One of the most serious injuries a person involved in a car accident may sustain is a spinal fracture. Fractures in the thoracic or lumbar spinal regions may occur in an accident due to the high speed of a collision and the resulting physical forces.
It is important for people who are suspected to have suffered a lower-spine fracture to receive treatment as soon as possible. Other people should refrain from moving them and should tell responding medical personnel that they suspect the person suffered a back injury. The primary symptoms that a lower spinal fracture may have occurred include severe pain that increases with any movement, numbness, tingling, weakness and bladder or bowel dysfunction. In the event of a car accident that causes such a serious injury, the person may also have simultaneously suffered a brain injury that causes them to black out.
When the spinal cord is also injured due to the fracture, medical professionals will normally take immediate steps to reduce swelling that can cause further damage. Surgery may be necessitated to try to fuse the spinal vertebrae back together. In some cases, people may suffer permanent paralysis, deformity and other problems due to the severe injury suffered.
People who suffer a catastrophic personal injury in a car action caused by a negligent driver may want to file a personal injury civil lawsuit. People who are injured may suffer permanent disability, losses of income and a permanent reduction of their quality of life. Through a lawsuit, injured plaintiffs may be able to recover damages to compensate them for all of their expenses and losses sustained as a result of the accident. Those who find themselves in such a situation may thus want to obtain the advice of a personal injury attorney.
Source: American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons, "Fractures of the Thoracic and Lumbar Spine", February 2010