Sometimes the trauma from a car accident is so intense that it breaks bones by compressing them until they fracture. These injuries are compression fractures, and they happen in the spinal column, including the neck and back.
At Max Meyers Law, our legal team can help you if you suffered compression fractures from a car accident in Washington. We can help you hold the at-fault driver responsible for your injuries and your recoverable damages. Call us at today for a free consultation.
Spinal Compression Fractures From Crashes
It takes a substantial force to compress bones in the spine to the point that they break, so these injuries usually happen in the most severe crashes. Victims often sustain other significant or life-threatening injuries in addition to compression fractures. While the bones in the lower back are the most likely location for compression fractures, these injuries can happen anywhere from the neck to the bottom of the spine.
Symptoms of Spinal Compression Fractures
Occasionally, crash victims with compression fractures do not experience symptoms right away. It could take time for any worrying symptoms to develop. This is why we recommend seeking medical attention immediately after a car crash, or even taking an ambulance from the scene. However, if you have not already sought treatment, you should get immediate medical attention if you experience any of the following symptoms.
You might feel pain in your neck or your upper, middle, or lower back. Other areas that can experience pain with a vertebral fracture are your hip, thigh, or abdomen. Tell the doctor if resting does not relieve the pain, or if it is worse when you are sleeping.
Weakness, Numbness, or Tingling
The nerves near the broken vertebra can get compressed by the fracture or by swollen tissue. You might experience permanent nerve damage if the fracture does not get treatment.
Incontinence or Inability to Urinate
If you cannot control your bladder or bowels, the broken bone could be pushing against your spinal cord, which could lead to severe consequences in very little time.
If you have a high fever, go to the emergency room at once.
How a Spinal Compression Fracture Can Affect Your Life
Many people eventually heal and return to their normal lives after a vertebral compression fracture, but some are not as fortunate. Depending on your age, general health, the severity of your spinal fracture, and the other injuries you sustained in the crash, you might experience complications in the healing process.
The bones in your back work together as a team to support the weight of your body and allow you to move. If the damage to your spine causes part of your spine to collapse or deteriorate, your back can become unstable. You could face chronic pain and long-term impairment of your daily activities. Also, spinal fractures tend to lead to spinal degeneration in the damaged area.
If the front portion of your vertebrae collapse, your spinal bones will take on a wedge-like shape. Eventually, you can develop a hunchback with pain so extreme that it is debilitating. Because the spine cannot hold your body in place correctly, the hunching can compress your heart, lungs, and other internal organs. At this point, you would experience chronic fatigue, loss of appetite, and shortness of breath.
Spinal Cord Damage
The spinal nerves can sustain injury from broken pieces of fractured bones, pressure on the spinal cord, irritation of the nerves, and a decreased supply of blood and oxygen to the spinal cord. Spinal cord damage can cause you to live in pain, experience sensations of numbness, and lose your mobility.
Damages for Spinal Fractures
Fair compensation for this type of fracture often includes money to pay for the lifetime costs of a spinal cord injury. The damages you can recover could pay for your current losses as well as the potential long-term or lifelong impact of your compression fractures.
Your damages should pay for all of the costs you have incurred to date because of your injury. This could pay for several losses, including:
●Decreased future earning potential;
●Loss of enjoyment of life;
●Pain and suffering; and
●Loss of consortium.
If you experience long-term impacts on your life because of your injuries, you might have a claim for future damages. These damages offer payment for your:
●Paralysis or decreased mobility;
●Long-term care; and
●Need for lifelong assistance with daily living activities.