Spinal Cord Injury from a Car Accidents in Houston

doctor pointing to spine bones

A spinal cord injury in a car crash can be highly traumatic and permanently change a person’s life. If you or a loved one suffered a spinal cord injury from a car accident, you likely face costly medical bills, lost income, pain, emotional trauma, and numerous other losses. No matter how overwhelmed you feel now, you should know that you could be entitled to compensation for your losses. You do not have to shoulder the financial and emotional burdens of a spinal cord injury alone.

The Houston personal injury attorneys at The Callahan Law Firm have over 25 years of experience helping people who suffered spinal cord injuries from car accidents. Our lawyers are dedicated to seeking the justice and compensation accident victims deserve. We are ready to tirelessly advocate for your legal rights and help you pursue the best outcome.

Contact us today for a free consultation to discuss your situation and whether you could be entitled to financial relief.

Main Regions of the Spine

The spine is made of 33 bones which are anatomically divided into four regions:

Cervical spine – The top seven vertebrae that form the neck are called the cervical spine.
Thoracic spine – The middle back or thoracic spine contains 12 vertebrae.
Lumbar spine – The lower back or lumbar spine contains five vertebrae.
Sacrum and coccyx – The sacrum and tailbone are composed of nine vertebrae that form a solid bone

How Car Crashes Cause Spinal Cord Injuries

Car crashes often result in spinal cord injuries because the force of two or more vehicles colliding can violently throw passengers around and even eject them from the vehicle. According to research conducted by the National Spinal Cord Injury Statistical Center (NSCISC), vehicle collisions are the leading cause of spinal cord injuries in the United States, followed by falls, acts of violence, and sports. Even seemingly minor car accidents can be devastating because the spinal cord is vulnerable to damage even in relatively low-impact crashes. A spinal cord injury can result in secondary conditions that can be debilitating.

Common Spinal Injuries from Car Accidents

The spine can be injured in various ways in car accidents. Some of the most common spinal injuries include:

  • Herniated discs– Herniated discs commonly appear following trauma to the spine, such as in a car accident. A herniated disc results from the soft center of a spinal disk slipping, rupturing, or bulging through the exterior casting of the spinal cord.
  • Vertebral fractures– There are four types of vertebral fractures: burst fractures, flexion-distraction fractures, fracture-dislocation fractures, and compression fractures. Vertebral fractures are caused by a dislocation or fracture of the backbone and can happen in several places along the spine.
  • Paraplegia– Damage to the spinal cord at a mid or lower level of the spine can result in paralysis of the legs and lower body.
  • Quadriplegia– When the upper spinal cord is damaged and nerves are severed, the result can be paralysis from that level downward including the arms and legs.

How Often Do Car Accidents Result in a Spinal Cord Injury?

Spinal cord injuries are common in car accidents, and car accidents are among the leading causes of such SCIs in the United States. According to the National Spinal Cord Injury Statistical Center (NSCISC), nearly 39 percent of spinal cord injuries nationally are caused by car accidents.

What Are the Signs of a Spinal Injury After a Car Accident?

According to the Mayo Clinic, signs of a spinal injury after a car accident include:

  • Muscle weakness near the affected nerves
  • Sharp, burning pain at the injury site that radiates into the shoulders and arms, or low back and legs
  • A tingling or numbing sensation in the legs or arms
  • Motor function complications (walking, running, stretching)
  • Loss of sensation to the feeling of heat and cold
  • Loss of bowel and bladder control
  • Changes in sexual function, sexual sensitivity, and fertility
  • Difficulty breathing, coughing, or clearing secretions from the lungs

If you are experiencing one or more of these signs, contact a licensed medical professional to request immediate medical attention and a proper diagnosis of your symptoms.

Recovering from a Spinal Cord Injury

Recovering from a spinal cord injury requires specific treatment. Medical professionals should diagnose your spinal cord injury, decide on a treatment plan, and give you a prognosis based on the specifics of your injury.

Tests such as computed tomography (CT) scans, magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), and X-rays are commonly used to gather more information about a spinal cord injury, including the precise location of the damage, the severity, and the likelihood of recovery.

Medical treatment for an SCI can be preventative, short-term, or long-term, depending on the nature of the injury. Treatment options may include wearing a soft collar around the neck or body, regularly scheduled chiropractic sessions, over-the-counter anti-inflammatory medications to reduce pain, epidural steroid injections to reduce inflammation, and physical therapy to improve mobility and comfort. Surgery is a necessary treatment for severe spinal injuries.

A medical professional will use information such as your age, physical health, vital signs, and the severity of your spinal cord injury to determine the prognosis of your condition. Your prognosis will play a significant role if you seek compensation for your injury.

Potential Compensation for Car Accident Spinal Cord Injuries in Houston

If you suffered a spinal cord injury in a car accident, you could be entitled to compensation for losses such as the following:

  • Medical costs associated with treating your injury, including hospital stays, surgery, doctor’s visits, diagnostic testing, medications, physical therapy, and medical equipment
  • Lost wages if you cannot work while healing from your injury
  • Reduced future earning capacity if your injury results in a disability that prevents you from returning to your job or performing any sort of work
  • Physical pain and suffering
  • Emotional distress
  • Physical impairment
  • Disfigurement and permanent scarring

Contact Our Houston Car Accident Attorneys for Help

For over 25 years, the attorneys at The Callahan Law Firm have sought justice and compensation for victims of life-changing car accidents. If you or a loved one suffered a spinal cord injury in a car crash that was someone else’s fault, you could be entitled to financial relief for your medical bills, lost wages, and other losses. We are ready to advocate for your rights and help you pursue the money you need to live the fullest life possible.

Contact us for a free consultation to discuss your situation and the legal options available to you.