When someone is injured in a care accident, it is important not to move them too much, especially the head, neck, and spine. This is because spinal injuries are devastatingly common due to the massive forces involved in car crashes. A person may not otherwise be severely injured and still suffer from spinal damage from the velocity force of the crash. Any situation in which the spine is suddenly misaligned can lead to temporary or permanent spinal damage, including loss of feeling or even paralysis.
Spinal damage also may not be immediately evident because there may not be outward signs of injury like cuts or bruises after the crash. This is why it is vital to seek immediate medical attention and secure a car accident lawyer as soon as you are safe after the crash. If you have spine damage from a car accident in Florida, you may benefit from an Orlando car accident lawyer to ensure that you get compensation for the long-term care that you deserve.
How Can a Lawyer Help You After Spine Damage from a Car Accident?
Spine damage is one of the most traumatic injuries that you can experience after a car accident. Spine damage can be terrifying, life-changing, and all-encompassing. If you or a loved one is suffering from spine damage after a car accident, however, there are three very important things to remember. First, you may need healthcare for the rest of your life. Second, insurance should cover as much of that expense as possible. Third, insurance companies do not want to “lose money” on your extensive medical bills.
Having a car accident lawyer on your side is the best way to make sure that you get the insurance settlement that you deserve to cover the cost of treatment, recovery, and possibly life-long care. Auto Justice Attorney Michael T. Gibson is here to help you get fair treatment and a full settlement from your insurance company and/or the other driver’s insurance company after you have suffered from spinal damage.
We know that a spinal injury can take up all of your time and attention. Let a skilled Orlando car accident lawyer fight for you while you focus on your health in the aftermath of an accident. Reach out for a consultation by calling 407-422-4529 or filling out our online form.
Spinal Injuries and Car Accidents
According to the National Spinal Cord Injury Statistics Center (NSCISC), vehicle crashes are the leading cause of spinal injuries since 2015. High-speed collisions cause spinal injuries by suddenly torquing the body in directions and at angles that it was not meant to move. Even if you are strapped into the vehicle seat, the impact of the crash can damage or even sever sections of your spine. This can lead to paralysis, loss of sensation, mobility problems, and lifelong pain.
The likelihood of spinal injuries can be influenced by many different factors. Whether a person was turned in their seat, the angle of their head, pre-existing conditions, as well as more subtle factors like size and gender. Ultimately, however, it is possible for anyone to suffer spinal injuries in a car accident because of the extreme forces involved.
Symptoms of Spinal Injury
How do you know if you have a spinal injury after a car accident, or if one of your companions or passengers has a spinal injury? This is a very important question to ask because care immediately after the accident can have a long-lasting impact on a person’s health if they have a spinal injury. You may recall that first responders often prioritize stabilizing a person’s head, neck, and spine when rescuing someone from a car accident. This is because spinal injuries are not always easy to identify right away. They are not always accompanied by bruising or external signs. If paralysis or loss of feeling is not immediately evident, symptoms may still develop over the next few days, months, or even years if there is spinal damage.
Immediate Signs of Spinal Injury
- Tingling or Loss of Feeling
- Sharp Pain in the Neck, Back, or Hips
- Weakness, Dizziness, or Trouble Walking
- Difficulty Breathing
- Radiating Pain
These signs may be immediately evident after an accident if you or others have suffered from spinal damage. If anyone shows these signs, you may require an ambulance to safely leave the accident scene. Be sure to communicate these symptoms to rescue teams right away so they know to take special care to avoid making spinal damage worse by torquing the body on the way to the hospital.
Signs of Spinal Damage that Appear Over Time
- Loss of sensation
- Feelings of tingling
- Difficulty breathing
- Neck and back pain
- Muscle spasm
- Changes in sexual function
- Loss of muscle control
- Loss of movement in any part of the body
- Burning pain
- Stinging along your spine
Spinal damage can include injury to the soft tissue of the spine or a fracture of your spinal bones that may not be immediately evident. However, spinal damage almost always results in long-term symptoms that require medical attention as soon as the symptoms become evident. Due to the nature of some spinal injuries, these symptoms may come and go or become constantly evident.
Seek Immediate Medical Assessment
After a car accident, it is advised to get a full physical examination. Tell your doctor about any pain or strange sensations you may have, no matter how small they may seem at the time. Signs of spinal injury are sometimes subtle and easily written off as a few aches and pains, but may develop into a life-long disability if they go untreated.
If you suspect spinal injury, request a full-body scan to detect fractured spinal bones and damaged soft tissue, which may be causing pain, odd sensations, control problems, or loss of sensation.
Maintain Medical Documents
It is also vitally important that you collect all of the medical reports of your condition after a car accident. Spinal injuries are one of the most severe medical consequences of a car accident, and you will need to make a strong case to the insurance company is responsible for your medical bills.
Thorough medical documentation will ensure that your injury cannot be minimized or disregarded, and you will be eligible for the maximum settlement possible.
Why a Lawyer is Important When You Have a Spinal Injury
Insurance companies do not like to pay settlements. Collecting premiums and minimizing payments is how they make money, which means that a well-documented spinal injury is an insurance company’s worst nightmare. If you will require extensive treatments and/or lifelong care, this can mean a maximum payout from the insurance company, which they are configured to avoid at all costs.
How Insurance Companies Avoid Paying
Insurance companies have been known to deny spinal injuries without stringent medical documentation collected immediately after the accident with proof of no pre-existing damage. They also frequently try to minimize the severity of your injury, the time you will lose from work, or the amount of time it will take to recover – if recovery is even possible. Insurance companies and their lawyers will often defend these cases on grounds that any spinal damage suffered by the accident victim is just part of a natural aging process, and not related to the accident at issue. We have seen insurance companies use this argument on people as young as ten years old. They will also look through your entire life history, searching for any prior accidents, traumas, or sports injuries, to which they could deflect blame for the spinal injury. In recent years, some of the major insurance companies have paid over a million dollars a year to a radiologist out, for him to come in and testify that based on a Plaintiff’s MRI findings, all of the injuries are chronic and not related to the trauma of the accident.
What Your Lawyer Can Do
An experienced car accident lawyer will make sure that the insurance company cannot get away with their usual tricks. They will help you collect the necessary documentation, make sure filing deadlines are met, and can even help you reject and appeal a low-ball settlement offer. Most importantly, a lawyer will fight the insurance company for your rightful settlement amount while you focus on medical recovery.
Those who suffer from spinal injuries should and typically do focus all their time and energy on understanding the condition and recovering as much as possible. You likely don’t have the time or energy to also fight the insurance company, meeting deadlines and chasing after documents, to make sure you receive the settlement that you deserve. That is why your lawyer is an essential partner.
Suing for Additional Medical Costs
If your medical costs exceed the total insurance policy, your lawyer can do even more. It may be possible to sue the other driver or responsible parties for the rest of your medical costs. You can consult with your car accident lawyer to determine if this is a viable strategy to help cover the costs of your long-term recovery after a spinal injury.
Building a Brighter Future After Spinal Injury with an Orlando Car Accident Lawyer
If you have recently suffered from a spinal injury after a car accident, a good car accident lawyer is essential. You need your energy to focus on recovery. But you also need insurance coverage for your medical bills without the stress and run-around necessary to receive a fair insurance claim. Auto Justice Attorney Michael T. Gibson is on your side and ready to help you through this difficult and financially perilous time. Contact us for a consultation by calling 407-422-4529 or through our convenient online form.
You deserve a fair settlement after the trauma and long-term consequences of a spinal injury in a car accident. As a personal injury and car accident law practice, we are here to help.