Thursday, January 29, 2015

Back and Neck Injuries in Automobile Accidents

The most common injuries I come across in my practice as a Clearwater Personal Injury attorney are back and neck injuries. This holds true regardless of the type of impact (head-on, rear-end, side, etc.) my client’s vehicle endures. The severity of these injuries obviously can range from mild sprain and strain to vertebral fractures and/or severe damage to the spinal cord.

Despite the growing number of safety features and the dramatic increase in safety technology in vehicles today, there is no way to ever eliminate the risk of injury from riding in or operating a motor vehicle. The human body is too fragile, and the forces exerted by cars and trucks in motor vehicle crashes are too great, to ever be able to eliminate injuries entirely.

It is unfortunate that back injuries are so common in car accidents. The human back is a made up of a complex network of tendons, muscles, and ligaments that are intertwined around the vertebrae, the discs, and the spinal cord. Because the spine is incredibly important to human anatomy and the complexity of not only the spine and the spinal column but of the network of nerves and muscles intertwined with it, people that suffer back injuries are often debilitated, and their injuries affect every aspect of their life.

Disc Injuries

The spine (also referred to as the spinal column or the backbone) is made up of thirty-three vertebrae, the upper twenty-four of which are articulating and separated from each other by intervertebral discs. There are 23 discs located in the vertebra between the 24 vertebrae. Trauma to the spine can cause these discs to bulge or even create a disc herniation. A disc herniation occurs when a disc breaks or tears open and part of the inner cartilage protrudes outward. Disc bulging happens when the damage pushes or squeezes a disk out of its natural position between the vertebrae. While either injury can cause pain, disc herniations are the more serious injury of the two.

Diagnostic Studies


When initially seeking treatment, many of my clients that have suffered a back injury will undergo x-rays. X-rays are used to identify bone fractures and spine misalignment in back injuries. While x-rays doctors an idea of what is going on in the patient’s spine, they cannot be used to diagnose disc bulges or herniations.

Magnetic Resonance Imaging Scan (MRI)

MRI is a test that uses a magnetic field and pulses of radio wave energy to make pictures of organs and structures inside the body made up of tissues. MRIs allow doctors to see structures in the body which cannot be seen by x-rays, CT scans, or ultrasound. They are the best means by which to determine if a patient has a disc injury.

Computer Axial Tomography Scans (CT, or CAT scan)

Computer Axial Tomography Scans (CT) take pictures of structures within the human body by taking data from multiple x-ray images. CT scans can reveal some soft-tissue and other structures that cannot be seen by conventional x-rays.  

Call a Clearwater Personal Injury Law Firm Today to Schedule a Free Consultation

Anyone who has sustained a spinal cord injury in a preventable accident should discuss their situation with an experienced lawyer as soon as possible. Among the kinds of losses that may be compensable in a spinal injury lawsuit are past and future medical expenses, lost income, loss of quality of life, and physical and emotional pain and suffering. In cases where a spinal cord injury victim is unable to work, the recovery obtained through a settlement or award is often the only source of financial security available to victims and their families. As a result, it is extremely important for victims to make sure they get the full value of their claim.

The Dolman Law Group is a Clearwater, Florida personal injury law firm that is committed to helping people injured be the negligence of others recover for their losses. To schedule a free consultation with one of our attorneys, call our office today at (727) 451-6900 or send us an email through our online contact form available here.

Dolman Law Group
800 North Belcher Road
Clearwater, FL 33765


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