Motor Vehicle Accidents and Falls are the Leading Causes of Traumatic Spinal Injuries
Spinal injuries can consist of damage to the spinal cord, or to the vertebrae, disks or ligaments within the spinal column. According to The Mayo Clinic, the leading causes of such injuries are car accidents and motorcycle accidents, which together account for over 35 percent of spinal injuries each year. Falls, the second leading cause of traumatic injuries to the spine, account for more than 25 percent of such injuries. Physical or traumatic injury to the spine may occur when there is force applied upon, or a direct impact to, the spine which can result in fractures, dislocations or compression of one or more vertebrae. Within the days or weeks following a traumatic spine injury, further damage may occur due to swelling, inflammation, bleeding, or the accumulation of fluid in or around the spinal cord.
The lawyers at The Rudman Law Firm, APC have more than 75 years of combined experience representing clients who have suffered spinal injuries in car accidents and falls. We have a specialized understanding of the issues unique to spinal injuries, and skill in articulating the mechanics of how such injuries are caused in an accident, the effects on the anatomy involved, and the medical treatment required, in a personal injury case. We fully dedicate our knowledge and experience to obtaining compensation for accident victims with these very serious injuries.
Types of Spinal Injuries
The vertebrae, and corresponding nerves, are grouped into various levels including:
- High-Cervical (C1-C4).Upper neck injuries are the most severe and complicated of the spinal cord injuries, and may result in paralysis of arms, hands, torso and legs.
- Low-Cervical (C5-C8).Injuries to the lower portion of the neck may affect a person’s arms and hands.
- Thoracic (T1-T12).Injuries to the mid-back can also affect the chest, abdominal muscles, trunk and legs.
- Lumbar (L1-L5).Lower back injuries can result in loss of function in the hips or legs.
- Sacral (S1-5).Injuries to the sacral area of the spine can also cause some loss of function in the hips and legs.
Spinal cord injuries may result in symptoms and complications such as pain or pressure in the neck or back caused by damage to nerve fibers, weakness, loss of feeling or sensation or numbness and tingling in the hands, fingers, feet or toes, loss of movement, loss of control of the bladder or bowels, sexual dysfunction, difficulty breathing, and depression. In severe cases, injury to the spinal cord can cause tetraplegia (also known as quadriplegia) – severe effect upon, and paralysis of, the arms, hands, legs, trunk and organs in the pelvic region; or paraplegia – paralysis of the legs, trunk and pelvic organs.
Diagnosis and Treatment of Spinal Injuries
In addition to clinical examination by a physician, the following methods are used to diagnose spinal cord injuries:
- X-Rays are a photographic examination of the structures in the spine using electromagnetic waves, and are useful for detecting fractures and dislocation of the vertebrae.
- Computerized Tomography (CT) Scans are a more sophisticated type of X-Ray which takes photographs from various angles and uses computer technology to create detailed images of the structures within the spine.
- Magnetic Resonance Imaging(MRI) uses magnetic fields and radio frequency waves to generate very detailed imaging of the spinal cord, and can detect abnormalities within the disks, soft tissues and blood vessels in and around the spine. Further, contrast dyes can be used to further enhance the images. Unlike X-Rays and CT Scans, MRIs do not involve the use of radiation.
These methods can give rise to diagnoses such as fractures, separation (dislocation) or partial misalignment (subluxation) of vertebrae, herniated or protruding disks, tearing or severing, spinal cord or nerve compression, loss of curvature of the spine, and swelling of the muscles around the spine.
Treatment of spinal cord injuries may include:
- Physical Therapy
- Occupational Therapy
- Epidural Steroid Injections
- Nerve Blocks
Get Assistance with Your Personal Injury Claim from our Spinal Injury Attorneys
Our attorneys have dedicated their entire practice to personal injury cases. We are passionate about bringing civil justice to victims of spinal cord injuries in Los Angeles and all of Southern California. We understand the major impact a serious spinal injury can have on a person’s life and we are here to help you in your difficult time. Please call to speak with one of the attorneys of The Rudman Law Firm, APC for a free phone consultation at our Encino office at (818) 769-6969 or toll free at (844) 478-3626 / (844) 4RUDMAN. If we take your case, we will handle it on a contingency fee basis, taking no fees unless and until we collect compensation on your behalf.