St. Louis Truck Accident Injury Lawyers
Spinal Cord Injuries & Truck Accident Victims
Vertebrae are the hard bones that protect the soft tissues of the spinal cord. These bones can be broken or dislocated during a truck accident or other traumatic injury. Injury to the spinal cord during a truck accident can have extremely serious physiological consequence.
A serious truck accident could damage the vertebrae in the neck and cause irreversible damage to the spinal cord. Truck accidents often cause paralysis. Truck accidents sometimes cause spinal cord damage that results in paralysis of the upper and lower extremities. Paralysis of the lower trunk and lower extremities is called paraplegia. Paralysis of most of the body including the arms and legs is called quadriplegia.
Most truck accident injuries do not completely sever the spinal cord. Spinal cord injuries from tractor trailer accidents most likely cause fractures and compression of the vertebrae. These types of injuries interfere with the signals from the brain and the rest of the body. Some truck accident injuries will allow almost complete recovery. Other truck injuries could result in complete paralysis.
Good emergency care and aggressive treatment and rehabilitation can minimize damage caused by spinal cord injuries. Doctors are currently researching new surgical techniques and developments in spinal nerve regeneration. This is promising for some truck accident victims.
The legal issues in a truck accident case are extremely complex. The trucking industry is governed by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations (FMCSR). The FMCSR are a set of detailed rules that truck companies and truck drivers have to follow when they operate their trucks interstate (state to state). You need an experienced Missouri truck accident lawyer to begin protecting you and your family from the truck company and the insurance company.
Truck companies have teams on standby that are ready to investigate trucking collisions as soon as they occur. This is partially because the insurance companies for the truck companies know they will never have another chance to take original scene photos or speak with witnesses while the facts are fresh in their head.
I can be reached toll free, 24 hours a day, (314) 322-8515. Call me personally and I will immediately alert our truck accident team and begin taking the same actions as the truck company and the insurance company. The call and consultation are free. There is no fee unless we recover for you.
- What Is The Spinal Cord?
- What Could Happen To My Spinal Cord During A Truck Accident?
- How Is A Spinal Cord Injury Treated?
- How Will My Spinal Cord Injury Affect Me?
- Will Rehabilitation Help Me Recover?
What Is The Spinal Cord?
The spinal cord is a soft jelly-like cord. The cord is protected by the spinal column. The spinal column is made up of 33 bones called vertebrae. The spinal cord runs through the center of the holes in the spinal column.
The vertebrae are organized and numbered from top to bottom:
- Cervical, C1 – C7 (neck)
- Thoracic, T1-T12 (ribcage)
- Lumbar, L1-L5 (lower back)
- Sacral, S1-S5 (hip area)
- Coccygeal, 1-4 fused (tailbone)
The hard vertebrae are there to protect the spinal cord from injuries such as those suffered in a tractor trailer accident. There are discs between the vertebrae that are made of cartilage. Discs can also be damaged during a truck accident.
What Could Happen To My Spinal Cord During A Truck Accident?
An injury to the spinal cord is usually caused by a sudden blow. This traumatic blow will often fracture or dislocate vertebrae. The damage begins immediately. A blow to the spinal cord during a tractor trailer accident can cause bone fragments, disc material, or bruising. The spinal cord can also be torn during a traumatic tractor trailer accident. The spinal cord can begin swelling within minutes at the level of injury. Blood flow is often reduced or cut or cut off in this situation. This can eventually cause a condition known as “spinal shock.” During “spinal shock” the spinal cord becomes temporarily disabled and can’t communicate properly with the brain. Paralysis may develop during a period of “spinal shock.”
How Is A Spinal Cord Injury Treated?
It is important after a truck accident to be extremely careful when moving someone with an injury to the spine or spinal cord. Please note that spinal cord injuries are not always obvious.
People who are involved in tractor trailer accidents who have an injury to their spine should avoid any significant movement that could cause more damage. Victims of truck accidents are usually taken to the hospital by ambulance in a lying down position with a rigid collar and backboard.
Respiratory problems can also arise as a result of a spinal cord injury. It is soften necessary to help a truck accident victim with their breathing. This is sometimes done by using respiratory support via intubation. Intubation means inserting a tube through the nose or throat and into the airway. Oxygen is then fed through the tube.
How Will My Spinal Cord Injury Affect Me?
Tractor Trailer Accident Victims that suffer a spinal cord injury may have medical complications such as chronic pain and bladder dysfunction. They may also have an increased chance of respiratory and heart problems. Successful recovery depends upon how well these chronic conditions are handled day to day.
Will Rehabilitation Help Me Recover?
It is common to feel frightened, anxious, or confused about being involved in a truck accident. Rehabilitation programs offer therapy and counseling to truck accident victims with spinal cord injuries. It is important that the rehabilitation process involve the truck accident victim’s family and friends.
At a minimum, a rehabilitation program typically includes a doctor who specializes in physical medicine and rehabilitation and social workers, physical therapists and occupational therapists. In the beginning, therapists may work on leg and arm strength since mobility and communication are important areas of function. Mobility after a truck accident may only be possible with the assistance of certain devices. Communication skills after a tractor trailer accident may also require special devices.
Physical therapy will attempt to help with muscle strengthening. Occupational therapy will help with fine motor skills. Truck accident victims that suffer spinal cord injuries will face numerous challenges and hurdles as they attempt to recover physically and mentally. The other challenge is figuring out how to pay for the costly medical bills and treatment. It is common for truck accident victims to require lifelong care. This care can be determined by experts who deal with life debilitating injuries on a regular. They are sometimes referred to as life care planners.
Most likely, tractor trailer companies have investigation teams and their insurance companies have investigation teams on the scene within minutes of a truck accident. They are interviewing witnesses, taking pictures, taking measurements, and talking with the police. You also need to be aware that trucking companies often begin destroying documents that are beneficial to the truck accident victim. Documents that could potentially help prove the truck company or the truck driver was negligent. I understand you may not be worried about the legal aspect of the truck accident right now. Your injuries, your loved one’s injuries, or the death of a loved one are certainly your main concern right now. I am an experienced attorney and I will help protect you and your family from the truck company and the insurance company during these tough times. Call me toll free, 24 hours a day, (314) 322-8515. I will personally take your call and alert our St. Louis truck accident spinal injury attorneys. We will immediately begin taking the same actions as the truck company and the insurance company. The call and consultation are free. There is no fee unless we recover for you.
There are numerous resources for people who have suffered a spinal cord injury during a truck accident. I have listed a few of the resources below for your convenience. I also have significant resources and useful information that I have gathered from my experience in dealing with clients who have suffered injuries from truck accidents. Feel free to call me anytime (314) 322-8515.
Christopher Reeve Foundation & Resource Center
National Rehabilitation Information Center (NARIC)
National Spinal Cord Injury Association
Paralyzed Veterans of America (PVA)