When a Pennsylvania resident suffers a spinal injury, its severity depends on which vertebrae was injured. If the high-cervical nerves are injured, an individual may experience limited bowel control and numbness or paralysis of the arms and legs. It may be impossible for someone with a high-cervical injury to breath on his or her own or speak without assistance.
Furthermore, an individual with such an injury will be unable to drive a car and will likely need assistance 24 hours a day. Those who experience a low-cervical nerve injury may be able to perform basic tasks on their own or learn how to drive an adapted vehicle depending on where the injury occurred. If an injury occurs to the thoracic nerves or the lumbar nerves, an individual may be able to drive a car and walk with the help of braces.
An individual who suffers a sacral nerve injury will lose function in the hips or legs but will retain the ability to walk. Regardless of what part of the spine is impacted, an individual will not have voluntary control of his or her bowels or bladder. However, those who experience a thoracic, sacral or lumber nerve injury will be able to manage these issues with the right equipment.
People who have received a spinal cord injury caused by another person may wish to speak with an attorney. It may be possible to take legal action against the responsible person or entity. Through a trial or a negotiated settlement outside of court, a victim may be entitled to compensation for medical bills, long-term care costs and other amounts.