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Motorcyclists and paralysis: What you should know

Motorcyclists in Tennessee and across the U.S. should know that sharing the road with trucks, cars and tractor trailers can be extremely dangerous. In some cases, motorcycle collisions can lead to broken bones, loss of limbs, traumatic brain injuries and spinal cord damage. While medical attention and treatment may be able to mend some types of accident injuries, other injuries are more permanent, such as paralysis. According to the Mayo Clinic, motor vehicle accidents, including motorcycle accidents, are responsible for more than 35 percent of all new spinal cord injuries each year. At Pryor, Priest & Harbor, we understand that victims of motorcycle accidents may face long-term disabilities and physical challenges as a result of another driver’s negligence.

The spinal cord is made up of nerves that control voluntary functions, such as muscle movement, and involuntary functions, including bladder control and blood pressure. As nerves leave the spinal cord at different levels of the spinal column, they transmit crucial messages to the muscles, organs and other parts of the body. Paralysis can occur when these delicate nerve fibers become damaged or severed completely.

People who receive spinal cord injuries may become paraplegic or quadriplegic, depending on the exact point of injury along the spinal cord. Severe damage that occurs in the cervical vertebrae, or up toward the neck, may result in quadriplegia. This is where the victim loses the function of all four limbs, and the ability to control bodily functions. When spinal cord damage occurs in the lower back, the victim may become paraplegic, or unable to use his or her legs.

Motorcyclists face an increased risk of becoming paralyzed in an accident because they lack the solid structure and protection that a motor vehicle provides. To learn more information on motorcycle injuries, please visit our page on motor vehicle collisions

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