You learned from a police officer at your home that your teen or young adult child, who is in college, was seriously injured in a car accident. At the hospital, the emergency department doctor explained the severity of your child’s injuries — they have a spinal cord injury, which could be permanent.
What does this mean for your child’s future? It’s hard to say, but here are some of the things that you should know:
An incomplete spinal cord injury is less severe than a complete one
There are two basic different kinds of spinal cord injuries: Complete, which means the spinal cord is severed somewhere, and incomplete, which means it is merely damaged. If your child’s spinal cord injuries appear to be incomplete. they may retain more function of their limbs or eventually regain more mobility.
In either case, however, the consequences of their injury will likely require extensive healing time, medical treatments, physical and occupational therapy. No spinal cord injury is ever “mild.” Even if your child’s injuries are incomplete, they may suffer from spinal shock. Spinal shock is a short-term loss of all reflexes from the spinal cord below the level of the injury.
In addition, spinal cord injuries put victims at risk for related problems. For example, if your child cannot move their limbs, they could be at risk of developing deep vein thrombosis (DVT), or blood clots. That can lead to life-threatening situations. Your child also might not be able to control their bowels or bladder and may need retraining therapies.
Holding the responsible party accountable can provide for your child’s needs
Once your child is discharged from the hospital into a rehabilitation center, they will begin physical therapy and other programs — and all of those things cost money. Understanding more about your child’s injury and prognosis can help you better understand their future needs and the compensation they deserve. A claim against the negligent driver who caused the wreck is important.