Your back and neck are made up of bones, nerves, muscles, ligaments, and tissues. During a car or truck accident, your body experiences forces like acceleration and deceleration. These forces can cause serious and sometimes permanent damage.
Common neck and back injuries from car accidents often can cause long-term damage and require a significant amount of physical therapy, surgical procedures, or other expensive treatments for weeks, months or years. Those injuries can include:
- Spinal cord injuries: The spinal cord is the bundle of nerves that connects your brain to the rest of your body. Damage to your spinal cord can disrupt this connection and lead to paralysis. If your spinal cord is severed during an accident, the injury is permanent.
- Broken vertebrae: Your spinal column is made up of sturdy bones that protect your spinal cord and help you stand upright. Forces from a car accident can fracture these bones. These injuries may require bracing, surgeries, and medication.
- Herniated discs: Your discs are shock absorbers that let your back move smoothly and comfortably. When a disc tears or deforms, its jelly-like insides can press on the nerves in your back and neck, causing severe pain. While some herniated discs resolve on their own, many require surgery, injections, physical therapy, and chronic pain management.
- Slipped vertebrae (spondylolisthesis): During a collision, your vertebral bodies, which are the bones that make up your spinal column, can get pushed out of place. While you may not even notice a minor slippage, a severe slipped vertebra can press on nerves and tissues, and you may need surgery as a result.
- Sprains and strains: Crashes can cause tiny tears and swelling in the muscles and ligaments in your neck and back. These tears can cause significant pain, but they typically resolve with time, rest, and medication. However, doctors sometimes misdiagnose herniated discs and other injuries as sprains and strains.
- Whiplash: A type of sprain or strain, whiplash occurs when your neck jerks back and forth during an auto accident, damaging the tissues.
- Pinched nerves: Herniated discs, swelling, slipped vertebrae, and other injuries can pinch the nerves that branch off your spinal cord. A pinched nerve can cause numbness, shooting pain, and weakness. Sometimes, pinched nerves require injection therapy, nerve blocks, or surgery.
- Degenerative changes: Trauma can speed up degenerative changes or arthritis in your back, which can cause pain and limit your movement.
If your injury caused by an auto accident is serious enough, you may need to see specialists, surgeons, and physical therapists. You may even need help with basic needs, like using the bathroom and getting dressed. Other ongoing medical bills may include:
- Diagnostic studies, like MRIs, CT scans, and EMGs
- Surgeries, such as fusions, discectomies, and laminectomies
- Physical therapy
- Injections to reduce swelling and pain
- Back and neck braces
- Medication and pain management services
- Wheelchairs, walkers, and other mobility devices
All of your medical care, including future treatment, should be included in your settlement calculations.
It’s also important to remember that accident victims sometimes need multiple surgeries, and complications can occur. The team at Bashore Green can help you and your family following a serious auto accident in building a case to support what you are rightfully owed. Contact our attorneys today!