The back is a highly sensitive region of the body. In a motor vehicle accident, the spine, discs, and nerves in the back can easily be injured.
After an accident, if a victim suffers from a debilitating back injury, it’s important that they speak with a personal injury attorney in Mesa to have their case assessed. An attorney may be able to retrieve compensation for the back injuries, including long-term care, so that the victim does not have to financially suffer.
Understanding the Anatomy of the Back and Neck
According to the North American Spine Society, the spine consists of a long chain of discs, bones, muscles, and ligaments. It extends from the base of the human skull and ends at the tailbone. The neck region, referred to as the cervical spine, is what supports the head and protects the spine. It also allows the human body to move fluidly and function in activities.
The major structural component of the spine is the vertebrae.
Back Injuries are More Serious Than Thought
Most people assume back injuries are temporary, but in reality, these injuries can be serious and debilitating. For some, the injury may be temporary, but for others, a back injury could last for years.
When a back injury is caused by trauma, whether from a vehicle accident or fall, a patient may suffer more extensive injuries that require therapy, surgery, or constant pain medication.
What are the Common Back Injuries in a Car Accident?
There are some injuries more common to the back and neck in a car accident than others. These include:
- Disc injuries
- Spinal cord damage
- Neck injury
- Slipped or torn discs
- Compression fracture of the spine
- Nerve damage
- Fracture of the vertebrae
- Strains, sprains, and muscle spasms in the back
A back injury varies in severity. However, they are one of the harder injuries for a physician to treat. Some injuries heal with rest, while others require more extensive therapies and treatments.
Back injuries can force a victim to take extensive time off work, and lose out on the income they need to pay bills, cover medical costs, or repair their vehicle. Some may remain inactive for extended periods of time, which leads to other health complications.
In severe injuries, a person may be permanently paralyzed.
Assessing the Severity of Back Injuries
The spine has three major components, which consist of the cervical vertebrae, thoracic vertebrae, and lumbar area. Injuries in these regions can help determine the treatment and severity. These injuries include:
- Lumbar Injuries: The lumbar consists of five vertebrae, and it is one of the strongest areas of the spine. It is what helps stabilize the entire body. A sprain or strain to this area can be extremely debilitating, and the victim may have minimal movement.
- Thoracic Injuries: These are the most severe type of spinal injuries, because this region of the spine connects to the chest. Fractures in this area can result in permanent damage to the nerves.
- Herniated Discs: Discs help cushion the vertebrae and are the cornerstone that protects the spine. The disc can herniate which means it displaces itself. This leads to sudden and very intense pain and may require surgery to repair.
- Spinal Cord Damage: This is the most severe injury in a car accident. Once the spinal cord is damaged, the victim often suffers from permanent paralysis, blood clots, bleeding, pneumonia, spinal fluid complications, and loss of reflexes.
The Cost of Treating Back Injuries
Most victims turn to personal injury attorneys in Mesa because of the costs associated with treating their back injury. From the constant diagnostic tests to surgeries, the cost to rehabilitate a back injury may be extensive.
There also may be the need for constant therapeutic treatments, such as pain medications, injections, physical therapy and chiropractic treatments.
In surgical cases, portions of the spine may need to be removed, the vertebrae adjusted, or a fusion completed to correct herniated discs and bulges inside the spine.
The Importance of Contacting a Personal Injury Attorney in Mesa
When someone is injured in an accident and suffers from a catastrophic back or spinal cord injury, it is important that they contact a personal injury attorney as soon as possible. An attorney can better collect evidence and mount a case for an appropriate settlement the earlier they are contacted. Also, the sooner an attorney is involved, the quicker the claim may go.
Medical bills, lost wages, or the inability to function are life-changing circumstances after a car accident. No one should have to suffer those consequences for an accident they did not cause. Instead, they should contact a legal advocate to assist them with their claim.
A personal injury attorney can negotiate with insurers to reach a settlement, and if necessary, represent a client’s case in court to ensure their client receives compensation for future treatments, lost wages, and pain and suffering.
Schedule a no obligation consultation with a personal injury attorney in Mesa by calling 480-898-9700, or request more information online.