Spinal cord injuries are some of the most feared traumatic injuries possible after a car crash. The average person dreads the idea of losing sensation and motor function permanently, often because of how they see such injuries depicted in the media. Not only do mainstream media depictions of spinal cord injuries potentially contribute to the mental health consequences of such injuries, but they may lead people to the wrong conclusion after a car crash.
The unintentional mistakes that someone makes when they have a major injury after a collision can influence their long-term health and also their chances of fully recovering the financial losses generated by their injury. The two common mistakes below can lead to devastating consequences for those who have unknowingly suffered spinal cord injuries as a result a car crash.
Only checking themselves for complete injuries
It is surprising how many people believe that they can competently assess themselves for spinal cord damage after a car crash. The overly-simplistic claim that a spinal cord injury will result in the full loss of motor function and sensation below the location of the injury is to blame for people overlooking stable and incomplete spinal cord injuries.
An incomplete injury might not produce those obvious symptoms right after a crash. In fact, people may not notice any signs of an injury at all until some kind of secondary trauma worsens the spinal cord injury, potentially leading to permanent functional limitations. Any high-speed collision could easily lead to an incomplete spinal cord injury that might worsen without prompt medical evaluation and treatment.
Not seeing the right doctor
Even when someone knows they have suffered a spinal cord injury, they might handle the injury improperly. All too often, people go to the emergency room for care after a crash and then expect to follow up with their primary care physician. Between delays just getting an appointment and a general practitioner’s lack of familiarity with spinal cord injuries, it might be multiple weeks before a patient actually sees a spinal specialist. At that point, they may face an uphill battle if they want to pursue compensation from the other driver or their insurance company.
Those who see the right medical specialists as soon as possible after a car crash will both potentially have a better long-term chance at recovery and a less challenging path toward compensation in the future. As a result, learning about and avoiding common mistakes made by those with serious injuries after car crashes may help people protect their finances and their physical health after a wreck.