Spinal Injuries in Auto Accidents
You or a passenger who has recently been hurt in a serious vehicle crash needs to monitor your medical condition for the hours and days following the accident. This is particularly important because the development of a spinal injury can be catastrophic. For spinal injuries in auto accidents, you need a car accident attorney to evaluate your case.
Basics of Spinal Injuries
The Mayo Clinic shares that automobile crashes are one of the leading causes of spinal injuries. In fact, considering all spinal injuries across the United States, car accidents make up 40% of these serious medical conditions. Auto accidents are so dangerous because your spine is a delicate and complex structure and it is not built to withstand the severe force of a vehicle accident. Since back and neck injuries are extremely common during car accidents, this can lead to multiple injuries including disc herniation, whiplash, and compression fractures.
Watching for Signs of Serious Spinal Injuries
It is important to identify these injury symptoms so that if you or someone else is hurt, you will know what to do. Even in a low speed accident, a person can sustain a spinal injury. Whiplash is one of the most common spinal injuries that occurs in vehicle accidents.
The force of the impact pushes the head forward and backward. Although a front-end collision is unlikely to turn into whiplash, rear end accidents are a leading cause of a whiplash diagnosis.
When Do Spinal Symptoms Occur?
Symptoms of whiplash will usually become present as soon as 24 hours after the accident, including stiffness and pain in the neck, headaches at the base of the skull, blurred vision, dizziness, and fatigue. Someone who has a whiplash injury might also deal with difficulty concentrating. Spinal fractures may also be referred to as compression fractures and are extremely dangerous. These are frequently found in the thoracic and the lumbar spine during a vehicle accident.
The upper body inside the car could be thrown to the front whereas the lower body is held stationary due to the seat belt. This can pull the vertebrae in your spine apart and spinal fractures can lead to serious spinal cord injuries because broken vertebrae are pushed out of place. The primary symptom of a spinal fracture is severe or moderate back pain that gets worse with movement but those individuals who have spinal cord injuries might also experience numbness, tingling, loss of bowel and bladder control and weakness. It is important to avoid moving an injured person who has a suspected compression fracture.
Contacting the authorities and getting paramedics on the scene immediately will give this person the best chance of recovery. Another common injury presented by people who have suffered in a vehicle accident is disc herniation. It is possible for a disc to herniate because discs will absorb the vast majority of the spinal impact in an accident. A disc may become herniated when the soft center pushes out through the disc’s exterior crack, irritating surrounding nerves. Some people might experience leg or arm pain and others may experience no symptoms in the immediate aftermath but report it later.
What to Do After a Serious Spinal Injury
Any neck or back pain following a vehicle injury should be reported immediately to your doctor to verify whether or not you have sustained serious spinal problems. There is a lot on the line when you have a spinal injury that could lead to significant medical bills and for this reason you need to share it directly with an experienced personal injury lawyer immediately.
Your personal injury lawyer can help you file a claim when a spinal injury has rendered you unable to work or live your life normally.
If you or a loved one has been injured in an accident, our car accident lawyers can help protect your rights and possibly get fair and just compensation for the physical and mental injuries you may have suffered as a result. For a free initial consultation, contact us by e-mail or call our offices, in New Brunswick at 732-247-3600 or in Somerville at 908-448-2560.