It took less than a minute for your life to change. Someone else’s negligence caused an accident that left you in considerable pain and with a long term or permanent back injury.
Types of Back and Spinal Cord Injuries
An accident may cause an injury to your neck (cervical vertebrae), upper back (thoracic vertebrae), or lower back (lumbar vertebrae). Some of the specific conditions you may suffer include:
Lower Back Strains or Sprains
Lower back pain can interfere with your daily activities. An accident can cause a sprain, or damage to the ligaments in your lower back, or a strain, which is a stretching of muscles, tendons, or ligaments. Both strains and sprains are painful and may restrict your movement. After your doctor diagnoses your condition through a medical exam and appropriate imaging tests, your treatment could include rest, medication, physical therapy, and chiropractic care. In some cases, you may suffer from chronic back pain even after you get medical care.
A disc sits between each of the bones or vertebrae in your spine. When the center of the disc bulges out from the disc’s exterior, it can hit a nerve and cause pain, numbness, or weakness in your arm or leg. Your doctor may diagnose a herniated disc after a medical exam. Sometimes your doctor may order an MRI to confirm a herniated disc diagnosis. Your treatment may include rest, medications, physical therapy, and in some cases, surgery.
A variety of nerve injuries can occur during an accident. One or more nerves in your neck or back may be stretched, compressed, or severed. Potential nerve damage symptoms may include muscle weakness, uncontrolled muscle movement, change in sensation, or paralysis.
Your condition may be diagnosed during a medical exam and with the aid of imaging tests. The extent of your medical treatment depends on your specific injury and may include medication, physical therapy, and surgery.
If you suffer back pain, you don’t seem to stand as tall as you did before the accident, or you lose control of your bladder, then you could be suffering from a spinal compression fracture. After a doctor diagnoses your condition through a medical exam and imaging tests, you may benefit from medications, physical therapy, and surgery.
Spinal Cord Injuries
There are many different types of spinal cord injuries. Your injury, and the impact it has on your life, depends on what part of the spinal cord was hurt and the type of injury that occurred.
You could, for example, suffer an injury to your:
- Low cervical nerves (C5-C8) which affect your arms, hands, fine motor skills, and bowel or bladder control
- Thoracic nerves (T1-T5) which affect your trunk and legs and can result in paraplegia
- Thoracic nerves (T6-T12) which impact your abdomen and back
- Lumbar nerves (L1-L5) which can cause a partial loss of control over your hips and legs and result in little to no bladder control
- Sacral nerves (S1-S5) which can cause a partial loss of control of your hips and legs
You may experience a complete spinal cord injury that results in quadriplegia or paraplegia or an incomplete spinal cord that results in a less severe but still serious impact on your movement or ability to feel sensation.
A doctor may suspect a spinal cord injury based on a physical exam and confirm your injury with tests such as x-rays, CT scans, and MRIs.
Currently, complete spinal cord injuries are permanent injuries. However, prompt treatment may prevent your condition from worsening. Immediately after the accident and in the months and years to come, you may need medication, surgery, physical therapy, occupational therapy, speech and language therapy, psychological counseling, adaptive medical equipment, and other treatments.
Common Causes of Back Injuries
Many different types of accidents can cause back injuries. For example, you could suffer a back or spinal cord injury after a:
- Car Crash
- Truck Wreck
- Motorcycle Crash
- Pedestrian Accident
- Slip and Fall
After any of these accidents, or any other type of personal injury accident, your attorney will gather evidence to prove what caused your injury so a successful settlement can be negotiated or fair compensation can be decided in court.
Back Injury Recoveries
Your injury is unique, and once liability is decided, your compensation will be determined based on how your injury impacts your life. Some of the general types of compensation you may receive after a Virginia accident include past and future:
- Medical expenses
- Lost income
- Pain and suffering
- Other costs
After reviewing your medical records and the opinions of expert witnesses, your attorney can advise you of the amount of damages that you should seek during settlement negotiations or in a courtroom.
Contact a Virginia Personal Injury Lawyer to Protect Your Recovery
Right now, your life is complicated. You may be dealing with the pain and inconvenience of your back injury and planning for a different future than you imagined.
Our Fairfax personal injury attorneys are here to help you. You don’t have to handle the stress and work of a personal injury case on your own. Instead, our experienced Northern Virginia injury lawyers will thoroughly investigate your case, negotiate with the right insurers, and take your case to court, if necessary. We will fight for your full legal recovery while you concentrate on your physical and emotional healing.
You won’t owe us any legal fees unless you receive compensation. Contact us today for a free, no-obligation consultation to learn more.