Back injuries resulting from North Carolina automobile collisions often require extensive, costly medical treatment. These injuries can also leave you with long-lasting pain and suffering. There are several types of back injuries that commonly result from a vehicle collision.
When you’re injured in a North Carolina automobile accident, you will need to work with an experienced personal injury attorney to build a claim for recovery. The damages awarded are meant to compensate you for your injuries and restore your life to normal. Here are the most common types of car accident injuries in North Carolina and what you can do to avoid them.
Easily the most often seen injury to the back and neck following an automobile collision. Whiplash is when the ligaments, muscles, and tissues in the neck are stretched and torn when the head is jarred violently back and forth during a crash. Whiplash symptoms often do manifest completely until hours or even days after an accident. Typical symptoms include chronic pain, tightness, fatigue, and dizziness.
Soft Tissue Damage
Injuries to soft tissue in the back occur when a victim’s head, neck, arms, and shoulders are violently jerked about in a collision. This hyperextension causes tissue and ligaments to tear. Common symptoms of soft tissue damage are low-grade pain, blurry vision, stiffness, jaw and neck pain, vertigo, nausea, headaches, and tingling. Often the best way to treat soft tissue damage is the R.I.C.E. method, which is Rest, Ice, Compression, and Elevation. If the damage is more severe, seeing a massage therapist or a chiropractor may be your best option.
Another common back injury which can be caused by an automobile collision is a herniated disc. A collision can produce an incredible amount of force. When this force is absorbed by the body the discs in the back can slip and shift, pinching and compressing nerves in process. A herniated disc can cause prolonged numbness and uncomfortable pain. The best way to treat a herniated disc is with non-invasive methods. Surgery may be required in extreme cases.
Spinal Compression Fracture
A spinal compression fracture is when the bone along the spine collapses. These fractures are caused when the back or head sustains an extreme blow of force. Spinal compression fractures may either cause little to no pain or be outright excruciating. Victims with compression fractures often find it painful to stand up from a sitting position or to walk. The most common treatment options are pain medications, back braces, or even surgery.
Spinal Cord Injury
Injuries to the spinal cord are the most dangerous back injuries since even a minor cut, laceration, or abrasion can lead to disability. The spinal cord being severed can cause a car accident victim to be permanently paralyzed. Spinal cord injuries are extremely dangerous and more often than not require prolonged periods of recovery. Currently, there are few treatments for injuries to the spinal cord beyond surgery. Spinal cord injury victims face a long road to recovery and need as much encouragement and support as their friends and families can offer. Spinal cord injuries are the most devastating of back injuries.
Treatment for Back Injuries
After any type of automobile collision, it is important to seek prompt medical help in order to have your back injuries properly diagnosed. Some soft tissue injuries in the back do not show up for around 48 hours after a car accident. It is important to get a full medical exam as soon as possible after a car accident to identify any injuries and start treatment.
Treating back injuries properly is essential to controlling pain and achieving the best possible recovery. Back injury treatments may include:
- Surgical intervention
- Physical therapy
- Chiropractic care
- Prescription pain medications
- Casts to allow broken bones to heal and set
Regardless of the specific types of treatments that you need, the full costs of back injuries caused by car accidents should be covered by those responsible for causing the injuries. Not only should all of your medical treatments be covered, but you may also be entitled to payment of additional costs for adaptive medical devices, home nursing care and even transportation to and from the doctor’s office.
Compensation for Back Injuries
You may also be entitled to compensation for:
- Lost income if your back injuries required you to miss work, if you are not ever able to work again because of your injuries, or if you have to switch to a lower-paying job due to the injuries.
- Pain and suffering resulting from the back injury.
- Emotional distress resulting from the accident and/or from the injury.
Representation for Back Injuries
If you’ve suffered a back injury of any sort from a North Carolina automobile collision caused by another driver’s negligence, you are entitled to compensation for the damages you’ve incurred. Maginnis Law’s lead personal injury attorney, T. Shawn Howard is experienced in handling complex cases including those involving victims who have suffered back injuries due to the negligence of another North Carolina driver.
All personal injury matters are handled on a contingency basis – meaning that you do not pay any attorneys’ fee unless and until we make a recovery on your behalf. You can contact us at 919.526.0450. Email inquiries may be sent through our contact page.