Spinal Fractures in Accident Victims- Getting the Diagnosis and Compensation You Deserve

 There are increasing concerns that spinal fractures in auto accident victims, in Virginia and nationwide, are not being diagnosed as often as they should.  This is leading to an increasing number of accident victims who suffer lifelong pain and impairment due to the lack of a proper diagnosis.  This article has been created by our staff and attorneys as a basic guide to some of the common signs, symptoms and long term outcomes of spinal fractures.  Please contact your physician if you believe you are suffering from a fracture or any type of injury related to your accident. 

Spinal Fractures

A spinal fracture is a type of spinal injury that is caused by a trauma to the spine.  One common cause of this trauma is a car accident.  A spinal fracture can range from minor to severe.  While some fractures may cause nerve damage, others impact only the bones themselves and may or may not trigger immediate pain.  It is crucial that you are examined by a doctor after an accident, even if there is no pain in the back or neck, as spinal fractures often do not cause pain. 

Common Symptoms of a Spinal Fracture

As discussed above, many spinal fractures do not cause immediate pain and go undiagnosed.  However, others do cause pain and other symptoms.  These symptoms include:

  • Weakness in the arms or legs
  • Numbness in the arms or legs
  • Pain that moves down the arms or legs
  • Difficulty walking or moving
  • Bowel and/or bladder control issues
  • Paralysis (though rare)

Any fracture can be serious and if you believe you have a fracture, even if there is no pain in the back, please be seen by a doctor as soon as possible.  Leaving the fracture untreated can cause further neurological damage and can result in lifelong pain and disability.

Long-Term Outcome

Prompt treatment can help you have a more favorable outcome.  However, fractures that go undiagnosed and untreated can lead to lasting impairment.  One type of fracture that is often overlooked is a compression fracture.  This is often associated with osteoporosis and can eventually cause a loss of height and/or a noticeable hump in the spine.   In addition, lack of treatment can cause chronic pain, disability and the risk of future fractures.

 If you have been injured in an auto accident in Virginia, first be sure that you receive proper medical care.  If you are at all concerned about the possibility of spinal fractures, ensure that doctors evaluate your spine and check for fractures.  If you have any questions as to your legal rights after an accident do not hesitate to contact an experienced lawyer at Tavss Fletcher for your free consultation.  Together we can ensure that you receive proper compensation for any injuries, lost wages and property damage.