Individuals with pre-existing conditions are more at-risk when involved in an accident as conditions may worsen. We hope that you or your loved ones never experience this happening, but if it does, it is important that you are aware that you can be fully compensated for any medical or financial damages brought upon by a negligent accident.
There are several conditions that can be indirectly caused or aggravated by an accident. Leg injuries from car accidents or spinal cord injuries after a car accident could trigger preexisting health conditions. Here, we’ll be taking a look at the condition known as spondylosis. We’ll be answering the following questions: What is spondylosis? And can a car accident cause spondylosis?
What is Spondylosis?
Spondylosis is a physical crack between two of the vertebrae in your back. Sometimes called “pars” or “pars defect”, this condition can trigger lower back pain and worsens with physical activity (even walking or standing). It is a form of osteoarthritis that affects the spine. The most common kind is cervical spondylosis, which affects the neck, but it can extend more broadly to any part of the spinal column.
Most symptoms range from:
- Chronic neck and back pain
- Stiffness in the spine
- Numbness in the shoulders and hips
- Muscle weakness
- “Pins and needles” static sensation
- Loss of balance
- Loss of bladder control (in more severe cases)
While some people don’t always feel the symptoms of spondylosis, those who do will experience lower back pain that can spread to the thighs and buttocks and overall stiffness in the back. This inhibits movement for many individuals and can subsequently limit their daily activities. It is a degenerative disease that typically can worsen with time if left untreated.
Spondylosis can be found via image scans, such as back X-rays or neck X-rays, and also by CT scans and MRI scans. Individuals who have no symptoms often only find out about their spondylosis as a result of a routine checkup.
It is also key to keep in mind that patients who don’t experience symptoms of spondylosis could experience them in the aftermath of an accident.
There’s a few different types of spondylosis:
- Cervical spondylosis: This is the most common variant that mostly affects the neck region and often causes soreness and stiff movement..
- Thoracic spondylosis: This the mid-back part of the spine, which is often the least common, but can still limit back movement and cause stiffness..
- Lumbar spondylosis: This is the lower back that can be pretty common as well, and is often the most limiting and affects multiple areas like the hips as well.
- Multilevel spondylosis: This is a combination of any of the three aforementioned types and could mean severe back pain and very limited mobility.
- Cervical myelopathy: This is a more severe form of cervical spondylosis that affects the nerves in the neck leading to loss in motor function or loss of coordination.
There is also spondylitis, which is a similar condition but not the same as spondylosis because it involves the inflammation of joints rather than the wear and tear of ridges on the spinal column, and spondylolisthesis, which is a partial or forward displacement of one vertebra over another, and often causes compressed or pinched nerves.
Most Common Causes of Spondylosis
Since it is degenerative, spondylosis may not be directly caused by an accident, but it can be aggravated by it. What an attorney will try and do is prove that the trauma of the accident could worsen or at the very least mimic the symptoms of spondylosis.
The usual causes of spondylosis are from overuse, that is, using your back too much, either in a contact sport or other physical activity. Sometimes, youth can develop spondylosis as a collateral result of growth spurts. Other times, genetics are to blame, as some are born with thinner vertebrae and thus the pars interarticularis (the small connectors at the end of each vertebra) can be more subject to fracturing.
An accident, however, that directly injures your back from either the force of the collision, a car part colliding into your spine, or some other instance could cause one to suffer the same effects as spondylosis.
It’s important to consult with your doctor or medical specialist if you’ve experienced severe back pain. An imaging test can show if you have spondylosis and if an accident had any effect on it.
Compensation for Spondylosis After a Car Accident
When seeking compensation for a car accident, the key question will be proving how your accident affected your spondylosis and that you were not at fault for the accident. Your lawyer will spend a bulk of the case gathering the evidence to prove the accident played a part in worsening the symptoms. The long term effects of your spondylosis are usually taken into account when discussing what compensation you deserve. A spondylosis car accident can be worth quite a deal of money, as the settlement payout formula involves examining your pain level from your preexisting spondylosis to your pain level following the accident.
For instance, while this example is not a car accident, a 71-year-old woman in Pennsylvania last year had received a $50,000 settlement verdict after slipping and falling from water in a casino bathroom. She had already been suffering from spondylosis and suffered injuries to her hips and knees, worsening her already limited movement. A personal injury lawyer helped her attain this result because they were able to find the casino negligent.
Getting a Lawyer for a Spondylosis Lawsuit
You should get in touch with auto accident lawyers in Philadelphia when looking to make a car accident claim for your spondylosis. Having a lawyer who is knowledgeable in tort law and has prior experience in car accident cases, and perhaps even spondylosis cases could be the biggest determining factor to the success of your case.
You can arrange a free consultation with a PI lawyer in your area by checking local listings and online directories like the Bar Association and other law firm websites. During your consultation, you’ll find out how much your case is worth and how much your PI attorney can help in the case for justice and relief during a troubling time.