
You’ll be happy to know that if someone else was responsible for their injuries, your loved one can claim damages. However, you can expect that the other party will do everything in their power to deny liability. You will, therefore, have to ensure your loved one has an experienced Greenville auto wreck attorney who will fight on their behalf. In South Carolina, victims can claim compensation as long as they are less than 50 percent at fault for the crash.
Types of Spinal Cord Injuries Car Accident Victims Can Suffer
The spinal cord is made up of spongy nervous tissue and it is surrounded by the vertebrae. It is quite delicate and can be damaged by the sudden, traumatic blow of a car accident. The impact can cause several types of spinal cord injuries including:
- Fractured vertebrae. When a vertebra gets fractured, it can pinch or compress your spinal cord.
- Herniated discs. When force is applied to your spine, the inner layer of a spinal disc may tear through its cartilage perimeter. This is common in rear-end car accidents.
- Bulging discs. The same back and forth motion that causes whiplash can cause a disc to shift out of alignment. Untreated bulging discs can become herniated.
- Pinched nerves. When a disc bulges or becomes herniated, it can press on a nerve. This can cause other muscles to tingle, hurt or feel numb.
- Spinal stenosis. Severe spinal trauma can cause the spaces in the spinal canal to narrow. This puts pressure on the spinal cord and surrounding nerves.
If your spouse or relative suffers injuries, you need to get them a competent South Carolina auto accident attorney. These injuries can have a significant impact on their lives.
Possible Effects of a Spinal Cord Injury
The effects of your loved one’s injuries depend on the location of the damage and the severity of the trauma. However, possible effects include:
- Loss of feeling
- Loss of bladder and bowel control
- Difficulty coughing or breathing
These symptoms may not be noticeable immediately after the accident. However, victims still need to go to the doctor as soon as possible. Even though the pain may be mild at first, it can intensify in the coming days. Spinal cord injuries are serious and sometimes the damage is permanent.
Seeking prompt medical treatment will either rule out serious problems or ensure the injured person gets the treatment they need. It also establishes a link between the car accident and the injuries. This is important for when the victim files an insurance claim or a lawsuit against the at-fault party. If they can’t prove the accident led to their injuries, they may not be able to get compensation.
Proving Fault After a Car Accident
You may believe that another motorist caused the accident, but this won’t be enough for the insurance company. They will want to see evidence. One of the most important documents is the police report. That’s why people involved in car crashes need to call the police and ensure they get a copy of the report. If possible, they should also take photos at the accident scene. The positioning of the cars, the condition of the road, and relevant road signage can make a big difference in a case. Taking photos of injuries and holding on to any documentation relating to the crash is also important. The victim’s Greenville car accident lawyer will use this evidence to build a case.
Contact a Greenville, SC Car Accident Attorney
Drivers and passengers can reduce the risk of a spinal cord injury if they are proactive. Wearing a seatbelt and ensuring children are restrained appropriately for their age and size can prevent a lifetime of challenges. You should also ensure airbags are in proper working order.
If despite your best efforts, you or a loved one suffered serious injuries, you need to hire a lawyer. When you work with Hernandez & Cabra, you’ll get a car accident lawyer in Greenville, SC who fights for victims. We know how serious spinal cord injuries can be. That’s why we do everything we can to ensure victims get the compensation they deserve. Contact us today to schedule a free consultation.