Perhaps you were driving along one of Minnesota’s roadways, following all of the traffic rules and ensuring that you were paying attention. Then, without warning, you felt an impact and lost control of your vehicle.
In the moments that followed, you may have also noticed that you had no control over your body. You couldn’t move. You may have attributed this to being trapped in your vehicle, but when emergency personnel arrived, it became clear to you that something was terribly wrong.
What happened next?
Emergency medical workers at the scene may have gingerly placed you into an ambulance or helicopter for transport, depending on the situation. Upon your arrival at the hospital, the following probably occurred:
- Once the emergency room personnel looked at you, hospital personnel almost immediately transferred you to the intensive care unit.
- Medical personnel worked to stabilize your spine, your lung function and your blood pressure.
- Doctors made sure that you had no difficulty breathing.
- Doctors attended to any other injuries that required treatment as efficiently as possible.
Once doctors stabilize you, the following tests may be performed to assess your spinal cord injury:
- You may undergo an MRI and a CT Scan to determine the extent of the damage to your spinal cord.
- An X-ray provides information regarding the damage to your spine.
- Your kidneys undergo an ultrasound to determine how they and your bladder function.
- After a few days, your doctor may perform touch tests to determine the existence, or non-existence, of sensation and mobility.
These tests help determine whether you have a complete or incomplete injury. A complete injury means that you have no sensation or mobility. An incomplete injury indicates that you have some feeling and ability to move. Your doctors will order these tests periodically to determine your condition as time goes by.
Whether you regain mobility and sensation depends on several factors. However, most often, the majority of recovery occurs within the first six months after your injury. Everybody is different, and so are healing rates. When you no longer require hospitalization, you may move into a rehabilitation center for further treatment.
The financial impact of your injury
As you can imagine, this type of injury comes with extensive medical treatment and intervention. The cost of your treatment could easily skyrocket. You may also need to adjust to your life such as using a wheelchair, needing modifications to your home and other life adjustments that also cost money.
Whether temporarily or permanently, you will more than likely need to make significant changes in how you live your daily life. You could miss a lot of time at work, if you are even able to return.
The last thing you need while you recover is to worry about your finances. If another party caused your accident, you may be able to recover compensation through a personal injury claim. These claims can be complex and frustrating, so you may benefit from enlisting some help to understand your rights and explore your legal options.