The Most Common Types of Back Injuries Suffered in Car Accidents

Back injuries are among the most common types of injuries people
suffer in car crashes. There is, however, a great deal of variance among the
various subcategories of back injuries.

To understand the types of back injuries that may result from a car accident, it’s important to have a general understanding of the spine. There are three primary areas of the spine: the cervical vertebrae (the neck), the thoracic vertebrae (the upper back) and the lumbar vertebrae (the lower back). Every section of spine and vertebrae is surrounded by discs, tendons, muscles, ligaments and nerves, each of which can cause varying levels of pain if injured. The effects, depending on the injury, could be temporary or permanent.

The following is a brief overview of the various categories of back injuries you are likely to suffer in a collision:

  • Thoracic spine injuries: Injuries to the thoracic spine tend to be the most serious. This area of the spin connects to the chest and ribs. Sprains or fractures to this region usually occur in high-impact, high-velocity accidents and could lead to permanent nerve damage.
  • Lumbar spine injuries: The lumbar spine features the five largest vertebrae and the strongest back muscles that stabilize the spine. Sprains or strains in this region can become quite painful and likely feature loss of movement, swelling, tenderness or bruising. Your ability to perform everyday activities could be quite limited after a lumbar spine injury.
  • Herniated discs: You might experience a herniated disc from your car accident. This happens when a disc becomes displaced. Most often, a herniated disc places extra pressure on the nerves surrounding the spinal cord, or the cord itself. This can cause sudden, intense pain in the back and numbness in your lower body.
  • Spinal cord injuries: Injuries to the spinal cord produce the most serious back injuries. These include bruising or intense pressure, along with permanent damage to the nerves or spinal cord that can lead to prolonged disability. In some cases, spinal cord injuries cause total or partial paralysis, loss of feeling or sensation and loss of reflexes. In addition, the victim could also be at higher risk for problems such as surgical infections, bleeding, blood clots, leaks of spinal fluid, pneumonia and various other medical complications.

To learn more about the types of back injuries most often experienced by victims of car accidents and how you can hold the responsible party liable, work with an experienced New York personal injury lawyer at Robinson & Yablon, P.C.