Car accidents can cause a number of severe injuries, some of which may even impact victims for the rest of their lives. One such condition is called spinal stenosis, the narrowing of the spine. This condition often requires expensive treatments, and it may impact a person’s ability to work and enjoy life.
If you suffered from spinal stenosis after an Indianapolis car accident caused by another driver, you need to seek a spinal stenosis car accident settlement that will compensate you for your medical bills and other damages. Here’s what you need to know about recovering a spinal stenosis car accident settlement.
Can a Car Accident Cause Spinal Stenosis?
Spinal stenosis is caused by the narrowing of the spinal column, which then causes uncomfortable or even dangerous pressure on the spinal cord and nerves.
Although car accidents don’t technically cause spinal stenosis, these physically traumatic events can cause drivers and passengers to suffer from structural injuries in the spine that then lead to spinal stenosis. Car accidents may also worsen a person’s spinal stenosis if they’re already living with the condition.
Both serious and even minor car accidents can cause victims to develop spinal stenosis, and the condition’s overall severity will depend on where the stenosis occurs in the spine. Additionally, those with spinal stenosis may experience ongoing pain or just occasional discomfort depending on the condition’s severity.
Severe Spinal Stenosis Symptoms
Unfortunately, many car accident victims are unaware that they’re suffering from spinal stenosis, especially because these are often delayed onset injuries. If you suffer from a wreck, you may develop immediate spinal stenosis, or you could develop the condition over time due to spinal degeneration.
If you’ve suffered back pain from a car accident, you need to be on the lookout for signs indicating that you’ve developed spinal stenosis. These symptoms include:
- Loss of balance
- Neck stiffness
- Newly developed incontinence in the bladder or bowels
- Limb weakness
- Numbness or tingling in your shoulders, arms, legs, or feet
- Pain in your neck, back, spine, and shoulder blades
- Pain radiating to your shoulders, arms, hands, legs, or buttocks
- Burning in your neck, arms, hands, or fingers
In the event that you suspect that you’re suffering from spinal stenosis, you need to seek immediate medical attention. Medical professionals will diagnose through an X-ray, MRI, or CT scan.
Is Spinal Stenosis a Permanent Disability?
The Social Security Administration does consider spinal stenosis to be a permanent disability when it prohibits a victim from working or performing daily activities, but whether or not your spinal stenosis is considered a disability will depend on the severity of your condition and how it impacts your life.
Although some suffer from serious long-term effects and disabilities from spinal stenosis, many are able to make a full recovery or mitigate the negative effects of living with the condition. Many have to undergo surgery in order to recover, but medical professionals often employ non-surgical treatments including medications, physical therapy, and chiropractic care.
Many are able to maintain full motor functionality while living with spinal stenosis, but the affliction can cause victims to develop a serious and rare condition called cauda equina syndrome (CES). This condition occurs when the collection of nerves at the bottom of the spinal cord (called the cauda equina) is compressed, causing the loss of motor and sensory function in the legs and feet. CES may also cause one to lose control of bowel and bladder functions and can lead to a victim developing paralysis.
Recovering Compensation for Spinal Stenosis After Car Accident
Your ability to recover compensation for your spinal stenosis will depend on the circumstances of your accident. If the other driver was at fault, you’ll need to file a claim with their insurance company or a lawsuit. You must also prove that the driver caused the accident and that you suffered from spinal stenosis or other injuries as a direct result.
In order to prove that the other driver was responsible for the wreck, you can use photographic and video evidence, eyewitness testimonies, and the police’s accident report. For example, let’s say that your wreck occurred because the other driver ran a red light and hit your car in the intersection when you had the right of way. You can interview witnesses who will corroborate the fact that the other driver ran the light. You can also collect video and photographic evidence of the wreck’s aftermath that may indicate that the other driver was at fault.
There may also be traffic cam or dash cam footage that captured the wreck itself, providing you with valuable evidence for your claim. Finally, if the police surveyed the accident scene accurately and recorded that the driver failed to abide by traffic signals, you can use the report as supporting evidence.
Next, you’ll need to prove that you suffered damages as a direct result of the accident. Drawing a direct connection between the wreck and your medical bills is critical, so you need to seek medical assistance as soon as possible after your accident.
To prove you suffered damages, you’ll need to supply all of your medical bills, including doctor’s visits, prescriptions, physical therapy, surgeries, and all other expenses. Additionally, your spinal stenosis car accident settlement could also include compensation for lost wages, physical and emotional pain and suffering, and loss of future earnings.
The amount that you can recover from your accident will depend on the severity of your injuries and how they’ve impacted your life. For example, if you suffered from a minor case of spinal stenosis that only required noninvasive treatment and didn’t impact your ability to work, you’ll not be able to recover as much as you would if the condition were more serious. The money that you can receive from the at-fault driver or their insurance company will directly depend on the damages you suffer.
Contact an Indiana Spinal Stenosis Lawyer
If you suffer from spinal stenosis or another injury after a car accident, you need to contact a seasoned personal injury lawyer who can help you recover the money you deserve.
For spine injury personal attorneys in Indiana, contact Crossen Law Firm. Our legal team will represent you to prove your case, and we’ll work to maximize the amount that you can recover for your damages. Call us today at 317-401-8626, or you can contact us online here.