When you experience a car accident, it could have serious effects on your life. Catastrophic injuries can not only saddle you with medical bills, but can force you into a new occupation or completely disable you. One such injury related to car accidents is a spinal cord injury. A spinal cord injury, as explained by Mayo Clinic is any damage to your spinal cord or nerves. This type of injury results in permanent changes in your body functions below the site of the injury. 

How do you know if you have a spinal cord injury? Often, after a car accident, you will undergo x-rays, if brought to the hospital. This is normally how doctors can see right away if there is anything wrong with your spine. There are other symptoms, however, that could tell doctors and yourself that there is something wrong with your spine. 

For instance, you may find yourself unable to control your limbs after the injury. There are two types of spinal cord injuries and those include complete and incomplete injuries. If you lose all movement and sensory function beneath the injury, this is a complete injury. Incomplete injuries mean that you still have some form of motor or sensory function beneath the injury site. There are a lot of different variations of incomplete spinal injuries. 

Often spinal cord injuries lead to paralysis. This paralysis may involve your limbs, trunk, legs and pelvic organs. In other instances, it may involve part of your trunk, legs and your pelvic organs. The latter is paraplegia, whereas the former is tetraplegia.