Auto accidents happen every day.
Of the various types of injuries suffered in these crashes, back injuries have the potential to be the most severe. However, there are several subcategories of back injuries, and the type you suffer could have permanent or serious long-term consequences.
The various categories of back injuries are categorized based on the three areas of the spine: the cervical vertebrae (neck), the thoracic vertebrae (upper back) and the lumbar vertebrae (lower back). Each of these sections of the spinal cord and vertebrae are also surrounded by a series of discs, muscles, ligaments, tendons and nerves. All these may be injured and cause varying levels of pain.
The following are some examples of the most common types of back injuries people suffer in New York auto accidents:
- Thoracic spine injuries: These types of injuries tend to be especially severe. The thoracic spine connects to the ribs and chest, and fractures in this area are typically caused by high-impact accidents that are especially common in head-on collisions. These injuries often result in permanent nerve damage.
- Lumbar spine injuries: The lumbar spine features the five largest vertebrae in the back and its strongest muscles. Injuries to this region can be excruciatingly painful—especially when it comes to sprains or strains, which can involve stretching of or damage to ligaments, tendons and muscles. Either injury could lead to limited movement, bruising, tenderness and swelling.
- Disc injuries: Slipped or herniated discs occur when the disc gets displaced. What usually happens is the disc puts pressure on the spinal cord and its surrounding nerves. This leads to sudden, intense pain in the lower back and numbness in the legs.
- Spinal cord injuries: Spinal cord injuries are the most serious type of back injury. The injuries range from bruising or an unhealthy amount of pressure to permanent severe damage. In the worst cases, they can lead to long-term disability, such as total or partial paralysis, loss of feeling in extremities or other areas of the body, loss of reflexes and loss of flexibility. People with these injuries are likely to experience secondary medical issues such as blood clots, internal bleeding, pneumonia, spinal fluid leaks and infections.
Serious back injuries typically get diagnosed using CT scans, MRIs, X-rays and bone scans. After determining the nature of the injury, a doctor can then determine its extent and the treatment that will be necessary.
To learn more about the various types of back injuries and your legal options if you have been injured in an accident due to someone else’s negligence, contact an experienced New York taxi accident lawyer with the Law Office of Evan W. Kohn.