When most people think about serious spinal cord injuries, they generally think about someone confined to a wheelchair; Christopher Reeves comes to mind. Reeves suffered a serious spinal cord injury when he was thrown from a horse. That left him a paraplegic which also shortened his life span.
However, more often, other serious and debilitating conditions can result from spinal cord injuries that do not always take away one’s ability to walk, but do significantly interfere with one’s life, just the same. Every part of the human body you need to move or feel is related to your spine. Critical abilities such as walking, moving your arms, and even breathing depend upon your spine functioning properly.
The types of injuries that often result from motor vehicle accidents are referred to as soft tissue injuries. And while that might sound far more benign than what happened to Christopher Reeves, soft tissue injuries can have a devastating impact on your life. Think of what can happen if, due to an accident, you suffer back pain every single day. How would that affect your life? Could you work again? What if, due to that severe back pain, you could not sit for more than one hour at a time? What if the pain took away your ability to stand or walk for more than a half hour at a time?
How would an injury like this affect you if your job required you to sit at a desk all day long? More problematic, how would it affect you if you had a highly physical job such as firefighter, for example?
Any spinal cord injury that causes that kind of pain will have a profound effect on your future and also will affect your ability to interact with family, have a social life, work, travel, and even sleep soundly through the night. That can lead to isolation, financial problems, sleep disorders and not surprisingly depression – your life will be changed forever.
Spinal injuries that cause severe back trauma such as herniated discs or ruptured discs, are the kinds of injuries, unfortunately, that insurance carriers will resist. Carriers will try to claim that such impairments would most likely have resulted from a pre-existing, degenerative condition and not from a motor vehicle accident. Once again, insurance carriers are not your friend.
That is why should you suffer such an injury, the wise thing to do is to seek the counsel of an experienced personal injury attorney who not only understands the law, but also the anatomy and mechanics of your spine. When it comes to a life-changing accident, you need an attorney who also is your fiercest advocate.