Have You Suffered a Back or Neck Injury Accident?
Fact: every year over 800,000 car crashes in the United States cause crash victims to have serious neck and back injuries. A back and neck injury is the leading cause of permanent disability.
As you can imagine, these injuries also result in huge financial burdens on accident victims and their families. Medical providers have to be paid or they stop providing their services. If your accident was caused by another person’s negligence, you need an experienced personal injury attorney. In fact, you need a personal injury attorney who specializes in back and neck injury settlements.
Premier Law Group can help!
We care about our clients. We skillfully investigate your accident and specialize in determining negligence and fault. In fact, we have a “no fee, free consultation” process. Let us review your case, and if you choose us, we go to work to negotiate a fair settlement. This frees you up to focus on getting well.
Call Premier Law Group today at 206.285.1743 for a Free Consultation!
Common Types of Neck Injuries
Human necks are fragile. They’re composed of many “essential” working parts. For example, there are vertebra, spinal cord, nerves, blood vessels, muscles, ligaments and tendons.
At the top spinal column. These bones have one job: to protect the nerves in the spinal cord. The vertebra are cushioned by soft tissue including muscles, ligaments, and tendons.
All neck injuries are serious! Get medical care immediately if you suffer a neck injury in an accident. The most common injuries to the neck include the following:
- Whiplash: Whiplash happens when an accident victim’s head is forcefully thrown backward and then forward in a snapping motion, well beyond the normal range of motion.
- Neck Sprains: Neck sprains are very painful. Every time the accident victim moves, turns, or rotates their head or neck, pain shocks course down their bodies.
- Neck Fractures: Neck fractures are found by medical professionals using x-rays. These injuries cause difficulty and/or inability to move your arms and legs.
Common Types of Back Injuries
Back injuries cause intense pain, an inability to concentrate and work, and worry for accident victims and their families. Some of the most common back injuries include:
- Fractured Vertebrae
Fractured vertebrae are caused by high-velocity accidents. These include suffering a fall from a significant height; or being in a high-speed car crash; or sports injuries. With this kind of injury, back pain actually worsens with movement. If the spinal cord has been injured, the accident victim can lose bowel and bladder control and experience numbness, weakness, or tingling.
- Sprains and Strains
“Back sprain” and “back strain” are medical terms referring to stretched or torn ligaments. Both injuries cause a lot of pain. Injury symptoms include muscle spasms, constant pain, swelling and difficulty moving. Sometimes these injuries swell so much that joints cannot move.
- Herniated Disks
The cushions in the spinal column vertebrae are soft cartilage disks. Their job is to keep the vertebrae in place, help in movement and protect the spinal cord. When a disk ruptures or slips out of place, you call this a “herniated disk.” Herniated disks cause a range of symptoms, depending on the location of the disk herniation. For example, an injury to the lower back causes: tingling, numbness, back pain that radiates through the legs and buttocks. A herniated disk in the upper vertebrae causes muscle spasms, and neck pain that spreads through the upper arms and shoulders.
Causes of Common Neck and Back Injuries in the USA Today
The most common cause of back and neck injuries in our nation is motor vehicle crashes. There are far more vehicles of all types and sizes traveling our roads and byways. Motor vehicle weight coupled with high rates of speed alone account for serious life-changing accidents.
Car crash victims with back and neck injuries do suffer spinal damage that results in paralysis. In a major crash, serious back and neck injuries leave victims with quadriplegia – unable to move their bodies at all.
Spinal Cord Injury Statistics and Types
According to the National Spinal Cord Injury Statistics Center (NSCISC), motor vehicle accidents cause 36.5% of all new spinal cord injury cases. In fact, every year, there are between 12,000 to 15,000 serious spinal cord injuries. Of these, 10,000 people are permanently paralyzed.
Even worse is the fact that many accident victims die as a result of their spinal cord injuries. Further, most spinal cord injury accidents involve young, healthy males between the ages of 15 and 35.
Spinal cord injuries are classified by the “level” of the injury, and by the “type” of physical injury. The vertebra are sub-divided into sections called “levels” because certain vertebra injuries have worse injuries than others. Depending on which level is injured, the type refers to the physical disability the accident victim is left with, post-accident.
In brief: the higher up the injury occurs on the spinal cord, the greater the side effects and physical disabilities. The spinal cord levels are as follows:
- High Cervical Nerves (C1-C4). These vertebrae are closest to the brain. When these receive damage, the accident victim suffers the most serious side effects associated with spinal cord injuries. This includes total paraplegia.
- Low Cervical Nerves (C5-C8). The next set down are vertebrae whose injuries also have life-altering side effects such as partial paralysis.
- Thoracic Vertebrae (T1-T12). The third level vertebrae controls a person’s body stability. They allow a person to sit and stand upright, and support all the organs in the upper torso. Damage to this part of the spine produces serious life-long issues, but not paralysis.
- Lumbar Nerves (L1-L5). People with lumbar area spinal injuries suffer compromised strength and inability to lift, bend, twist, and turn.
- Sacral Nerves (S1-S5). Injuries to the sacral region of the spine are serious, but do not cause paralysis.
Complete and Incomplete Spinal Cord Injuries
Further, spinal cord injuries are classified by medical personnel as “Complete” or “Incomplete,” reliant on the side effects that the injury causes. The side effects vary greatly between these two categories, as follows:
- Complete: A person with a complete spinal cord injury has an injury that impacts the whole width of the spine in the specific damaged region. The accident victim has no muscle control or sensation beneath the damaged area of the spine.
- Incomplete: An incomplete spinal cord injury does not affect the entire width of the specific damaged spinal area. In fact, there is no affect on parts of the spine and they’re able to function as normal. However, spinal cord victims with incomplete injuries may still have serious limitations. In some cases, a person can have more limitations on one side of the body than the other. In truth, incomplete injury impacts vary widely from person to person.
It is important to note that a person can “break their back or neck” and not sustain a spinal cord injury. This only happens if the bones around the spinal cord (the vertebrae) have damage, but the spinal cord cushions (disks) don’t have damage. In these situations, the individual may not experience paralysis after the bones stabilize.
Spinal Cord Injury Treatment, Rehabilitation, and Improvement
It’s essential that spinal cord accident victims get immediate medical care. The sooner you diagnose your injuries and start getting treatments, the better opportunity to reduce long-term disability.
Most treatment plans used by today’s doctors include the following:
- Medication – Steroids including dexamethasone or methylprednisolone to reduce spinal cord swelling. The goal is to prevent total destruction of the spinal nerves that cause paralysis. Steroids should begin as soon as possible after the injury.
- Surgery – Accidents involving the C1-C8 levels usually require one or more surgeries to treat the affected area. One surgery is decompression laminectomy, to remove fluid or tissue that is pressing on the spinal cord. Also, doctors remove bone/disc fragments, other foreign objects, and they insert hardware to stabilize a fractured vertebrae.
- Bed Rest – Bed rest helps the affected area of the spine to heal itself. The spine bears the majority of a person’s body weight. Therefore, it’s essential to give the spine some bed rest, rather than putting it under duress of the body’s full weight.
- Traction/Immobilization – A variety of different spinal traction devices are used to immobilize the spine and reduce dislocation. For example, the skull can become immobile with tongs (metal braces placed in the skull and attached to traction weights or to a harness on the body).
- Physical Therapy/Rehabilitation — Most spinal cord injury victims need extensive physical therapy, occupational therapy, and other rehabilitation treatments. This can be immediately after the injury has healed and into the future.
Why Should I Hire Premier Law Group Back and Neck Injury Attorney?
Our Seattle personal injury attorneys have firsthand experience, helping those with back and neck injuries caused by other people’s negligence. Our attorneys are specialists. We will give you and your family one-on-one attention. Call us for a free consultation! There’s no fee until we succeed in getting just compensation for you. That’s our goal: get you fair compensation from the people who caused your injuries.
Don’t sign off on an insurance claim until you talk with us. Focus on healing, and let your lawyer collect evidence and handle the claim details.
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