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Common Spinal Cord Injuries That Car Crash Victims May Experience

On Behalf of | Dec 29, 2020 | Car Accidents

Every time we start up our vehicles, we are risking our safety. Motor vehicle crashes are a leading cause of death in the U.S., according to the CDC. Yet, most Americans continue to rely on their vehicles to get around. Many car accidents can result in common yet serious injuries such as whiplash, herniated discs and vertebral fractures—all are injuries that affect the spinal cord. According to the National Spinal Cord Injury Statistical Center (NSCSC), motor vehicle accidents are a rising trend in spinal cord injury causes. Here is what you need to know about three common spinal cord injuries that can occur in a car accident and the legal options victims may have when choosing to pursue claims.


According to the Mayo Clinic, whiplash is a neck injury that occurs due to a forceful movement of the neck, like one that could be experienced in a rear-end collision. Whiplash is a very common condition that can occur in many minor-to-severe car crashes, sports accidents and falls. Luckily, most whiplash cases are relatively minor and victims may simply require some pain medication and rest in order to make a full recovery. On the other hand, victims of severe car collisions may suffer a serious case of whiplash that results in chronic neck pain for years to come. The most common symptoms of whiplash include headaches, dizziness, limited neck movement, shoulder and back pain, memory problems and more, depending on the severity.

Herniated Disk

A herniated disk occurs when a spinal disk, which are soft disks that sit between each vertebra of the spine, becomes injured, ruptured or displaced. Herniated disks can result from a serious auto collision where victims experience spinal trauma that knocks a disc out of place. A displaced spinal disk can irritate the surrounding nerves and muscle; in addition, a displaced spinal disk means there is no cushion between two vertebrae, and nothing keeping them from rubbing together and causing pain. Those who experience a herniated disc may suffer numbness in their legs or arms, muscle weakness, and even irritation or sharp pains around the affected region. If you are experiencing these symptoms after a motor vehicle collision, ensure you are seeking proper medical care by informing your physician about the pain or numbness you are experiencing.

Vertebral Fractures

A serious motor vehicle accident can cause spinal trauma wherein vertebrae can actually fracture. A vertebral fracture can range from mild to severe, depending on the case. There are several types of vertebral fractures that can occur as a result of a motor vehicle collision. Burst fractures occur when the spine is crushed through severe compression or another force, which can cause paralysis and damage to the spinal cord. A flexion fracture occurs through stretching or tearing of the vertebra in a collision. Lastly, vertebral compression fractures occur when the vertebral body collapses altogether, which can lead to spinal deformity and long-term pain. All three of these types of vertebral fractures can occur as a result of a serious car accident where the spine is injured.


Injury to the nerves of the spinal cord that are seriously damaged in an auto collision can cause paralysis from the neck or waist-down. Permanent paralysis after a car accident is devastating as victims will require long-term assistance performing the tasks of their daily life and may never be able to walk again. While the most common symptoms of paralysis include lack of mobility and sensation in the affected region, breathing difficulties and memory loss can also occur.

Pursue the Legal Assistance of a Baltimore Car Accident Attorney Today

Car accidents are all too common, especially in a bustling metropolitan area such as Baltimore. If you or a loved one suffered a spinal cord injury after a car accident caused by another’s negligence, you deserve fair and just compensation for your pain and suffering. For a free consultation, call (410)-649-2000 for contact us today here: