After any type of serious car accident, many people hope that the individuals involved escape uninjured. Unfortunately, these accidents commonly cause severe injuries that can sometimes prove life-altering. If you have suffered a severe injury to your spine as a result of a motor vehicle crash, you may face a different future than you imagined.

Depending on the area of the spine at which your injury occurred, the effects could differ considerably. Typically, if the affected area impacts a higher area of the spine, a greater chance exists for extremely negative outcomes to bodily functions and abilities.

Cervical nerves

The vertebrae at the top of the spine that associate with cervical nerves have identification labels of C1 through C8. When a spinal injury affects any of the C1 through C4 vertebrae, you may experience the most severe outcomes, including:

  • Paralysis of the limbs and trunk areas of the body
  • May lose ability to breathe on your own
  • Lose ability to control bowel movements and bladder functions
  • Impairment or reduction of speech ability
  • Need assistance with daily tasks, including eating, bathing and other activities
  • Need round-the-clock care
  • Lose ability to operate a vehicle

When injuries occur to the C5 through C8 vertebrae, the outcomes may prove less extreme but are still severe, such as:

  • Partial or total paralysis of wrists, hands, legs and trunk areas of the body
  • Likely retain the ability to raise arms and bend elbows
  • Weakened breathing but retain use of diaphragm
  • Need assistance with certain daily activities
  • Little or no control over bowel movements or bladder function

With injuries relating to the C5 through C8 vertebrae, the exact effects may have greater variances depending on the specific vertebrae damaged.

Thoracic nerves

When injuries occur to the middle area of the spine, they affect the thoracic nerves, which identify as the T1 through T12 vertebrae. Injuries to these vertebrae typically cause negative impacts to the trunk area of the body as well as the legs. Often, these injuries lead to paraplegia. While injuries to this area may have less severe outcomes than to the upper part of the spine, you may still experience substantial decrease in ability and function.

Due to the changes that spinal injuries can have on your life, you may find yourself needing special care and equipment to manage your everyday needs. Because making such modifications can prove costly, you may wonder whether you should seek compensation from the driver considered at fault for your injuries. Gaining information on personal injury claims in Tennessee may help you determine whether taking such action could suit your needs.