Back Injuries From Car Accidents
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), motor vehicle crashes are one of the leading causes of injuries in the United States. These injuries range from severe injuries that require long recovery times to relatively minor injuries that heal within days. Back injuries are among the most suffered car accident injuries, as even low-speed crashes can cause serious damage to the back and spinal cord. Back injuries from car accidents often require extensive and costly medical care, force the victim to take time away from work, and cause a wide range of other disruptions. When someone suffers a back injury in a crash caused by another person's negligence, the injured person may have grounds for a personal injury lawsuit. The team at the Mark Casto Law Firm is dedicated to helping car accident victims recover financial compensation for the financial and personal difficulties they face because of their injuries. Consider calling (706) 940-4030 today to learn more about your legal rights and options after suffering a back injury or other type of injury from a car accident.
Back Injuries Commonly Suffered in Car Accidents
Car accidents can cause a wide variety of back injuries. Some of these injuries may be immediately obvious at the time of the crash, but others may have delayed symptoms that the victims do not notice until several hours or days after the accident.
While whiplash is technically a neck injury, it can also affect the back by causing thoracic and/or lumbar back pain. It is one of the most common car accident injuries and is especially common in low speed rear-end collisions. Whiplash happens when the head and neck unexpectedly jerk backward and forward, which can strain or tear the muscles, tendons, and ligaments in the neck. When a slow-moving or stationary vehicle is struck from behind, the driver's body often jerks forward while the head stays behind, causing hyperextension in the neck.
The spine has several rubbery discs that lie between the vertebrae. A herniated disc occurs when a part of the center of the disc slips through a tear in the exterior. Herniated discs can occur in any part of the spine, but they are most common in the lower back. Although herniated discs are most often caused by gradual wear and tear over time, they can also happen due to traumatic events like car accidents.
Spinal Cord Injuries
According to the National Spinal Cord Injury Statistical Center (NSCSC), motor vehicle crashes are the most common cause of spinal cord injuries. These injuries are among the most severe types of back injuries from car accidents. The impact of a collision can cause bruising, lacerations, or even severing of the spinal cord. In severe cases, spinal cord injuries can lead to partial or complete paralysis.
A spinal fracture happens when the vertebrae become dislocated or broken. Physical trauma is the most common cause of spinal fractures and can occur during car accidents, falls, and other accidents involving high-velocity impact. The three main types of spinal fractures are:
- Compression—Caused by abnormalities in the spine, such as osteoporosis and tumors, the front of a vertebra fractures and begins to deteriorate while the back of the vertebrae remains intact
- Axial burst—Due to the loss of height on the front and back of the vertebra, this fracture is caused by falls and vertical impacts
- Chance—The vertebrae falls apart because of a violent forward flexed injury, which is most often caused by a car accident
Those who have suffered spinal fractures and other types of injuries in car accidents should seek medical attention immediately. Additionally, an injured person may want to explore his or her legal options by contacting an experienced car accident lawyer, such as the Mark Casto Law Firm.
Soft Tissue Injuries
“Soft tissue injury” is an umbrella term that encompasses any type of injury to the body's “soft” zones, such as muscles, tendons, and ligaments. The most common types of soft tissue injuries include sprains, bruises or contusions, and strains. The force exerted in a motor vehicle crash often causes soft tissue injuries, as vehicle occupants are often thrown around during the crash. Whiplash is also considered a soft tissue injury.
Damages Covered by Back Injury Claims and Lawsuits
When someone suffers back injuries or other types of injuries in a car accident in Georgia, he or she may be entitled to financial compensation if the accident was someone else's fault. Legally, this is a concept known as negligence. Georgia is an at-fault insurance state, which means that the at-fault driver and that driver's insurance provider are obligated to cover the damages suffered by those who were injured in the crash.
The types of damages available in a particular car accident claim or lawsuit will vary depending on the extent of the injuries and other circumstances. However, some of the most common damages awarded in Georgia car accident lawsuits include:
- Past and future medical expenses
- Lost wages from missing time at work
- Future lost earnings if the accident affected the victim's ability to continue working at the same job
- Pain and suffering
- Emotional distress
- Loss of consortium for families of fatal car accident victims
Contact a Car Accident Lawyer for More Information on Car Accident Back Injury Claims
Individuals who suffer back injuries from car accidents often struggle with expensive medical care, lost income, pain and suffering, and a variety of other difficulties. These victims should not be forced to bear the financial and emotional burdens of their injuries alone when the accident was caused by the negligence of another party. If you or a loved one has recently been injured in a car accident that was not your fault, you may have a claim for damages against the negligent driver and his or her insurance carrier. For more information about seeking financial compensation following a Georgia car accident, consider contacting the Mark Casto Law Firm today at (706) 940-4030 to schedule a free strategy session.