In Kansas City, car accidents are one of the leading causes of spinal cord injuries. These types of injuries can be severe and devastating to the victim and cause suffering. Whether your accident occurred in Kansas or Missouri, you can get compensated for a spinal cord injury if another party’s negligence was the cause.
Knowing the next steps to take after a spinal cord injury is what our Kansas City attorneys are experienced at. We’ll guide you every step of the way. Call us today at 816-203-0143 for a free consultation to get the help you need.
Types of Spine Injuries After Kansas City Accidents
After a spinal cord injury, the pain and dysfunction a personal injury victim may experience will depend on where the injury occurs in the spinal column. The rings of bones in the spinal cord are the vertebrae and the cervical vertebrae are in the neck area. The vertebrae in the middle of the spine are called the thoracic vertebrae, and the vertebrae at the lower level of your back is called the lumbar vertebrae.
A spinal cord injury may occur at any of these levels. Common types of spinal cord injuries include:
Bulging or herniated discs
If the neck whips back and forth in a quick motion after a car accident, the individual may suffer bulging, or herniated discs. When discs are out of alignment, the person may feel pain that moves to the arm and fingers or numbness along your shoulder.
This happens when there is trauma in the spine. As a result of the trauma, the soft inner layer of the disc can tear through the outer layer of the cartilage.
If one of the 33 vertebrae in your spine breaks it is likely to either pinch or compress the spinal cord. How severe a victim’s fractured vertebrae will be after an accident will depend on the stability of their spine after they suffer a fracture.
Due to their severity, these injuries can cause paralysis of the limbs. Tetraplegic injuries cause different degrees of paralysis on the human limb. As a result of tetraplegic injuries a victim’s ability to move below the limb is eliminated.
Paraplegia occurs when sensation and movement are removed from the lower half of the body.
This occurs when a tissue surrounding a nerve causes a lot of pressure on the nerve. When this occurs the nerve function can be disrupted which then results in pain signals, weakness or numbness. These symptoms can travel to your upper extremities (arms and hands) or your lower extremities (legs and feet).
A pinched nerve is also sometimes referred to as “radiculopathy”. Radiculopathy occurs when there is damage to nerve roots where they exit the spine. This condition can be the result disc degeneration, disc herniation or injury.
This type of injury normally occurs because of wear and tear over time. However, the injury can also occur due to trauma, including that caused by a car crash.
Spinal stenosis will occur when the spaces in your spinal canal start getting narrow hence resulting in pressure on the spinal columns and the nerves.
Spinal stenosis can be a genetic condition that occurs at birth for some. However, some individuals are also likely to develop trauma to the spine because of trauma or injury.
Diagnosing Spine Injuries After a Car Accident
As noted above, spine injuries from car accidents can range from mild strains to life-altering conditions. Early diagnosis plays an integral role in successful treatment and recovery. If you're involved in a car accident in Kansas City, Missouri or Kansas, follow these steps to diagnose a potential spine injury:
- Self-assessment: Begin by evaluating your physical condition. Do you feel any severe pain in your back, neck, or spine area? Is there any numbness or tingling in your extremities? These could be signs of a potential spinal injury.
- Emergency Services: Seek immediate medical attention, even if your symptoms seem minor. A professional medical examination is critical in diagnosing spine injuries that might not be apparent initially.
- Imaging tests: Expect your healthcare provider to order several imaging tests. These might include X-rays, CT scans, EMGs or MRIs, which can reveal fractures, nerve compression, dislocations, and other spinal cord injuries.
- Neurological evaluation: This involves assessing your sensory and motor skills, as well as your reflexes, to determine if your spinal cord has been affected.
Remember, diagnosing a spine injury is a task for medical professionals. While it's important to be aware of your symptoms and communicate them accurately, self-diagnosis should never replace professional medical advice.
You should seek our prompt legal advice after a car accident, especially if you have suffered a spine injury. We'll help you understand your rights and the compensation you may be entitled to recover under Missouri or Kansas law. The sooner you act, the better your chances of securing the support you need for your recovery.
Common Treatments for Spine Injuries from Car Accidents
Spine injuries incurred in car accidents can have long-lasting impacts on one's health and wellness. Quick and appropriate treatments are vital to prevent permanent damage and regain the strength and flexibility of the spine. Some commonly recommended treatment methods with spine specialists are:
Chiropractic care is often a first line of treatment for spinal injuries. It involves manual adjustment of the spine to realign the vertebrae, often relieving pain and improving mobility. The chiropractor employs controlled force to manipulate the spine, promoting healing and recovery.
Chiropractic care is non-invasive, focusing on the body's inherent ability to heal itself. While the treatment duration may vary depending on the severity of the injury, many patients report significant improvement after several sessions.
2. Physical Therapy
Physical therapy is another essential component of spinal injury treatment. It aims to restore the function and movement of injured areas through targeted exercises and stretches that strengthen the back and core muscles.
- Manual Therapy: Includes massage, stretching, and joint mobilization.
- Therapeutic Exercises: Individualized exercises designed to improve strength, flexibility, and endurance.
For severe pain, doctors might recommend injections. These could be corticosteroids to reduce inflammation or nerve block injections to numb the affected area.
In severe cases, where the injury affects the nervous system or when non-invasive treatments don't bring relief, surgery might be the best option. The type of surgical intervention will depend on the nature and extent of the spinal injury.
Pain & Suffering from a Kansas City Spine Injury
The spinal cord plays a crucial role human body, and an injury to the spinal cord can cause permanent injury or complications that lessen one’s quality of life. Under both Kansas and Missouri law, you can recover damages for “pain and suffering”, which is the legal term for the loss of quality of life caused by the negligence of another party.
Here are some of the ways that a spinal cord injury can cause pain and suffering, which may be recoverable in a personal injury claim in Kansas and Missouri:
Loss of lower extremity function. When you are not able to use your legs and lower body functions effectively you will have trouble carrying out activities such as running, walking driving, or climbing. For some, they may have to be confined to a wheel chair for certain duration or for life.
Loss of upper extremity function. This means that depending on where the injury is or how severe it is, it is possible to lose part or overall function of your arms and the upper body. This is overwhelming to individuals who may find normal activities such as brushing their teeth strenuous or no longer possible. They may have to look into hiring a care provider to help them carry out day to day activities.
Complications from low blood pressure. A spinal cord injury can affect your blood flow. This could in turn result in low blood pressure, blood clots that could be threatening, and other life threatening issues.
Complications from respiratory difficulty. Muscle that control breathing may be affected as a result of higher level spinal cord injuries. This means that you may have to either permanently or temporarily use a respirator. This also means that you may be prone to pneumonia as well as other infections.
Complications in one’s bladder and bowel. Spinal cord injuries put individuals at risk of losing their bladder and bowel movements. This will severely affect an individual’s daily life and may lead to serious complications as well as infections.
A spinal cord injury can be life changing. That’s why it is crucial that you call our personal injury attorney to ensure you recover damages for any pain and suffering or loss of quality of life that may result.
Common Spine Injury Mistakes to Avoid
Here are some of the mistakes to avoid after a spine injury:
- Not getting immediate medical treatment and failing to adhere to your treatment plan.
- Not gathering evidence.
- Speaking to insurance companies before consulting with your lawyer.
- Posting details of your accident on social media.
- Taking too long to file a claim.
- Failing to consider permanent and non-economic aspects of your injury, including pain and suffering or loss of enjoyment of life.
- Failing to get in touch with our experienced personal injury attorney.
After an accident resulting with a spine injury, you should immediately seek medical attention and reach out to our personal injury attorney in Kansas City, Missouri. We can give you advice you on the steps to take.
Call Our Kansas City Personal Injury Attorney Today
Suffering from a spine injury because of someone else’s negligence is not something you have to go through alone. Our experienced attorneys are licensed in Missouri and Kansas and are committed to fighting for the compensation you deserve.
Call our office today at 816-203-0143 for a free consultation. You can also instantly download our free book Top 10 Ways to Maximize Your Injury Settlement. We’re on your side and here to help.