Every day approximately 7,000 people are injured in car accidents or other accidents (i.e. slip and fall, work accident, falling off a ladder). Injuries from accidents can vary from minor scrapes and bruises to much more serious injuries. When involved in an accident, back and spinal cord injuries can be some of the most severe.
In a car accident, the acceleration and deceleration can cause the body to quickly shift and overstretch. The rapid force exerted during the unnatural stretch causes discs along the spine to become twisted or pushed out of alignment. This could also cause the backbone to fracture and spinal cord injury. If you have suffered a back injury as a result of someone’s negligence, contact a Fresno personal injury attorney to discuss your personal injury claim options.
Common Accidents That Cause Back Injuries
- Car accidents
- Motorcycle accidents
- Slip & Falls
- Occupational/Work related
- Sports injuries
Types of Back Injury
Sprains and strains – A back sprain or strain usually occurs when muscles surrounding the spine are stretched too far and small tears occur. The tearing of the muscles and ligaments commonly cause a microscopic amount of bleeding into the muscle, which in turn results in swelling and painful muscle spasms. Muscle spasms range in intensity from mild twitches to severe pain. Pain and spasms are the body’s way of informing you that a muscle has been injured and requires protection from further use.
Herniated discs – A herniated disc is not painful but the material that leaks out of the disc pinches and or irritates a nearby nerve. This causes radicular pain, pain that radiates into other body parts. An example of radiating pain is pain from your neck to your arm that radiates into your back and down your leg.
Fractured vertebrae – Compression fractures are considered simple when compared to burst fractures. In a compression fracture, the bone collapses upon itself and it gets pushed together. In a burst fracture pieces of the fractured bone explode into the tissues around the spine (including the nerves in the spinal cord). One of the worst injuries is fracture-dislocation. In a fracture-dislocation, a loose piece of bone remains jammed between the ends of the dislocated bones. This injury usually requires surgical repair.
Symptoms of Back and Spinal Cord Injury
Back strains and muscle spasms are common back injuries following an accident. This type of injury is usually managed with anti-inflammatory medications, resting, and applying ice to the injured area. If you’re symptoms do you not improve you should seek medical care. Some symptoms of back and spinal cord injury include:
- Weakness in your leg muscles
- Instability when walking and a decrease in the distance that you’re able to walk
- Pain and numbness that travels down your legs especially if it’s aggravated by sneezing coughing or sitting down
- Pain that wakes you up at night and becomes worse when you are lying down
- Numbness in your buttocks, around the anus, or genital area
- Difficulty starting your urinary stream and not being able to feel your urinary stream
If you have experienced any of the above-referenced symptoms, seek immediate medical care and obtain a proper diagnosis.
How Can An Attorney Help Me Get Compensation?
If you have suffered a back or spinal cord injury as a result of someone else’s negligence, you may be entitled to compensation. Call our office today and schedule a no charge evaluation of your accident and injuries.