6 Types of Back Injuries from Car Accidents

clutching back at doctor's officeBack injuries resulting from car accidents often require extensive, costly medical treatment. These injuries can also leave you with long-lasting pain and suffering. There are several types of back injuries that commonly result from a vehicle collision.

1. Whiplash

Whiplash is one of the most common car accident injuries, causing damage to muscles, ligaments and tissues in the neck. It often happens in rear-end accidents because the head and neck are propelled forward while the body stays still, then causing the head and neck to come to a sudden stop.

It can take hours or days to notice whiplash symptoms, such as pain, stiffness, dizziness, fatigue or blurred vision. Whiplash injuries vary from mild to severe and often require physical therapy to heal.

2. Spinal Fractures

Spinal fractures are often associated with accidents where the seat belt fails to hold your body in place adequately. The lower half of the body remains still, but the torso and head are jostled around, resulting in spinal fractures.

One type of spinal fracture is a compression fracture, which is a small crack or fissure along the vertebrae. You may experience pain or other symptoms in the area of the compression fracture. Pain may increase with breathing and when you sit down or walk. Bladder issues, numbness and muscle weakness can also occur with a compression fracture.

Spinal fractures are treated differently, depending on severity. Some can heal with immobilization and rest, while others require surgery.

3. Herniated Discs

The discs cushioning the vertebrae in the spine can be subjected to a great deal of force in an accident. That force can cause the discs to shift, compressing nerves and causing pain and numbness. This is known as a herniated disc injury. This type of injury is also known as a bulging, ruptured or slipped disc.

These injuries are usually treated with conservative, non-invasive methods. Doctors often focus on pain relief and physical therapy. In some cases, surgery may be used to treat the injury if the herniation is severe and impacting other vital structures in the body.

4. Spondylolisthesis

When stress fractures force vertebrae to move out of place, spondylolisthesis occurs. This condition compresses nerves or the spinal canal. Numbness, pain, weakness and difficulty walking may result.

Treatment for spondylolisthesis typically depends on the location of the displaced vertebrae and the extent it is displaced. Surgery is one treatment option, as is physical therapy.

5. Spinal Stenosis

While spinal stenosis is not typically caused by a car accident directly, a collision can cause a person with asymptomatic spinal stenosis to begin feeling symptoms.

If your spinal canal is narrowing due to age and you are experiencing vertebral height degeneration, trauma may cause you to feel symptoms many years before you would have naturally. A spinal specialist can determine if a car accident caused the symptoms of spinal stenosis to accelerate, and provide you with treatment options.

6. Spinal Cord Injuries

Even low-speed car accidents can damage the spinal cord, when it is bruised, cut, or severed as a result of the force of the impact. If the spinal cord is lacerated or severed it can cause permanent paralysis.

Obtaining Compensation for Your Back Injury

Back injuries disrupt your work and daily activities, can cause severe pain, and require extensive medical care. Not only can this impact your finances, but also your quality of life.

You may be able to recover compensation for your expenses by filing an insurance claim or personal injury lawsuit. Consulting a personal injury lawyer can help you determine the best options for your situation. Your lawyer will review your case and gather the evidence needed to support your claim, working to get you the compensation you deserve.

Contact Our Lawyers for Help

If you have suffered a back injury from a car accident, let a personal injury attorney from our law firm review your case and advise you of the legal options available for pursuing compensation.

We are here to protect your rights after an accident. If you suffered a back injury due to an accident that was someone else’s fault, you may be able to recover compensation for your medical bills, lost wages, and pain and suffering.

Schedule a free, no obligation consultation with the Arnold Law Firm’s skilled auto accident lawyers in Sacramento today. We work on a contingency fee basis, so legal fees are only owed if we recover compensation for you.

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