Spinal Injuries from Car Accidents
Injuries to the spine and spinal cord are painful, usually require an extended recovery time and can cause temporary or permanent loss of motor control over some parts of the body.
If you have a spinal cord injury as a result of a motor vehicle accident that was someone else’s fault, you need to talk to car accident injury attorney Jim Leach. Spinal cord injuries can incur sizable medical expenses and affect your earning potential and quality of life. Getting the compensation you deserve for those expenses is paramount. Jim and his team have years of experience getting results for people whose insurance companies have denied claims or offered inadequate coverage for their car accident expenses and damages.
Contact our offices today and let Jim Leach Attorneys at Law walk you through your options. There is no charge to talk to Jim about your case, and we don’t charge attorney’s fees unless and until we recover compensation for you. If your case requires assistance from a lawyer, we are prepared to put our experience, resources and persistence to work for you.
If you have a serious case, here is why you need a serious lawyer like Jim Leach:
- He tailors his service to your needs, whether in consultations, at the negotiating table, or in the courtroom.
- He has a lot of courtroom experience and is not afraid to take a case to trial – which actually makes it easier to settle cases for fair compensation.
- Jim Leach is a former prosecutor and has strong community ties, and plenty of experience taking on big insurance companies.
- Our advanced case management system keeps your case moving forward so that nothing falls between the cracks.
Causes of Spinal Injuries in Car Accidents
Car accidents are one of the leading causes of spinal injuries. Spinal injuries are common in car accidents because of the force of impact involved in crashes and because of physiological changes after the initial impact. Some bones and nerve cells may be damaged during the initial impact, but during the days that follow the impact, the loss of oxygen and physiological chemical release at the site of injury can cause further damage to the spinal cord.
The impact can cause the vertebrae (bones of the spine protecting the spinal cord) to become displaced or injured, causing localized swelling and possibly damaging the spinal cord, which is the bundle of nerves that passes through it. Spinal cord injuries are often more severe and permanent than injuries to the vertebrae, and may result in loss or change in sensation, strength, or loss of motor control below the site of the injury.
There are a number of ways that the impact of a crash can cause spinal injuries. For instance:
- Vertebrae fractures
- Dislocation or misalignment of adjacent vertebrae
- Partial or complete tears in the spinal cord
- Spine compression because of broken bones, swelling or blood clots
- A ruptured or herniated disk because of pressure from surrounding vertebrae.
Types of Spinal Injuries Common in Car Crashes
The severity of spinal injuries usually depends on where in the spinal column the injury occurred and whether the spinal cord was affected. In general, the higher the injury is on the spinal column, the more function a person is likely to lose.
If the injury was just to the spinal column, recovery is not speedy, but it is more likely. A spinal cord injury, however, runs the risk of permanent, irreversible damage that affects sensation, movement and a host of things.
Some of the long-term conditions that may result from a spinal injury are:
- Tetraplegia. If a person has a spinal cord injury in the neck area (cervical region), then tetraplegia (also called quadriplegia) is the likely result. This means the limbs, trunk and pelvic region have partial or complete paralysis.
- Paraplegia. This paralysis is a result of an injury to the lumbar and sacral regions of the spine (mid to low back), and affects all or part of the trunk, legs and pelvic organs.
How Spinal Injuries are Treated
The first line of treatment for spinal injuries is to help the patient survive. Emergency treatment for spinal injuries includes the following:
- Stabilizing and immobilizing the spine using a rigid neck brace and carrying board.
- Preventing shock and complications such as deep vein blood clots and problems with bowel and bladder function.
- Medications for reducing inflammation and managing pain.
- Surgery in the event of bone fragments, foreign objects, or herniated disks or fractured vertebrae compressing the spine.
- Possibly experimental treatments that involve stem cells and preventing cell death.
Once the emergency phase has passed, spinal injuries are treated in a variety of ways, depending on the severity and location of the injury. Physical therapy is one of the most effective methods of rehabilitation after a spinal injury, and in some cases has been successful even when the prognosis was paralysis. Operations are also necessary in some cases to prevent future pain or deformity of the spine.
Long-Term Consequences of Spinal Injuries
There are other long-term conditions that may occur as a result of the spinal injury, but that may be controlled through diet, exercise and good health care. For instance:
- Low blood pressure
- Chronic pain
- Deep vein thrombosis and other cardiovascular problems
- Loss of bowel, bladder and sexual function
- Pressure ulcers
- Respiratory complications
- Urinary tract infections (UTIs)
- Osteoporosis (brittle bone disease)
- Spasticity (exaggeration of normal reflexes)
Compensation Available for People Who Suffer Spinal Injuries in Crashes
Spinal injuries from car accidents can be financially and physically devastating, leading to exorbitant medical expenses, loss of income, rehabilitation, and long-term care. Most settlements that are initially offered to accident victims by insurance companies do little to cover the financial hardship that they face. When car accidents are caused by the negligence of another person, that person can and should be held responsible for your damages.
If you or a loved one has been injured in a car accident in Parkersburg or the surrounding areas West Virginia and Ohio, please contact experienced car accident attorney Jim Leach today to schedule a free initial consultation. Jim has been serving the good people in Parkersburg and surrounding communities for years. He is a serious lawyer who helps people with serious cases get serious results.