A spinal cord injury ranks among the most traumatic injuries you can sustain following a car accident. If you sustain an injury to the spine as a result of another driver’s reckless actions, you need to pursue the liable party for damages according to Alabama negligence laws.
During the impact, the spinal cord and/or the surrounding tissues may be subjected to trauma. Depending on the severity of the impact, this trauma can result in the following types of spinal cord injuries:
Vertebrae fracture occurs when the bones are crushed or dislocated during the impact. These injuries can range from mild compressions or ligament strains to actual damage to the spinal cord. The accident victim can recover from a mild fracture by taking pain medication. However, a more severe fracture might require a surgical procedure to realign the vertebrae. Left untreated, the accident victim may suffer from nerve damage, a permanent spinal cord injury or paralysis.
The discs in the spine are arranged between the vertebrae and are insulated by cartilage. When the spine is subjected to a sudden force (usually during a rear-end accident), this soft cartilage may be torn resulting in a type of spinal cord injury known as a herniated disc. A herniated disc often occurs in the lower back and is characterized by numbness in the affected area.
During the impact, the accident victim is likely to whip their neck forward and backward in a violent manner — this is the origin of “whiplash.” When this happens, one or several discs of the spine may be forced to protrude out of their natural alignment resulting in a condition known as bulging discs. Left untreated, these bulging discs may become herniated.
A spinal cord injury can turn your life upside down. Knowing your legal options can help you pursue compensation for spinal cord injuries attributable to another motorist’s negligence.