Auto and motorcycle crashes account for nearly half of all spinal injuries each year in the United States, making them the leading cause, according to the Mayo Clinic.

Nearly 3.6 million people are injured each year in car crashes, and roughly 800,000 require medical treatment in emergency rooms. Thousands more must be admitted to the hospital for treatment. An estimated 17,500 people suffer spinal injuries each year, and half of them are crash victims.

What are the symptoms?

Spinal cord injuries result when any part of the spinal cord or nerves are damaged, often causing permanent changes in strength and sensation as well as affecting other body functions below the injury. If you are injured in a crash, a series of tests will be done to determine the extent. Symptoms of a spinal cord injury include:

  • Loss of movement
  • Loss of sensation
  • Loss of bladder or bowel control
  • Increased or exaggerated reflexes or muscle spasms
  • Changes in sexual function
  • Intense pain caused by damaged nerve fibers
  • Difficulty coughing or breathing

Seek immediate medical care

If you experience any pain to your head, neck or back, see a doctor right away. It’s better to rule out serious injuries than to let them go untreated because:

  • Serious spinal injuries aren’t always apparent, and the longer a problem goes unrecognized, the more critical it can become
  • Paralysis or numbness to an area can happen right away, but can also be delayed as bleeding or swelling can occur around the spinal cord
  • The time between when the injury happens and medical treatment is crucial to determining the extent of the damage, possible complications and the length of time it will take to recover

Protect your future with knowledgeable legal advice

Spinal injuries can be permanent or long-lasting, causing massive personal and financial consequences due to medical costs, lost wages and related expenses. A compassionate and experienced personal injury attorney here in Arizona will protect your interests and fight for the compensation you deserve.