Common Spine Injuries From Car Accidents

Vehicle accidents can lead to a wide range of injuries for drivers and passengers. Often, crashes result in relatively minor injuries, but that is not always the case. Vehicle accidents are the leading cause of spinal cord injuries in the US. However, not all spinal injuries are exactly alike. Here, our Nashville personal injury attorneys examine the most common type of spinal injury that can occur as a result of a vehicle accident. In some cases, these injuries are relatively minor, and victims are able to make a full recovery. However, some spinal injuries caused by an accident leave victims suffering from lifelong disabilities and even complete paralysis.

Car Accidents are the Leading Cause of Spinal Injuries

Data from the National Spinal Cord Injury Statistical Center(NSCISC) shows that vehicle accidents are the leading cause of spinal cord injuries across the US. Since 2015, around 38% of all spinal cord injuries have been caused by vehicle crashes.

However, injuries that occur directly to the spinal cord are not the only type of trauma that the spine can endure. When a vehicle accident occurs, this can lead to a range of spinal injuries that we want to discuss here:

  • Whiplash. The most common type of spine injury that can occur in a car accident is whiplash. This type of injury can occur anytime the body experiences a rapid deceleration. A vehicle accident can cause the upper body, head, and neck to “whip” back and forth, placing strain on the spine, muscles, tendons, and ligaments in the upper back and neck.
  • Spinal fractures. More severe accidents could lead to the body being jerked back and forth so swiftly that this causes the vertebrae of the spine to be fractured. These fractures can shift or place pressure on the spinal column and spinal cord. The most common symptoms associated with spinal fractures include pain and numbness in various areas throughout the body, bladder control issues, and more.
  • Herniated or ruptured discs. In between each vertebra of the spine are jelly-filled discs that keep the vertebrae from rubbing against one another. However, vehicle accidents can put enough pressure on these discs to shift, compress, or rupture them. If this occurs, a crash victim could experience a herniated or ruptured disc, and symptoms include numbness and radiating pain.
  • Spinal cord injuries. Injuries to the spinal cord can be devastating for victims. The spinal cord is protected by the bones of the spine, and it cannot repair itself if damaged. Spinal cord injuries can be considered incomplete or complete and result in various levels of paralysis below the site of the injury.
  • Facet joint injuries. There are facet joints in the spine that act as a hinge between the vertebrae. However, these joints can become injured in the event a vehicle accident occurs. This can lead to extreme and long-lasting pain for victims, necessitating the need for physical therapy, facet injections, chiropractic care, and more.

Contact a Skilled Attorney for Help With Your Vehicle Accident Spine Injury Case

If you or somebody you love has sustained any type of spinal injury as a result of a vehicle accident in Tennessee, you need to speak to a skilled Nashville spinal cord injury attorney as soon as possible. A lawyer can use their resources to fully investigate or claim and help you recover total compensation for your losses.