A healthy spine is something most of us take for granted. Yet if we suffer an injury to our spinal cord, we immediately understand just how critically important a healthy spine is to one’s well-being. Without it, even the most basic daily tasks can become excruciatingly painful or even impossible to perform.
According to data from the U.S. federal government, there are roughly 17,000 serious spinal cord injuries each year — and auto accidents are one of the primary causes of these injuries.
Let’s take a closer look at spinal injuries, and how the right legal representation can help ensure that victims are fairly compensated.
The Facts About Spinal Injuries
Spinal cords contain a mix of tissue, nerves and vertebrae and run from the lower back to the brain. The spine has three sections (lumbar, thoracic and cervical) and plays an essential role in the central nervous system. Any injury to the spine may manifest in a variety of different areas. Some of the more common types of spinal injuries include:
- Ruptured or herniated disc — trauma (from an auto accident, for example) may push the inner layer of cartilage through the outer layer, resulting in a rupture or herniation
- Bulging disc — when a disc protrudes from its normal alignment, it often causes serious pain
- Fractured vertebrae — trauma can cause vertebrae to crack, leading to nerve injury or spinal pressure
- Pinched nerves — when a disc bulges and presses on a nerve it can cause shooting nerve pain
- Paraplegia — paralysis from the waist down
- Quadriplegia — paralysis from the neck down
- Stenosis and spondylolysis — these are typically naturally occurring degenerative conditions but they may also be brought on by trauma
All of these injuries can be caused by an auto accident. The force of one car striking another can jolt a person’s neck or spine with tremendous force.
Consequences of Serious Spinal Injury
While mild to moderate trauma may lead to pain, numbness, tingling, muscle weakness, loss of flexibility etc., serious collisions can have a devastating impact on one’s quality of life — or potentially end that life altogether. Serious auto accidents — which are responsible for about one-third of all spinal injuries — often lead to permanent paralysis, crippling lifelong pain or dramatic loss of motion.
Contacting the Right Spinal Accident Attorney
If you’ve been in a serious auto accident and suffered a spinal injury, it’s important that you follow some smart protocols. First, contact the authorities and seek medical attention. If possible, document the accident scene with photos and video and try to gather witness contact information. You’ll also want to maintain a running tally of any expenses related to the accident, such as medical bills and lost wages.
Ultimately, an experienced attorney can help ensure that you receive fair compensation for the injuries you’ve suffered. At Brickley Law, we have the experience to handle the most complex cases — and the compassion to treat all clients in the manner they deserve. Contact us today for a free consultation.