Any type of physical trauma to the head or neck can result in lifelong damage that is not always apparent at first glance. Victims of car accidents and trauma suffered in other settings require medical assessment to protect against worsened injuries from lack of treatment. The Mayo Clinic defines spinal injury and offers some of the tell-tale signs. California victims should when possible seek a prompt medical evaluation.

The immediate signs of these injuries include visible twisting of the spine, pain or pressure at any point along the length of the spine and loss of feeling or strength in the extremities. Other signs can point to temporary or permanent paralysis, like an inability to move, uncontrollable bowel movements and breathing impairment.

The Mayo Clinic clearly states that victims of workplace and car accidents and showing any potential for spinal cord injuries should not be moved except by medical professionals. The reason for this is the condition could be worsened severely up to the possibility of quadriplegia and death without medical attention. Due to the sometimes hidden symptoms of an injury, it is generally considered best not to move victims at all.

There are a variety of ways that a person can incur a spinal cord injury, but the devastation to a person’s way of life can be the same regardless of its cause. Lifelong medical care and treatment may be necessary, and the victim in many cases will no longer be able to work. When the injury is due to another person’s negligence, such as a motor vehicle accident caused by an impaired or distracted driver, an attorney can often assist the victim in seeking compensation through a personal injury lawsuit.