Car and motorcycle accidents account for more than 40 percent of new spinal cord injuries each year, making motor vehicle accidents the leading cause of back and spinal cord injuries, according to the Mayo Clinic. Back pain is the No. 2 reason that Americans visit a doctor, second only to colds and flu, according to the National Institutes of Health. Back injuries cause pain and limit movement, sometimes leaving a car crash victim unable to work for a living or enjoy other routine life activities.
When a severe back injury suffered in a car accident causes a loss of wages and/or significant medical expenses, the injured person may need legal assistance.
Acute lower back pain is most often caused by sudden trauma to the muscles and ligaments that support the back. Back pain may also come from muscle spasms or strain, a tear in the muscles and ligaments, or damage to the vertebrae or spinal cord. Broken vertebrae are known as “compression fractures.”
Back injuries may be caused by disease but are often impact injuries, trauma caused by the body’s collision with a moving or stationary object such as in a motor vehicle accident.
To The Back Or Spinal Column Include:
- Herniated/slipped/ruptured disk — Damage to the cushioning disks between vertebrae can make them bulge and irritate nearby nerves, including the spinal cord. This results in pain, numbness or weakness in the arms and legs.
- Compression fractures — Fractured vertebrae, the bones of the spine, can cause severe pain most commonly felt in the middle to lower part of the back. The pain is sometimes described as “knife-like” and is often disabling, taking weeks to months to go away.
- Spinal cord compression — If the spinal canal narrows to the point that it squeezes the spinal cord, this will cause pain, numbness and weakness. Most cases of spinal cord compression — also called “cervical spondylotic myelopathy” (CSM) — slowly get worse. In about 5 to 20 percent of victims, CSM gets worse quickly, the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons (AAOS) says.
- Paralysis — Paralysis is the inability to move parts of the body. When damage to the spinal cord causes a person to be paralyzed, the victim may suffer from paraplegia (all or parts of the trunk, legs and pelvic organs are paralyzed) or tetraplegia (arms, hands, trunk, legs and pelvic organs are all affected). Tetraplegia is also called “quadriplegia.”
Back injuries that don’t include paralysis can cause symptoms that range from annoying discomfort to severe pain that requires spinal fusion surgery or disc replacement surgery for relief. A serious back injury often means a long and difficult recovery that leads to high medical expenses and additional costs, including temporary or permanent loss of the ability to work for a living.
Back injury patients with paralysis will likely require ongoing medication and physical therapy, as well as personal assistive devices and/or in-home care. The homes of wheelchair-bound or bedridden patients with severe spinal injuries may need to be renovated to accommodate them.
Contact Our Myrtle beach Car Accident Lawyers
The Maguire Law Firm‘s accident lawyers seek justice for car accident victims who have suffered serious back or spinal injury due to another driver’s recklessness. We help South Carolina residents with back injuries suffered in car crashes from Horry, Georgetown and Marion counties.
If you or a family member has sustained a serious back injury in a South Carolina car accident, we can help you obtain the justice you deserve. Contact us online, or call the Maguire Law Firm at 843-361-7549 from the Myrtle Beach area, or toll free at 800-525-9900 from elsewhere in South Carolina.
- Mayo Clinic — Back Pain
- Mayo Clinic — Spinal Cord Injury
- PubMed Health/A.D.A.M. Medical Encyclopedia — Low back pain — acute
- PubMed Health/A.D.A.M. Medical Encyclopedia — Compression fractures of the back
- American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons — Low back pain
- MedLine Plus — Back Injuries
- Encyclopedia Britannica — Impact injury