With Daylight Saving Time soon ending and winter weather approaching, driving in Michigan becomes considerably more hazardous than usual. And more hazards mean more car crashes, which in turn means more chances for you to suffer catastrophic injuries in a car crash, such as a spinal cord injury that could leave you permanently partially or totally paralyzed.
To understand SCIs and the damage they cause, the Mayfield Clinic counsels that you need to understand your spinal column, especially the 33 vertebrae located there as follows:
- Cervical region – your neck with seven vertebrae in it
- Thoracic region – your upper back with 12 vertebrae in it
- Lumbar region – your lower back with five vertebrae in it
- Sacral region – the area between your lower back and your tailbone with five fused vertebrae in it
- Coccyx region – your tailbone with four fused vertebrae in it
An SCI causes you to lose muscle and nerve function below your point of injury. Consequently, the higher up your SCI, the more paralysis you will suffer.
If your SCI occurs in your lumbar region or the lower portion of your thoracic region, you will likely become paraplegic. This means that you will have little or no voluntary movement or sensation in your legs and feet, plus the parts of your torso below your naval. Since you will be unable to walk, you will need to use a wheelchair in order to move around.
If your SCI occurs in your cervical region or the upper portion of your thoracic region, you will likely become quadriplegic. This means that you will have little or no voluntary movement or sensation in your arms, hands, legs or feet, plus virtually all of your torso. Quadriplegia will severely restrict your life since not only will you need a wheelchair, you will need others to help you get in and out of it as well as provide you with all of your daily needs such as eating, drinking, bathing, dressing, etc. In a worst-case scenario, you may need mechanical assistance to breathe.
This is general educational information and not intended to provide legal advice.