A spine injury suffered in a car accident has the potential to result in serious or life-changing situations. Trauma to the cervical, lumbar or thoracic spine could damage the spinal cord and result in paralysis. If you believe you have injured your spinal cord in a car accident, it is important that you seek and obtain immediate medical care. Not every spinal injury from a car accident could become apparent immediately. In such cases, the symptoms could become worse as the days or weeks go by.
If you suffered trauma to your neck or back, visit a doctor as soon as possible. Go to the emergency room after your accident. You may need to file a personal injury claim to recover compensation damages for medical expenses, lost wages and pain and suffering. An experienced Los Angeles car accident spinal injury lawyer can help provide you with more information about pursuing your legal rights.
To get help with your car accident injury in Los Angeles simply fill out our contact form to schedule a free consultation.
What is a Spine Injury from a Car Accident?
A spinal injury in a car accident has occurred when the forces in a collision cause the cervical, lumbar or thoracic spine to become injured. The spinal cord contains a network of nerves that perform the important function of connecting the brain to the rest of the body. When the spinal cord is damaged, the consequences can include paralysis, which causes permanent damage to the spinal cord and the nerves in the region. This causes a loss of ability to control movement or feel sensation in the affected areas.
When a person losses sensory and motor function as the result of a spinal injury, it is known as a complete paralysis. However, if the individual retains sensory or motor function, then the paralysis is said to be incomplete or partial.
Causes of Car Accident Spine Injury
Car accidents are among the leading causes of spinal cord injury. According to the National Spinal Cord Injury Statistical Center, car accidents have been the most leading cause of spinal injury (nearly 39%) every year since 2015. The significant violent forces in a car accident cause spinal cord trauma. It is important to note that a crash does not even need to be violent or severe to cause a spinal cord injury or even paralysis. The seat position of the vehicle and factors such as height, weight and gender of the victim could have an impact on the severity of the car accident spinal injury.
Common Symptoms of Car Accident Spine Injury
One of the most common symptoms of a spinal cord injury after a car accident is severe back pain. However, not all spinal injury symptoms manifest immediately after a crash. The seriousness of your symptoms could significantly worsen over time. Injury symptoms that develop several days or even weeks after the accident are known as delayed pain. Regardless of when you develop these symptoms, it is crucial to get medical attention right away.
Some of the symptoms in such cases may include:
Pain and stiffness in the neck
Headache at the base of the skull
Muscle spasms in the arms, legs or back
Dizziness or a confused feeling
Numbness or tingling in the arms or legs
Severe pain down the arms and legs
Lack of mobility
Loss of sensation such as ability to feel cold or heat
In some cases, victims may be also experience symptoms such as difficulty standing or walking, loss of bladder or bowel control, problems with breathing, loss of balance and coordination or weakness or paralysis anywhere in the body. Some may also experience sexual dysfunction, digestive issues or pinching or painful sensations along the spine.
Effects of a Spinal Cord Injury
Spinal cord injuries can present life-changing challenges. Accident victims will experience not just challenges relating to physical and mental health, but also experience changes to their quality of life. Even if you are on your path to recovery, the journey could be a long and arduous one. Spinal injury from a car accident could still leave you with chronic pain and lack of mobility for months after the crash.
Chronic pain is a sad reality for most car accident victims. Only 0.6% of spinal cord injury patients return to normal life while nearly 60% suffer from tetraplegia. About 40% suffer from paraplegia. Many go through lengthy hospitalization and require extensive rehabilitation and care – all of which could add up to millions of dollars over a person's lifetime.
Those wondering what their claim is worth can explore our personal injury claim calculator. To learn more about your claim it may be in your best interest to schedule a free consultation with a knowledgeable auto accident lawyer.
Common Spinal Cord Injuries After a Car Accident
Here are some of the common spinal injuries you may have suffered after a car accident:
Whiplash: This could result in stiffness and pain to the neck. This is one of those injuries that could surface weeks after the accident or could get worse weeks or even months later.
Herniated Discs: A car accident could cause spinal discs to shift or even tear. Symptoms of a herniated disc may include numbness and radiating pain. Common treatments include rest and chiropractic care, but in some cases, surgery may be needed.
Spinal fractures: The forces of a crash could cause a compression fracture of the spine. Symptoms of this serious injury could range from pain and numbness to problems with bladder control.
Facet joint injuries: Facet joints act like hinges between each vertebra. When these joints are injured, victims may need physical therapy, specific treatments, chiropractic care and ablation procedures.
Spinal stenosis: A car accident may bring on pain, numbness and other complications as a result of a spine that is already deteriorating.
Contacting an Experienced Lawyer
Regardless of the type of spinal injury you have suffered, you may be able to seek compensation for damages including medical expenses, lost income, hospitalization, cost of rehabilitation, permanent injuries, disabilities and pain and suffering. A spine injury from a car accident could turn your life upside down.
If you have suffered a spinal cord injury in a car accident, the experienced Los Angeles personal injury lawyers at the Vaziri Law Group can help you pay for medical care and secure maximum compensation for your losses. Call us today to find out how we can help you.