No matter what kind of car crash you're involved in—a side-impact, rear-end, head-on, or rollover crash—you could suffer a serious injury to your back. Whether a minor fender-bender results in a mild sprain or a rollover crash causes a fractured spine, you're likely in for ongoing and expensive medical treatments in order to recover from the pain and paralysis that can result—if recovery is even possible.
We discuss the kinds of back injuries you can sustain in a car crash and the settlement you'll require to support a maximum medical recovery.
Common Types of Back Injuries
According to the Mayo Clinic, car and motorcycle accidents account for the majority of new spinal cord injuries each year—over 35 percent. Not all back injuries caused by motor vehicle accidents are that serious, but even minor injuries can cause long-term suffering. Often, victims of car accidents don’t even notice the symptoms of a back injury until days after the crash, delaying treatment and sometimes harming their chances of a fair settlement.
Common types of back injury that can occur include the following:
- Severed spinal cord. By far the most serious back injury. When the nerves of the spinal cord are severed by broken bones or foreign objects, loss of sensation and motor control can be the result. Quite often, this condition is permanent.
- Herniated and bulging discs. Trauma to the back can cause one or more of the 23 disks located in the vertebrae along the spine to break open or bulge out. These painful conditions may need to be repaired with surgery.
- Soft tissue bruising and tearing. With a violent impact, the ligaments, tendons, and muscles surrounding the vertebra can stretch or tear. The resulting pain can be unbearable, depending on how many nerve endings are affected.
- Compression fractures. The force of impact in a car crash can cause the front part of the vertebrae to compress downward and fracture. Although compression fractures are usually caused by osteoporosis, the violence of a car crash can also cause similar fractures.
- Axial bursts. The force of a collision can cause multiple vertebrae in the cervical and lumbar regions to fracture in all directions or burst. This is a much more serious injury than a compression fracture because damage to the spinal cord is more likely.
- Flexion distraction fractures. These fractures are caused by head-on crashes when the occupants are wearing seatbelts. As the upper vertebra and spinal cord bend violently forward in a crash, the seatbelt firmly holds the lower back and pelvis in place. This motion places so much pressure on the upper back that the vertebra can fracture.
- Transverse process fractures. Depending on the point of impact, the car occupant's spine can be forced forward, backward, or to one side, twisting the vertebra and spine beyond what is natural and resulting in a crosswise fracture.
- Dislocation fractures. These are among the most common back injuries caused by car accidents. When one or more vertebrae fracture, muscles and ligaments can be shifted into the damaged area, pulling other vertebrae with them and causing a dislocation.
Treatment for Back Injuries Can be Costly
When you suffer a back injury in a motor vehicle crash that wasn't your fault, you'll need to fight for the maximum possible settlement. Treatment for chronic back pain can be expensive and continuous. In the case of permanent paralysis, ongoing related health concerns and day-to-day personal care can cost an astronomical amount of money.
Working with a car accident attorney who has experience with traumatic injury ensures that you get the treatment you need, including the following:
- Physical therapy
- Chiropractic care
- Spinal fusion
- Artificial Disc Replacement
The car accident attorneys at Kansas City Accident Injury Attorneys have experience with back injuries and will work with you to see that you get the medical treatment you need and the financial recovery you deserve. Connect with us through the link on this page today.