Car accidents can cause spinal cord injuries due to the sudden and forceful impact involved in the collision. Some of the causes of spinal cord injury from car accidents are:
- Impact forces: During a car accident, the impact forces can be significant. If the vehicle suddenly decelerates or collides with another object, the spine can experience extreme forces and compression, leading to spinal cord trauma.
- Rollover accidents: Rollover accidents have a high potential for causing spinal cord injuries. The violent rolling and flipping motions can subject the spine to various forces, damaging the spinal cord.
- Ejection from the vehicle: If a person is ejected during an accident, they are at a higher risk of sustaining severe spinal cord injuries.
- Compression and fractures: Compression fractures in the spine from car accidents can occur due to the forces involved in a collision. When the spinal column is compressed or fractured, it can potentially damage the spinal cord, leading to various types of spinal cord injuries.
- Penetrating injuries: In some car accidents, objects within the vehicle or external objects may penetrate the body, including the spinal cord, causing severe damage and spinal cord injuries.
If you have suffered from spinal cord injuries, it is important to consult with an experienced Philadelphia spinal cord injury lawyer who can evaluate your case and provide specific guidance.
Types of Spinal Cord Injuries
Back trauma can vary in severity and location along the spinal cord, resulting in different types of impairments. Some common types of spinal cord injuries include:
- Complete Spinal Cord Injury: A complete spinal cord injury involves the total loss of motor and sensory function below the level of the injury. This means there is a complete absence of sensation and voluntary movement.
- Incomplete Spinal Cord Injury: An incomplete spinal cord injury refers to partial damage to the spinal cord, allowing some degree of motor or sensory function to be preserved below the level of the injury. Incomplete injuries can vary widely in terms of the extent and type of function that is retained.
- Tetraplegia (Quadriplegia): Tetraplegia refers to the loss of function and sensation in all four limbs and the trunk due to a spinal cord injury occurring in the cervical (neck) region. Depending on the level of injury, the individual may have varying degrees of impairment in their arms, hands, legs, and torso.
- Paraplegia: Paraplegia involves the loss of function and sensation in the lower extremities and possibly the trunk. It occurs when the spinal cord is injured below the cervical level, typically in the thoracic, lumbar, or sacral regions.
Symptoms of Spinal Cord Injuries After a Car Accident
Spinal cord injuries resulting from car accidents can lead to various symptoms, depending on the severity and location of the injury. Some common broken back symptoms that individuals may experience are as follows:
- Loss of sensation: Spinal cord injuries can cause a loss or decrease in sensation below the level of the injury. This can include reduced or absent sensation to touch, temperature, and pain.
- Paralysis: Depending on the level and severity of the injury, broken neck paralysis may occur. Paralysis can affect different body parts, such as the legs or all four limbs and the trunk.
- Loss of motor function: Bruised spinal cord injuries can result in the loss of voluntary movement below the level of the injury. This can lead to difficulties with walking, grasping objects, or performing fine motor tasks.
- Muscle weakness or spasticity: Spinal cord injuries can cause muscle weakness or, in some cases, muscle spasms and increased muscle tone. These symptoms can impact coordination and control of movements.
- Respiratory problems: Depending on the level of the injury, respiratory muscles may be affected, potentially leading to breathing difficulties, reduced lung function, or the need for assisted ventilation.
- Bowel and bladder dysfunction: Spinal cord injuries can disrupt the normal functioning of the bowel and bladder. This may result in difficulties with urinary or bowel control, requiring the use of catheters or other interventions.
Some other signs after sustaining car accident injuries that a victim needs to worry about are bleeding from the spine, accidents causing both brain and spinal cord injury, and spinal cord injury symptoms that occur at the fifth cervical vertebrae level of the spinal cord and can impact a person’s mobility.
How to Prove Fault After a Collision?
Proving fault after a collision typically involves gathering evidence and presenting a convincing case to establish that the other party was responsible for the accident. Some steps that can help in proving fault in personal injury cases include:
- Collecting evidence at the scene: If you are physically able and it is safe to do so, gather evidence at the accident scene.
- Obtaining a police report: Contact the police and ensure that they come to the scene to document the accident.
- Documenting your injuries and damages: Seek medical attention promptly and keep records of all medical treatments, prescriptions, and rehabilitation.
- Preserving physical evidence: If possible, preserve any physical evidence that may support your case.
- Obtaining witness statements: Reach out to witnesses who were present at the scene and ask them to provide a statement detailing what they observed.
Compensation for Spinal Cord Injuries After a Car Crash
Compensation for spinal cord injuries resulting from car accidents can vary depending on the specific circumstances of the accident, including the severity of the injury and its impact on the individual’s life. Some types of compensation that may be pursued:
- Medical expenses: You can seek compensation for past, current, and future medical expenses related to your spinal cord injury. This includes costs associated with hospitalization, surgeries, medications, rehabilitation, assistive devices, and ongoing medical care.
- Lost wages: If your spinal cord injury has caused you to miss work or has impacted your ability to work in the future, you may pursue compensation for lost wages and loss of earning capacity. This can include both past and future income losses.
- Pain and suffering: Compensation may be sought for the physical pain and emotional suffering you have experienced and are likely to endure in the future due to your spinal cord injury.
- Rehabilitation and therapy: The cost of physical therapy, occupational therapy, vocational rehabilitation, and other forms of rehabilitation may be pursued as part of your compensation claim.
- Loss of consortium: If your spinal cord injury has affected your relationship with your spouse or family members, they may pursue compensation for the loss of companionship, support, and consortium.
- Punitive damages: In some cases where the actions of the at-fault party were intentional, punitive damages may be awarded. These damages are meant to punish the responsible party and prevent them and others from similar behavior.
Need Legal Help? Contact an Experienced Law Firm.
The Law Offices of Samuel Fishman brings more than 30 years of experience in helping accident victims in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, to fight for their rights and hold negligent parties accountable. With their client-centric strategy, they focus on maintaining transparency with them and assisting them to pursue compensation after spinal cord injury from a car accident.
If you’ve been involved in a car accident, consult an experienced car accident attorney today to protect your rights and seek rightful compensation. They’ll navigate the legal complexities, ensuring you receive the support you need during this challenging time.
Schedule a free case consultation to learn more about your legal options. Call us today at 215-464-4600 or complete our contact form online to discuss your case.