What You Need to Know Regarding Spinal Cord Injury & Paralysis After a New Mexico Car Accident

Tablet and Phone with Spinal Cord Injury and a Stethoscope Suffering any serious injury in a car accident can turn your life upside down. However, when you are left permanently disabled because of another driver’s negligence, your life will be forever changed, and you will need a significant settlement to ensure that you are supported for the rest of your life. The New Mexico spinal cord injury attorney at Keller & Keller are experienced in valuing car accident paralysis claims and will fight the insurance company to get what you need for a lifetime of care.

Motor Vehicle Crashes Are the Leading Cause of Paralysis

According to the Mayo Clinic, car and motorcycle accidents account for almost half of all new spinal cord injuries each year. Any vehicle collision could cause a neck or back injury, but the more catastrophic the crash is, the more likely it is that the spinal cord could be permanently damaged. The following kinds of crashes can result in paralysis:

  • High-speed. The impact of a crash when cars are traveling at high speeds is significantly higher than at lower speeds, increasing the likelihood of a traumatic injury such as permanent spinal cord damage.
  • Rollover. When the roof is crushed in a rollover crash, the occupants can suffer traumatic neck and back injuries, including paralysis.
  • Rear-end. Occupants of a car that is hit from behind at high speed can be jerked back and forth with such violence that bones in the spine can fracture, damaging the spinal cord.
  • Semi-truck. When a much smaller car is crushed by a tractor-trailer, the occupants of the car can suffer all kinds of catastrophic injuries, including paralysis.

Levels of Paralysis Caused by Car Crashes

When the spinal cord is damaged by a fractured disc or debris created by a collision, motor function can be affected from the point of injury down. Paralysis can be incomplete, meaning some motor and sensory functions are preserved, or complete, meaning all feeling and motor control are gone. Types of paralysis include:

  • Tetraplegia. Often referred to as quadriplegia, this injury results from damage to the neck and means that your arms, hands, trunk, legs, and pelvic organs are all affected.
  • Paraplegia. Generally impacting function from the waist down, this paralysis affects all or part of the trunk, legs, and pelvic organs.

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