Indianapolis Back and Spinal Injury Lawyers
Back injuries can vary depending on the severity of the accident and the individual that was hurt. A minor fender-bender, for example, may only result in some mild aches and pains in the back area. However, a more severe collision like a t-bone or rollover accident, for example, could result in much more serious and devastating back and spinal cord injuries that can permanently alter the victim’s life. At Crossen Law Firm, our team of experienced Indianapolis back and spinal injury lawyers is dedicated to advocating for those injured in car accidents.
If you or a loved one suffer a back or spinal injury after a car accident, you may need to work with an experienced personal injury attorney to get the compensation you deserve. Personal injury claims can help victims cover the cost of medical expenses, loss of wages, pain and suffering, and more. Unfortunately, it is not uncommon for insurance companies to offer low settlement amounts or deny claims. Working with an attorney, however, can benefit your case by ensuring that insurers do not take advantage or use anything against you to deny your claim.
At Crossen Law Firm, our experienced Indianapolis back and spinal injury lawyers, understand the emotional, physical, and financial toll an accident resulting in back and spinal injuries can have on your life. Our goal is to guide you through the legal process every step of the way to get you the compensation you need and deserve to recover and move on.
If you sustain a back injury in a car accident, contact a skilled Indianapolis back and spinal injury lawyer right away at (317) 401-8626.
Causes of Back and Spinal Injuries
Between 250,000 and 500,000 people suffer from spinal cord injuries globally every year, and these numbers would be much higher if you took all back injuries into account. Back injuries can affect any area of the back, while spinal injuries specifically refer to damage or trauma that occurs along the spinal cord that runs below the vertebra down your back. When the spinal cord is damaged, it can result in permanent damage that causes paralysis or reduced mobility and functionality in various parts of the body.
Back and spinal injuries can occur in various situations, such as slip and fall accidents, sporting accidents, workplace accidents, and even from degenerative diseases. However, the leading cause of back and spinal injuries is car accidents. The force of a car accident can cause the body to jerk and whip around violently, which causes trauma to the back area especially. Minor accidents may only result in mild sprains and strains, while severe accidents can cause more severe damage, such as herniated discs and paralysis. An experience Indianapolis back and spinal injury lawyer will be able to help evaluate your case and determine the compensation you may be able to get from your accident.
Back Injuries Sustained in Car Accidents
Again, the back and spinal injuries that result from car accidents can vary depending on the individual situation. Generally, the faster a car is traveling, or the more severe the impact, the worse the injuries will be. Seatbelts can help reduce the likelihood of a fatality, but there is no guarantee. If a car flips or rolls over multiple times, for example, even a seatbelt may not entirely protect you from getting severely injured. However, that’s not to say you should go without a seatbelt, as in most situations, they do help minimize the risk of injury.
Some of the more common back injuries you can sustain in a car accident include the following:
Whiplash is one of the most common injuries experienced after car accidents. It occurs due to the sudden jerking or whipping motion the body experiences from the force of impact when colliding with another car or object. While this type of injury can go undiagnosed or may be treated with little care, it can actually cause intense pain and reduced mobility in the neck and back until the injury heals. If left untreated, it can lead to chronic issues and complications in the neck and back.
Sprains and Strains
Soft tissue damage, such as a sprain or strain, is also a common type of back injury resulting from car accidents. A strain occurs when a muscle or tendon in the back gets pulled or twisted beyond its normal range of motion, and a sprain occurs when a joint is forced out of its normal position. Sprains and strains can be felt suddenly, or they can become worse over time. However, they are generally easy to treat and simply require rest and limiting physical activity for a short period of time.
Breaks or fractures in the vertebra along the spine can also occur due to extreme force from a collision. Typically, compression fractures are the most common, which occur when stress and compression put on the spine cause small cracks or fissures to form. However, it is possible for the bones in the vertebra to break entirely. When this occurs, pieces of the bone can become lodged in the spinal cord, which can lead to paralysis.
Herniated Discs and Spinal Cord Injuries
Herniated discs and spinal cord injuries are two of the more severe types of back injuries you can sustain after a car accident. If you suffer from a herniated disc or spinal cord injury, it can require expensive medical treatments and extended periods of recovery. In many cases, these injuries are permanent and will affect the victim for the rest of their life. An Indianapolis back and spinal injury lawyer can help you recover the damages you deserve.
Herniated discs occur when any of the discs along the vertebra slip out of place. The disc itself is the soft, rubbery center in the individual parts of the vertebra. When the discs become herniated, they often bulge out and can push against the nerves located in the spine. These types of injuries are more common in older adults due to weakened vertebra and degeneration; however, anyone can experience a herniated disc if enough force is applied to the spine, such as in a severe car accident.
Symptoms of herniated discs:
- Back pain that radiates into the leg
- Numbness and tingling in the legs
- Intense, electric shock-like pain in the back area
- Weakness in the legs and back
- Burning sensation
- Loss of bladder and bowel control
- Muscle spasms
Diagnosis and treatment of herniated discs:
In order to diagnose a herniated disc and assess the level of damage, your doctor will likely perform a physical examination to test your sensation, muscle strength, and reflexes. They will also typically order an MRI to get a closer look at your spine to determine the exact location of the injury.
Surgery is not common with herniated disc injuries but is an option if other treatments fail. Some of the more common treatments for herniated discs include:
- The application of ice and heat
- Pain relievers
- Steroid injections
- Anti-inflammatory drugs
- Home exercise
- Physical therapy
Spinal Cord Injuries
The spinal cord is a sensitive part of the body that is responsible for sending signals back and forth from your brain to your body. When the spinal cord is damaged, it affects the nerves and can result in loss of mobility and paralysis. Generally, injuries to the spinal cord occur only in more severe and tragic accidents, but it simply depends on the circumstances. Someone whose body is more frail, such as an older adult, is more susceptible to these types of injuries, but they can happen to anyone. It’s important to call an Indianapolis back and spinal injury lawyer as soon as possible to help you with your case.
Types of spinal cord injuries:
Spinal cord injuries are classified in one of two ways: complete and incomplete. A complete injury happens when you lose all feeling and motor control below the area that was injured. An incomplete injury occurs when you only lose partial sensation or control below the injured area. Once a spinal injury is classified, doctors may then further label the injury based on which area is affected by the injury, such as:
- Cervical: Head and neck area above the shoulders
- Thoracic: Upper chest and mid-back
- Lumbar: Hip and leg area
- Sacral: Hips, back of the legs, pelvis, and buttocks
Symptoms of spinal cord injuries:
- Loss of motor control and functionality
- Loss of sensation in various parts of the body
- Loss of bowel control
- Loss of bladder control
- Spasms in the area of the body that was affected
- Loss of sexual function
- Fertility issues
- Stinging and tingling sensations
- Difficulty breathing
- Pain in the head, neck, or back
- Loss of coordination
Diagnosis and treatment of spinal cord injuries:
Similar to diagnosing a herniated disc, a doctor may ask a series of questions and perform a physical exam to test for things like loss of sensation and loss of mobility. Beyond the initial exam, your doctor will then likely order tests such as an MRI, a CT scan, or an X-ray to get a better look at the injury and how severe the damage is.
In most cases, spinal cord injuries are irreversible, and treatments are simply meant to make you more comfortable. However, there are cases where therapy and even surgeries can help a patient gain back some mobility, but this is rare.
Common treatments for spinal injuries include:
- Various medications
- Electronic aids
- Electronic stimulation
- Immobilization or assistive devices such as braces or wheelchairs
Seeking an Indianapolis Back and Spinal Injury Lawyer After an Accident
Your health and wellbeing should be your number one priority following an accident. Back and spinal cord injuries can be particularly dangerous as any movement can cause the injury to become worse. If you suspect you have sustained a serious back or spinal injury, you should move your body as little as possible and call for emergency medical services or have someone else call for you.
The additional steps you take after seeking emergency medical care are also important, as any mistakes you make could negatively affect your personal injury claim. For back and spinal injuries, you need to get as much compensation as possible to help you cover costly medical treatments and other damages. To ensure you win your case and get the compensation you deserve, make sure you take the following steps after your accident:
- Contact the police: A police report is essential when filing a personal injury claim. Make sure the police are called and arrive to gather the information they need to file a report.
- Collect evidence: If possible, take photos of the accident scene and collect contact information from any witnesses. Eye-witness statements and photographic evidence can help prove fault in a personal injury case.
- Contact your insurance provider: Following the accident, you will need to contact your insurance company to report the accident so they can get a claim started.
- Consult with an attorney: Get in touch with an Indianapolis car accident attorney as soon as possible after your accident. Insurance companies and even the authorities can use your own words against you, which can negatively impact your claim. It’s also not uncommon for insurance companies to try to get victims to agree to a quick settlement amount. However, this will likely be much less than what you are owed. An Indianapolis back and spinal injury lawyer can guide you through the legal process to ensure no mistakes are made and fight insurance companies to ensure you get the full amount of compensation you deserve.
Explore Your Legal Options With an Indianapolis Back and Spinal Injury Lawyer
Discussing your case with an experienced Indianapolis back and spinal injury lawyer can help you during this trying time. At Crossen Law Firm, our team will fight tirelessly on your behalf to help you get what you are owed, and you will not owe us anything unless we win your case.
Make the right call. Call Crossen Law Firm at (317) 401-8626 or contact our firm online.