Learn the Locations of Spinal Cord Injuries and Disability it Causes from our Oregon Trucking Accident Lawyers
Spinal cord injuries, or SCI, are an injury that could occur in any auto accident. But this is particularly true in a trucking accident with a large commercial vehicle such as a semi tractor trailer, big rig, box truck, or other 18 wheeler.
This is because these large vehicles have significantly more momentum and force behind them. When they collide with another vehicle, the collision can be explosive. While the spinal cord is usually well-protected by the spinal column’s vertebrae, thick muscle, and cushioning connective tissue, the shockwave from a truck collision could cause damage right these shields. Our Oregon trucking accident lawyers know this to be true and explain some of the locations of spinal cord injuries and disability that could be caused by the damage.
Basic Spinal Cord Anatomy
The spinal cord is a soft piece of tissue that originates at the base of the skull and extends to the lower back The brain and spinal cord are part of the central nervous system. The spinal cord is protected by the vertebrae which make up the spinal column. Other nerves extend past the spinal cord from the vertebrae and extent to the tips of your fingers and toes. These nerves govern sensation, movement, and other functions. These nerves are known as the peripheral nervous system. The messages from the peripheral nervous system are sent up the spinal cord and to the brain for processing, which is then relayed back down the spinal cord and to the nerves again.
This is how pain works. For example, if you touch a hot surface with your hand the peripheral nerves will sent the message up the spinal cord and to the brain and say this is hot and painful. The brain will process the information which says that is bad for the body and whatever is touching the hot surface should get away from that dangerous stimuli. The brain then sends a message back down the spinal cord to tell your hand to part to move off the hot surface. The messages travels to the motor nerves of the peripheral nervous system in your hand to tell your hand to move off the hot surface.
When there is damage to the spinal cord it could result in disability. Locations of spinal cord injuries and disability all dictate what will and will not be sent up and down the spinal cord for processing.
Damage to the Spinal Cord Prevents Messages
When an Oregon trucking accident causes damage to the spinal cord, it can stop messages from being sent up and down the spinal cord. This means that the messages from the brain are not being received by the peripheral nervous system to move. This also means that messages from the peripheral nervous system regarding sensation are not being sent to the brain to process.
Locations of Spinal Cord Injuries and Disability
The location of the spinal cord injury affects what happens with sensation. The location is therefore very important when gauging the severity of the spinal cord injury and the disability from an Oregon trucking accident. Here is a general guide to locations of spinal cord injuries and disability caused by it:
Cervical spinal cord injury (neck) – Injuries here could
affect nearly the entire body. The closer to the skull, the more likely that a person may be a quadriplegic from a cervical spinal cord injury. Lower on the neck in the cervical range could result in some function of the arms and upper torso.
Thoracic spinal cord injury (mid-back) – This is a rare spot for a spinal cord injury but it can happen in powerful trucking accidents and 18 wheeler wrecks. SCIs here cause paralysis or weakness in the legs, including loss of sensation or coordination. Sometimes injuries can cause bowel, bladder, and sexual dysfunction. Complications with the legs are much more common than complications with the hands, but that is possible in higher thoracic injuries.
Lumbar spinal cord injuries (lower back) – SCI in the lumbar back can cause weakness and disability to the legs. Unless it is very high on the lumbar area, there is usually going to be some movement or sensation in the legs—even with a full severance of the spinal cord. Most lumbar SCIs cause general muscle lack of sensation or function, including the leg muscles, buttocks, and foot. Sometimes there is sexual dysfunction as well and incontinence issues.
If you or a loved one have been seriously injured or killed as a result of a trucking accident or collision contact the Oregon Truck Accident Lawyers at Kuhlman Law at our number below or fill out the intake form. We offer a free initial case evaluation and handle cases on a contingency fee which means that you pay no money unless we recover.
Our law firm handles cases throughout the state including Bend and Portland Oregon, Redmond, Central Oregon, Sisters, Madras, Multnomah County, Deschutes County, Salem, Eugene, Corvallis, Lane County, Medford, Gresham, La Grande, Albany, Medford, Beaverton, Umatilla, Pendleton, Cottage Grove, Florence, Oregon City, Springfield, Keizer, Grants Pass, McMinnville, Tualatin, West Linn, Forest Grove, Wilsonville, Newberg, Roseburg, Lake Oswego, Klamath Falls, Happy Valley, Tigard, Ashland, Milwakie, Coos Bay, The Dalles, St. Helens, Sherwood, Central Point, Canby, Troutdale, Hermiston, Silverton, Hood River, Newport, Prineville, Astoria, Tillamook, Lincoln City, Hillsboro, and Vancouver, Washington.
We also have an office in Minneapolis, Minnesota and take Trucking accident cases throughout the Twin Cities, including St. Paul, Hennepin County, Ramsey County, Dakota County, Washington County, Anoka County, Scott County, Blaine, Stillwater, and Saint Paul Minnesota.
Please act quickly, there is a limited time (Statute of Limitations) in which you can bring a claim under the law.