Of the many kinds of harm you can sustain in an auto accident, back injuries are among the most prevalent and debilitating. Even low-speed collisions can cause injuries that require costly medical treatment and that can leave you with pain and limited mobility for years to come.
Because the spinal system is so complex, the nature and full extent of back injuries can be difficult to diagnose. The types of back injuries most commonly suffered in auto accidents are:
- Whiplash — One of the most frequent car crash injuries, whiplash is often caused in rear-end collisions. During these types of accidents, the head and neck may snap forward and back like the cracking of a whip. Common whiplash symptoms include neck pain and stiffness, headaches, dizziness, fatigue, tingling or numbness in the arms and blurred vision. However, it may take hours, days or even weeks before symptoms develop.
- Herniated disc — The vertebrae of the spine are separated by soft discs. The force of an impact in a car crash can cause the discs to shift and rupture. A herniated or “bulging” disc can put pressure on the surrounding spinal nerves, resulting in severe pain. Symptoms of a herniated disc may include backache, a burning sensation, numbness, or tingling in the back. Over time, the pressure on the nerves can cause muscle weakness and permanent nerve damage.
- Spondylolisthesis — During a car crash, the body may be jerked back and forth, causing a stress fracture on the spine, which in turn can cause the vertebrae to shift out of alignment. Common symptoms of spondylolisthesis may include pain and stiffness in the back and tingling and numbness in the legs. In severe cases, it may cause a limp or a bladder control problem.
- Spinal cord injuries — A sudden, traumatic blow to the back may cause the vertebrae to break or the surrounding tissues to become damaged or dislocated. In the worst cases, the spinal cord itself is injured, with resulting paralysis of limbs or other body parts and functions.
If you are in an auto accident and you even suspect that you have injured your back, it is critical to get immediate medical attention, both for the sake of your health and to document any claim for damages you may have. You may be entitled to compensation for medical bills, lost wages and pain and suffering.
At Morgan Law Firm, we’ve helped accident victims in Idaho and Utah recover millions of dollars for their injuries. If you or a loved one has been hurt in a car accident, we encourage you to set up a free case evaluation. Call 208-999-1717 or contact us online. We have office locations in Boise, Meridian and Middleton, Idaho, and in Ogden and Lehi, Utah.