Spinal injuries can have devastating effects on a person’s health, well-being, and life. Unfortunately, spinal injuries are commonly sustained in motor vehicle accidents. The force of impact felt by vehicle occupants can wreak havoc on the spinal column. The results are often painful and can result in difficulties with daily living activities, such as driving, walking long distances, or completing household chores. If you have sustained a spinal injury in a car accident caused by the negligent actions or inaction of another, you may be able to receive compensation for your injuries to help recover the losses associated with medical care as well as other life changes and losses associated with your injuries.
Spinal Injuries Caused by Car Accidents
While the entire body is at risk of injury in a car accident, spine injuries not only appear to be the most common, but also the most severe. The spinal cord consists of bundles of sensitive nervous tissue encasing the vertebrae. In a car accident, the tissue, discs, and vertebrae of the spinal column are all at risk of injury.
Whiplash is a common soft tissue spinal injury often associated with car accidents. Whiplash occurs as a result of the head being pushed forward and rapidly snapping back. It usually localizes in the neck, but it can also run down to impact the rest of the spine going down the back. A whiplash victim may also experience other trauma to the spine in addition to the whiplash injury.
Herniated discs are also common spinal injuries caused by car accidents. There are soft discs between vertebrae that prevent the vertebrae from rubbing together, causing painful friction. If impacted in a car accident, these discs may herniate or rupture. Without this spongy buffer between the vertebrae, the rubbing together of the discs can cause a person to experience numbness and severe, radiating pain throughout different parts of the body.
In some car accident cases, the vertebrae itself may be fractured. The pressure on the spine caused by the force of impact in a car accident can cause a compression fracture of the spine. Like a herniated disc, a spinal fracture can result in numbness and radiating pain. Spinal injuries may also result in paralysis or difficulties breathing. It can also impact things like bladder control. Those accident victims suffering from a spinal fracture may need surgery to address the injury. Physical therapy is also likely necessary in order to recover as much as possible from the injury.
To protect yourself and car passengers against spinal injuries should you be involved in a car crash, always wear your seatbelt and have passengers do the same. Make sure that children are properly situated in car seats. For older children, they should be in booster seats or properly fitted seatbelts depending on their size. Additionally, make sure your airbags are fully operational. Be a defensive driver and follow all rules of the road.
Pennsylvania Personal Injury Attorneys
Even when we are doing everything we can to keep ourselves and our passengers safe on the road, the negligent actions of another can lead to car accident injuries. If you have been injured in a car accident, talk to the trusted attorneys at Cooper Schall & Levy. We are here to fight for you. Contact us today.