Accidents happen on the California roadways, in workplaces, theme parks and other facilities. Lives can change in the blink of an eye if catastrophic injuries like spinal cord damage occur. While the immediate pain, extensive treatment, medical costs and loss of income could be overwhelming, severe damage to the spinal cord can cause paralysis.
Messages to and from the brain are relayed through the spinal column, and damage to the nerve cells can block those messages. The spinal cord has four regions, and the level of paralysis depends on the location of the injury. The sacral region is the tailbone at the base of the spine, which, if injured, could cause loss of some function in the legs and hips. If the lumbar section — the five vertebrae above the tailbone — is damaged, all functions below that area can be paralyzed.
The next 12 vertebrae are in the thoracic region, and severe damage in this area could cause paraplegia, which is the total loss of mobility below the waist. Damage to the fourth region, the cervical spine, could lead to quadriplegia. This region contains the seven top vertebrae, and loss of all function and mobility below the neck area can result.
Catastrophic injuries such as these that cause immobility affect not only the injured individual but also his or her family members. If the negligence of another party caused the injury, there might be grounds for a claim to recover damages. An experienced California personal injury attorney can work to recover past and future losses related to the incident that caused paralysis.