Common back injuries from auto accidents

The spine is an important part of the nervous system that houses the spinal cord. An auto accident in New Jersey can disrupt the functioning of the spine and cause several types of injuries.

Herniated discs

A herniated disc is a common personal injury after an auto accident, which damages the cushions in between vertebrae. The cushions act as shock absorbers, but the impact may cause them to push through the spine.

Some common symptoms of a herniated disc include weakness around infected nerves, tingling or numbness, and leg or arm pain. Studies show that about 90% of patients may experience no symptoms or delayed symptoms, and most cases heal with treatment.

Spinal fractures

A compression fracture causes the front of the spine to collapse while the back remains in place. Compression fractures commonly cause a loss of height, arm or leg numbness, and pain in legs, arms or back.

A more severe spinal fracture is a burst fracture, which breaks the vertebra in multiple places. A burst fracture often worsens pain when moving and causes muscle weakness, numbness and tingling and bowel or bladder issues. A flexion fracture occurs when the upper body is forcibly moved forward, but the bottom remains uninjured.

Spinal stenosis

Spinal stenosis does not always directly occur from vehicle accidents, but it can aggravate pre-existing symptoms. This condition causes the spaces in the spine to constrict, most commonly in the lower back and neck.

The narrowing of spaces in the neck is called cervical stenosis, and it’s called lumbar stenosis in the lower back. The extra pressure on the nerve roots could cause sciatica, shooting pain or radiating pain.

Injured parties should seek medical care immediately, even if they don’t feel injured. Delaying treatment may make the injury seem less serious to the at-fault party’s insurance. Injured car crash victims also have limited time to file a claim under the statutes of limitation, so it’s important to get a doctor’s opinion right away.

What not to do after a crash

If you have been involved in a car accident in New Jersey, you may experience a variety of injuries. As a general rule, the person who causes the crash to occur is liable for paying any medical bills that you have incurred. However, there are several mistakes that you could make that might hinder your ability to obtain a favorable outcome.

Don’t downplay the severity of your injuries

It’s almost never in your best interest to say that you are not hurt in the immediate aftermath of a crash. This is partially because you don’t really know if this is true or not. However, downplaying the severity of your injuries may provide the defendant with an opening to get a personal injury lawsuit dismissed. At a minimum, it may make it harder to prove that the crash was the proximate cause of a concussion, muscle strain or internal bleed.

Don’t wait too long to take action

You have a time limit from the date of your accident to file a personal injury lawsuit. In some cases, you’ll have more time to file depending on the circumstances of your case. For example, if you didn’t immediately realize that you were hurt in the crash, the statute of limitation may be extended by several weeks. It’s also important that you seek medical care in a timely manner to make it easier to prove that you were hurt because of a defendant’s reckless actions.

If you are a motor vehicle accident victim, it’s important to seek medical attention as quickly as possible. It’s also important to speak with your insurance company no more than 24 hours after the accident.