Three common back injuries caused by motor vehicle accidents
The back is a complex network of nerves, tissue, and bones. Tissues provide flexibility while connecting the many small bones or vertebrae that serve as a hollow tube to protect the nerves that make up our spinal cord. A sudden impact, like that from a car accident, can cause serious problems to this complex system. Three of the more common examples of back injuries that can occur after this type of impact include:
- Whiplash. This injury occurs when the head and neck move backwards and forwards at a rapid rate. This injury is discussed in more detail in a previous article, available here, and is common after a rear-end collision. It may feel like a strain or sprain and others may encourage you to write it off as a minor injury. This can be a mistake depending on the severity of whiplash, as the injury can result in a lifetime of back problems.
- Herniated disk. One of the benefits of the design of the spine is the presence of fluid within disks between the vertebral bones. This fluid sacs allow the body to absorb force. However, extreme force like that present during a serious car accident can cause these disks to slip, crack or rupture. This can lead to compression of a nerve, potentially causing numbness, weakness, and pain in the back and other areas of the body. These other areas can include the neck, shoulder, arms, hands, legs, or feet.
- Fractures. Significant pressure from the car crash can cause a crack or fissure within the vertebral bones. If severe, this can lead to damage to the spinal cord. When this happens, the spine itself can be bruised, damaged, or even lacerated. This can cause permanent damage and paralysis.
The injury can result in the need for surgical intervention and a lengthy treatment plan. This can lead to questions about the expense of the injury.
Are there legal remedies to help cover the expense of a back injury after a car crash?
In some cases, the answer is yes. If the accident involved another vehicle and you believe the other driver was operating the vehicle in a negligent or reckless manner, the other driver may be liable for the injury. A driver could be negligent when they miss a stop sign or drive too fast for the conditions. Recklessness can occur when driving while under the influence of drugs or alcohol. If involved in an accident and you believe the other driver was at fault, you can hold that driver and their insurance accountable through a civil claim. This can result in funds to help cover the expense resulting from the accident like the cost to treat the injuries, missed wages, and the potential for future medical care needs.