Injuries resulting from an auto collision in Knoxville can be devastating. Even if you are fortunate enough to survive, an injury that is severe enough can damage your spinal cord and result in paralysis. Forms of paralysis can range from localized loss of sensation in a hand or foot, to losing the ability to walk, to even a catastrophic loss of mobility that leaves you unable to move without assistance.

The Mayo Clinic explains that while a number of events can cause damage to a person’s spinal cord, such as falls or impacts caused in sporting events, automobile accidents are actually the leading cause of spinal cord injuries. In fact, each year nearly half of all spinal cord injury cases are the result of a vehicular accident. Some forms of paralysis are mild, but others may be more severe.

The severity of your injury plus where your spinal cord is damaged will be major factors in the amount of paralysis you will experience. If the lumbar region, also known as the lower back region, receives damage, you would likely be afflicted with paraplegia. You would lose your ability to walk or experience sensation in your body below where the spinal cord was injured. Paraplegia can also result in a loss of bladder and bowel control.

More severely, car accidents can turn people into quadriplegics. If the spinal cord is damaged in the upper body, at the thoracic or cervical region, you would most likely lose sensation throughout much of your body, not only in your legs and feet, but also in your torso, arms and hands. Some quadriplegics do not even have the ability to breathe without the assistance of a medical device.

The life-altering results of an auto accident can necessitate medical care for your injuries, perhaps for the rest of your life. Paralysis victims should be aware of their rights under the law and that they can pursue damages against a negligent party that caused their injuries. Keep in mind that this article is written as general information and not as legal advice.