A remarkable amount of force is in play when automobiles collide with one another or other objects.  This powerful force has the potential to cause life-changing injuries. The lower back injury referred to as activation/aggravation of spinal stenosis is one of the more common injuries that impacts the spinal canal.  The symptoms have the potential to be severe enough that they cause disability. If you have spinal stenosis or any other injury resulting from a car accident, contact our Wilmington, NC attorneys right away to schedule a review of your case.


A Closer Look at Spinal Stenosis

Spinal stenosis is the narrowing of the spinal canal in which the spinal cord is positioned.  The narrowing of the spinal cord and accompanying roots has the potential to lead to an array of symptoms.  As an example, those plagued by this typically suffer back pain, heightened pain when walking or standing, foot drop and lower body weakness.  Furthermore, some of those delaying with spinal stenosis have to deal with burning, tingling and numbness in the legs and/or the buttocks. The sad truth is it merely takes on negligent driver to create a violent collision in which structures along the lower back are significantly damaged.  A single accident really can cause an aggravation of spinal stenosis or worsen a congenital condition in which the spinal canal is overly-narrow.


The Diagnosis of Spinal Stenosis Aggravation

Spinal stenosis is somewhat challenging to diagnose.  The symptoms and other injuries might not be obvious in the immediate aftermath of an auto accident.  However, every auto accident victim should meet with a reputable medical professional for a diagnosis immediately after the accident.  This medical evaluation and ensuing reports will help prove a causal relationship between the car accident and your injury.  

The typical doctor will assess auto accident victims by pressing along the spine to determine if the pressure elicits pain.  The doctor will also take an X-ray of the lower back for a clear view of what, exactly, happened to the vertebrae during the accident. This medical professional might also rely on a magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) to analyze the spinal cord’s soft tissues.  If the doctor determines stenosis is present, he or she will also likely perform additional tests to determine if it is possible for something else such as a brain tumor or stroke to have caused the stenosis.


The Two Types of Spinal Stenosis

There are two primary types.  The position of the damage determines which type of stenosis is present.  Cervical spinal stenosis is present when there is compression in the neck. This is a serious condition as narrowing usually takes place in the central spinal cord channel.  Such compression is likely to cause pain along with symptoms of numbness and/or weakness. It is even possible for cervical spinal stenosis to lead to paralysis.

Lumbar spinal stenosis impacts the lower back.  The spinal nerve root pathways can narrow and protrude from the back to other areas of the body.  If these nerves are compressed, you will feel a tingling sensation. If the stenosis moves from the lower back to the legs, buttocks or thighs, sciatica is present. 

You Deserve Compensation if Your Post-Accident Back Pain

Do not assume your post-accident back pain is nothing to worry about!  Even if you do not feel significant pain, you should still meet with a doctor for an assessment as this analysis will lay the groundwork for establishing a causal relationship between the collision and your injury.  There is the potential for your spinal stenosis to worsen and possibly preclude you from working full-time or even part-time. Meet with our personal injury attorney as soon as possible after your car accident so we can determine if there is a good chance to obtain compensation for your spinal stenosis and/or other accident-related injuries.


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Spinal cord injuries are among the worst types of injuries because they are almost always complicated — and severe. A spinal cord injury will most likely affect you and your loved ones for the rest of your life.

The costs associated with a spinal cord injury are hard to fathom: The Christopher and Dave Reeve Foundation estimates that a 25-year-old person with a severe spinal cord injury could incur anywhere between $2 million and $4.5 million in expenses over the course of his or her life.

What are the costs associated with spinal cord injuries?

There are several costs that can be incurred with a spinal cord injury. These include:

  • Medical care – This can mean hospitalization, doctor’s visits, consultations, surgeries, prescriptions, home health care, wheelchairs, and much more. This can also include long-term injuries that are related to the spinal cord injury, such as bedsores, bladder infections and other illnesses. This can all add up very quickly.
  • Caregiver – If you hire a home health care professional to care for the victim of a spinal cord injury, then you can expect to pay a lot of money for that service, typically between $15 and $25 an hour. If a friend or family member is the one giving the care, that person will also likely lose income due to not being able to work full-time.
  • Loss of earning capacity – If you are permanently disabled from your spinal cord injury, your ability to work full-time and make a living is greatly diminished. This can have a big impact on your finances.
  • Alternative treatments – Often, spinal cord injuries lead to alternative treatments, such as acupuncture, chiropractors and massage. These are all additional expenses that you might not have planned for.

What types of compensation should you seek after a spinal cord injury?

If you sustained a spinal cord injury because of a business’s or someone else’s negligence, you are entitled to recoup all of the above expenses — medical, caregiving, loss of earning capacity, diminished quality of life, alternative treatments — plus more.

These include:

  • Making adaptations to your home — like wheelchair lifts and ramps, widened doors, bathroom adaptations – or moving to a home or facility that will better suit your long-term needs.
  • To make sure you are compensated not only for the past income you have lost, but for future income as well.
  • Any and all costs associated with living the best, most independent life possible.

Spinal cord injuries are anything but easy, and that’s where an experienced spinal cord injury attorney comes in. If you or someone you love has suffered a spinal cord injury, contact Robert Armstrong’s office for help.  

If you hurt your spinal cord in an accident, it’s very likely that your injury is much more serious than most other injuries. That’s because the spinal cord is not able to repair itself, unlike other parts of the body.

Often, spinal cord injuries involve a “sharp blow” that can sever your spinal cord, or even crush, dislocate, break or press the vertebrae around your spinal cord.

Spinal cord injuries can end in partial or full paralysis, and it is most often considered a life-changing injury.

Why do spinal cord injuries cause so much more physical damage?

The spinal cord is simply a group of nerves that connect your brain to your back and allow the brain to send messages to the rest of your body.

Spinal cord injuries get in the way of these messages from the brain to the body. There are two types of spinal cord injuries:

  • Complete spinal cord injury – no physical function left below the point of injury
  • Incomplete spinal cord injury – limited function below the point of injury

What kind of damages can you seek for a spinal cord injury?

One of first things you should do after a spinal cord injury in an accident is contact an experienced personal injury attorney.

A good attorney will go after the following damages for a spinal cord injury:

  • Medical Expenses: A spinal cord injury could mean a lot of treatments and surgeries, extended hospital stays, physical rehabilitation, long-term care at home, medical equipment, i.e. a wheelchair, and alterations to your home or car.
  • Lost Wages: Because surgeries, chronic pain and other treatments require you to take time off of work, spinal cord patients often find themselves behind in bills because of lost wages. If your loved one died from a spinal cord injury, a good attorney will seek full lost wages for the victim’s surviving family.
  • Vehicle Damage: If someone hit your vehicle and caused the spinal cord injury, you are entitled to recover the damages to your vehicle.
  • Decreased Quality of Life: If a spinal cord injury causes you to lose mobility or causes serious injury, it’s highly likely that your quality of life will be impacted. You are entitled to recover money for quality of life loss.
  • Pain and Suffering: Spinal cord injuries are very painful and difficult, and you deserve to be compensated for your pain and suffering.

If you’ve suffered a spinal cord injury because of an accident, contact Robert Armstrong’s office today for help. We’ll find the negligent party, and we’ll go after them to make sure you get what’s owed to you.