What To Know About Car Accidents — Spinal Cord Injuries

For any signs of spinal cord damage after a car collision, see your doctor immediately. Proper care will maximize the chances of full, rapid healing.

Formal medical diagnosis may also be necessary for full compensation from your insurance, other drivers’ insurance, and even other drivers personally.

How do car accidents cause spinal cord injuries?

They’re usually the result of direct impact or shear forces. For instance, a crushed door might impact the spine directly, or extreme changes in momentum may force upper and lower spinal segments in opposite directions.

Our spines do a great job protecting delicate nerves from everyday knocks while still letting us move freely.

But the trade-off for ease of movement is a certain vulnerability to blunt or sideways forces.

Vertebrae are connected by ligaments and controlled by muscles. These can all be crushed, stretched, or torn in a crash. That’s painful in its own right, and may disrupt the underlying nerves, too.

Is a spinal cord injury from a collision always serious?

Generally, but not always. It may manifest as something like whiplash, causing pain but no permanent nerve damage.

Naturally, it’s more alarming when the underlying nerves are impinged upon, nicked, or even severed. This obviously requires emergency treatment, and is virtually impossible to leave undetected.

Do I need to see my doctor for spinal symptoms?

Yes. No matter how minor it seems, you should see your doctor immediately for any hint of harm to your spine.

Common signs include:

  • Whiplash-like symptoms in your back (e.g., painful or limited movement)
  • Tingling or numbness
  • Weakness or loss of control in your limbs
  • Unusual pain or pressure
  • Poor or inconsistent bladder or bowel control

As noted earlier, a physician needs to document any injuries for insurance and legal reasons.

Furthermore, it’s not always easy to tell the difference between minor tissue inflammation and a more serious underlying injury. Your doctor will likely refer you to a specialist who can pinpoint what’s amiss and recommend effective treatment.

Keep in mind that you can suffer lasting harm even without severe spinal cord damage. Minor injuries left untreated can still lead to permanent pain or reduced bodily control.

Should I talk to a lawyer about my spinal cord injury?

Collisions bring overwhelming aftermath. The endless documentation and insurance disputes can be too much on their own, let alone when you’re also dealing with spinal trauma.

At Bridge Law, our team of auto accident specialists is here to fight for you and for every penny you deserve. If you’ve suffered a spinal injury in a car accident, then contact us to discuss your case and options.