A broken neck is one of the most severe injuries one can suffer from in a car accident.
The neck bones are part of your spine and connect your head to it. A broken neck is a fracture of one of those vertebrae in the neck. A broken neck can have huge consequences on your life and change it forever.
How Can You Break Your Neck in a Car Accident?
Car accidents involve tremendous forces, even if the speed of the vehicles is moderate. Unfortunately, wearing your seat belt isn’t a guarantee that you won’t get hurt. In fact, you can suffer from injuries even with all the car’s safety devices in place.
While neck fractures are not amongst the most common injuries suffered by car accident victims, they can happen in more serious scenarios. This is the reason why bystanders should never move a car accident victim until the paramedics arrive, except when their life is in immediate danger.
Is There Spinal Cord Damage?
One of the most important factors in determining how serious a broken neck might be is whether the spinal cord was damaged or not. The spinal cord, together with the brain, represents the central nervous system.
If you only suffered from broken bones in your neck, but your spinal cord is intact, your recovery will generally require less intervention, and total recovery chances are higher.
If the spinal cord was damaged when the bones of the neck broke, it may become a life-threatening injury or lead to permanent disability. If the spinal cord is affected in the neck area, the victim’s treatment may be lifelong management of their limitations.
Possible Consequences of a Broken Neck
Here are some of the possible impairments brought by a broken neck with spinal cord damage:
- Fecal or urinary incontinence
- Inability to move
- Inability to feed or breathe on their own
- Skin lacerations and ulcers caused by immobility
- Mental injuries like anxiety, depression, etc.
If the spinal cord is intact, recovery might mean wearing a neck brace for several weeks and even having surgery to realign the bones. Either way, you can be left with chronic pain and limited mobility for a long time. Neck fractures are often categorized as catastrophic injuries and should be treated very seriously.
Speak With an Experienced Lawyer
If you or a loved one have suffered from a broken neck injury, contact a St. Louis car accident attorney as soon as possible. You will benefit greatly from professional legal assistance to protect your rights and cover all the treatment plans, medical investigations, lost wages, and pain and suffering that come throughout the long recovery from such an injury.
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