Thousands of people suffer neck and back injuries from car accidents every year in Georgia and throughout the US, and some people face a lifetime of pain when they’re hit from behind from a speeding car. If you’re currently living with a neck or back injury following a rear-end car accident, you may have a valid legal claim for losses such as medical bills, lost wages, and pain and suffering.
The neck and back are especially susceptible to injury in a rear-end car accident. As a car slams into something, or something hits your car, the inertia of the opposing force causes everything in the car to move in the direction of the location of impact. But there’s only so much room to move in a car, and eventually, the car door, seatbelt, or dashboard is going to stop that forward momentum. This force often generates tremendous pressure on the neck and back, and the resulting jerking motion, whiplash, is the most common injury suffered in rear-end car accidents. Studies show that 85% of neck injuries from car accidents occur in a rear-end collision.
Spinal Cord Injury
You may experience a spinal cord injury following a car accident; the spinal cord is the bundle of nerves in the spinal column and is called the backbone. The spinal cord carries messages between the brain and body; injury to the spinal cord or the spinal column may result in full or partial loss of motor control and sensation.
Spinal cord injuries may leave rear-end car accident victims paralyzed in the lower parts of the body (paraplegic) or in all four limbs (quadriplegic). The spinal cord is responsible for a range of bodily functions including breathing, bladder, and sexual function, spinal cord injury victims may suffer a variety of serious and long-lasting health problems. With the serious physical challenges that come with a spinal cord injury, victims often suffer emotional and psychological problems as well. Many people never fully recover from spinal cord injuries resulting from a car accident, and their mental health suffers greatly, also.
Back Injuries from a Car Wreck
Some common back injuries that result from a rear-end car wreck include:
- Spinal stenosis—A common condition that occurs when the small spinalcanal, which contains the nerve roots and spinal cord, becomes compressed. Commonly referred to a “pinched nerve,” this injury results in pain, cramping, weakness, and/or numbness.
- Disc herniation— Sometimes called a “slipped” or “ruptured” disk, this condition most often occurs in the lower back, but it can occur in the smaller disks in the neck.
- Degenerative spinal disorders—These injuries manifest as a gradual loss of normal structure and function of the spineover time.
- Facet injuries—Damage to the spine’s facet joints is the most frequent back injury, especially after a rear-end car accident. Facet joints are small joints located between and behind the vertebrae of the back. They provide stability to the spinal column and needed for movement. Most facet joint injuries occur in the neck (cervical) or lower back (lumbar) areas. The sudden trauma of a rear-end car accident can cause the joints to be damaged or extended beyond the regular range of motion.
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), rear-end collisions account for 28% of all automobile accidents, making them one of the most frequent types of automobile accidents in the United States. If you were injured in Atlanta, Sandy Springs or anywhere in Georgia, attorney Laurie Robbins will lead you through the complex process of collecting monetary compensation for any losses suffered in a rear-end car accident.