A cervical fracture – or broken neck – is a serious injury that can even result in death in the most extreme cases. Typically, these injuries are the result of intense trauma to the cervical spine, which consists of seven vertebrae in the neck. These injuries are especially troubling because they can damage the spinal cord. If this happens, the accident victim might suffer temporary or permanent paralysis, which may be complete or partial.
Of course, not all neck fractures result in paralysis, but the injury is nonetheless serious and requires emergency care and perhaps even surgery. Other injuries may accompany the fracture, include sprains and strains (whiplash).
Quadriplegia from a Broken Neck
A spinal cord injury that occurs at the cervical spine level can lead to temporary or permanent paralysis below the neck. This is known as quadriplegia.
Quadriplegia is a condition in which there is partial or complete lack of sensation, movement or mobility in both the upper as well as the lower limbs. In partial paralysis cases, the patient retains some mobility and sensation, but in complete paralysis loses all mobility and sensation.
The paralysis can affect any part of the body below the point of injury. Because the injury is in the cervical region, this often includes the entire body and many body functions might be affected.
A person who suffers from quadriplegia may suffer from other long-term consequences, including the effects listed below.
- Blood clots
- Pressure sores
- Spastic muscles
- Breathing problems
- Loss of bladder control
- Loss of bowel control
- Autonomic dysreflexia (can lead to serious hypertension)
- Sexual dysfunction
There is no complete cure for partial or complete quadriplegia, and treatment very often consists of helping the person deal with the effects of the condition.
Filing a Car Accident Claim after a Broken Neck
For some, the consequences of a broken neck mean that a person who is disabled is no longer able to go to work, or at the very least must miss significant time during recovery. Thus, a claim following the accident should include damages related to lost wages during the recovery period, and/or loss of earning capacity related to the injury.
Additionally, treatment for a neck injury from a car accident and the resultant conditions, like quadriplegia, might be long-term. In some cases they can cost millions of dollars over the course of a person’s lifetime. If the person suffers from permanent paralysis, he may require a nurse to help him with daily routines. He may also require modifications to his car and home to navigate these more efficiently. These medical and care expenses are also important to include in any claim for damages.
Apart from the financial challenges that emerge when a person suffers a broken neck in a car accident in Aurora, there is also the impact on the person’s quality of life and any pain and suffering the individual experiences. His abilities to interact with people, social relationships, as well as relationships with his spouse and other family members may suffer. Thus, the claim should account for noneconomic damages in addition to addressing the financial effects of the accident.
Get Help from D.J. Banovitz after an Aurora Car Accident
Speak with an accident lawyer about filing a claim for damages after a car accident. The Law Office of D.J. Banovitz helps individuals who have suffered catastrophic injuries in auto accidents. We investigate the accident, collect evidence, and help file the claim or lawsuit and handle any negotiations or litigation that’s necessary. Call us today at 303-300-5060 or use our online contact form to schedule a consultation.