In the chaos of a California road accident, well-meaning people sometimes make a huge mistake: They move someone who may have a spinal cord injury.
It might not seem like a big deal, but moving someone with spinal damage could have permanent, life-altering effects. Here’s why it’s important to be informed about spinal cord injuries.
Spinal Cord Injuries are More Complex Than They Seem
Car accidents are among the most common causes of spinal cord injuries in the U.S. The most common area of injury is the lumbosacral region or the lower spine, which is vulnerable to being damaged or severed in the impact of a vehicle-on-vehicle crash.
A lumbosacral injury, like many types of spine injuries, can be hard for the injured victim to detect after a car accident. The person may have a rush of adrenaline that’s obscuring their pain, or they may feel little to no pain due to the severity of the injury itself.
Having a spinal cord injury impacts a person’s ability to feel sensations and transmit normal impulses from the brain to the body. An injured person can be dazed and talking, saying they feel okay, even as they have deep internal damage.
Moving a person who’s in this state could worsen their spinal cord damage and cause much more serious injury. You could sever their partially-cut spinal cord completely and leave the person with paralysis. You could even cause what might be considered a wrongful death.
Spinal Cord Damage Can Happen in an Instant
When a car crash happens and the body takes a crushing blow, it can cut off the flow of communication that exists between the brain and body. Because the spine links your brain to your nerves and body systems, any damage can cause a loss of bodily functions.
Within moments after a forceful traffic accident, an injured person can have such severe spinal damage that their brain can’t trigger the proper messages and their body begins to struggle. A certain body part, like an arm or leg, may become unable to move, or they could lose the function of a vital organ like the kidneys or lungs.
The location of spinal cord damage is a key factor in how much functionality a person will usually have after an accident. If the damage is especially catastrophic and happens at a high point in the spine, none of the lower body parts may be able to function correctly.
Although there have been many advances in spinal cord research in the past 30 years, at this point, spinal damage is mostly irreversible. A person with spinal cord damage may have permanent problems with mobility, digestion, breathing, thinking, and other critical body functions.
Don’t Move an Injured Person. Call 911!
Instead of taking the risk of moving an injured person, request immediate medical care. A professional emergency care worker will recognize the signs of potential spinal cord injury and will go through a list of precautions before recommending someone is moved.
Call 911 after a car accident and let the operator know about any possible spinal cord injuries. Even if the injured person is begging to be moved, don’t do it unless the 911 operator tells you to or there is an absolutely imminent risk of death from explosion or fire.
This includes moving the person’s body parts for comfort or to perform CPR (cardiopulmonary resuscitation). Both can worsen a spinal cord injury significantly and may put you at risk of being sued for improperly moving an injured person and causing further harm.
A Case With Spinal Cord Damage Needs a Lawyer’s Expertise
Cases with spinal cord damage often involve huge monetary damages and significant emotional trauma. You’ll need the input of medical professionals and your case may require gathering second opinions and other expert testimony.
You may have a strong case for auto accident compensation, but it’s never easy to resolve one of these complex cases. Talk to the team at Sally Morin Personal Injury Lawyers for an experienced and compassionate approach to seeking compensation for a spinal cord injury.
We Handle Your Accident Claim So You Can Focus on Your Life
After an accident, contact the attorneys at Sally Morin Personal Injury Lawyers. We handle many types of traffic injury claims, including car accidents with spinal cord injuries. We believe you should be able to focus on recovering from your accident while we handle the legal details.
We truly care about the people of California. Contact us today for a free online case evaluation.