Car accidents are a leading cause of traumatic spinal injuries, as the abrupt blow to the spinal cord can damage discs, ligaments, and vertebrae. The effects can be short- or long-term, which is why injured parties often file insurance claims or personal injury lawsuits to compensate for related medical costs and income loss. Here's a closer look at the types of serious spinal injuries and the legal options that might be available.
How Can the Spine Be Injured in a Car Accident?
The force of a car accident can damage the rubbery discs between vertebrae in the neck, mid-back, and lower back. When a disc is torn, the jellylike substance in the center leaks out and pushes against surrounding nerves. The resulting pressure can cause pain, tingling, muscle weakness, or numbness in the arm, leg, back, or neck.
Extensive physical therapy or surgery might be necessary to manage chronic pain and minimize nerve numbness or weakness. Without treatment, the injury could cause limited mobility or paralysis.
Getting ejected from a vehicle or jolted inside the cabin can cause vertebrae fractures, too. A burst fracture, for instance, is a break where the bone splinters. If the fragments damage the spinal cord, a person could become paralyzed or die.
People in head-on collisions are at risk of sustaining chance fractures. As the upper body is thrust forward, the lower body is held in place by the seatbelt. The sudden change in motion between the upper and lower body causes the vertebra to pull apart, usually in the area where the thoracic and lumbar spines meet. The damage to bones, ligaments, and discs causes intense back pain. Surgical screws and rods might be required to stabilize the weak spinal cord and ligaments.
What Legal Actions Can You Take?
If someone else's negligence or recklessness caused an accident, a personal injury attorney will help you file a claim against the at-fault party's insurer. You'll include imaging scans, medical records, and accident reports with the claim. By reviewing this evidence, the insurer will gain insight into the severity of the spinal injuries, prognosis, and treatment plan.
If settlement negotiations with the insurance company hit a stalemate, your counselor will file a personal injury lawsuit against the negligent party. This will seek economic damages to compensate for medical bills, rehabilitation, lost earnings, and property damage, such as vehicle repairs. Noneconomic damages cover loss of enjoyment of life, emotional distress, and disfigurement caused by the accident.
Our attorneys at Starks Byron in Acworth, GA, are committed to helping clients win compensation after traumatic car accidents. You can trust the lawyers to fight for damages to relieve your financial burden, so you can concentrate on recovery. Learn about clients' experiences working with the firm on our website and Facebook page. Call (404) 905-3261 for a consultation regarding your injury.
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