Vehicle accidents are among the leading causes of spinal injuries. Among the most severe spinal injuries are those involving a car crash with a tractor-trailer and those accidents involving a motorcyclist. Spine injuries are often extensive and demand costly and complex treatment. Many of these injuries cause permanent or long-lasting pain and suffering.
Several types of spinal injuries commonly result from auto accidents and other crashes.
- Spinal Fractures. Fractures often result when the seat belt is inadequate to maintain the position of your body. Typically, the lower part of your body remains still, but the head and torso move around from the force of the impact of the crash. A common type of fracture is a compression fracture. This is a small crack along the vertebrae. Pain in the area of the fracture is common. In some cases, pain increases with movement or when sitting. Sometimes these compression fractures cause bladder issues, muscle weakness, and numbness. Treatment of these fractures depends upon the severity of the fracture. Some heal quickly when you are immobilized; others require surgery.
- Neck injury. Often called whiplash, this common injury results when your body remains in place (due to your seat belt), but the head and neck move forward or sideways and then suddenly stop. This often causes damage to soft tissues in the neck. These injuries commonly occur with rear-end crashes. These injuries are not always apparent immediately. These injuries may range from mild to severe. More severe injuries require physical therapy.
- Herniated Disc. The discs in the spine cushion the vertebrae. The force of a serious accident may cause a shift in the positioning of the disc. When this happens, nerves are compressed and you experience pain and numbness. A herniated disc injury is also known as a bulging disc, a ruptured disc or a slipped disc. Most of these cases are treated conservatively with non-invasive treatments. If the herniation is very severe and other effects are felt and affect other parts of the body, surgery may be necessary.
- Spondylolisthesis. A stress fracture can sometimes force vertebrae out of alignment. This compresses nerves or even the spinal canal. The symptoms are usually numbness, difficulty walking, pain, and weakness. Treatment depends upon the precise location of the injury and its severity. In most cases, spondylolisthesis is treated with physical therapy or surgery.
- Spinal Cord Injuries. Any auto accident, even a low-speed crash can damage your spinal cord. The force of the impact would bruise, cut or sever the spinal cord. If it is lacerated or severed it can result in permanent paralysis.
- Spinal Stenosis. The narrowing of your spinal canal that is part of the aging process is not itself cause by a car crash. It can, however, cause you to experience symptoms years before you would have before the crash.
Spinal and spinal cord injuries sustained in an auto accident or other crash can be tragic and life-changing. These injuries can affect your ability to work, your ability to enjoy life as you did prior to the crash, and your relationships with your family.
If you or a loved one has sustained a spinal or spinal cord injury in an auto accident or other crash, and through no fault of your own, you may be entitled to seek financial compensation for your hurts and harms. These cases are complex, requiring both legal knowledge and medical knowledge. Your ability to obtain the maximum settlement or verdict may depend upon the experience and abilities of your personal injury attorney. When you need a trusted personal injury attorney who will fight for your future, call Altizer Law, P.C., in Roanoke, VA. Bettina Altizer and her team understand that when rebuilding your life after a spinal or spinal cord injury, it’s about the money.