Can Car Accidents Cause Compression Fractures?

Can Car Accidents Cause Compression Fractures?Car accidents involve a lot of physics. When two objects strike each other, the force of the accident can create a ripple of energy through the body, instantly causing damage internally and externally. Crashes often result in broken bones and fractures. One of the more serious injuries you can sustain is a compression fracture.

According to the Cleveland Clinic, a compression fracture is a small break in the vertebrae, which are the bones that wrap around your spinal cord to protect it. Unlike a full break, a fracture may be very small or even a hairline. Yet, these fractures are dangerous because they cause the bone to become significantly weaker. Over time, the bone can weaken so much so that it collapses, often leading to changes in spinal shape and function.

Typically, compression fractures from car accidents occur in the upper portion of the back, which is the thoracic region. However, they can extend downward and impact any of the bones along the spinal column. No matter where they occur, they often lead to injury, long-term damage, and sometimes, pain.

Types of compression fractures

There are several types of compression fractures that occur after car accidents or any type of assault or force applied to the spinal column.

  • Distraction fractures: Also called a chance fracture, these typically occur when the vertebrae become separated. When this happens, the damage can cause instability in the spinal column. These are often experienced in car accidents. Distraction fractures are usually associated with seatbelts.
  • Axial burst fractures: Depending on the angle of the collision, you may suffer damage to both the front and the back area of the vertebrae.
  • Traditional compression fractures: The most common form of fractures overall, these don’t often occur as a result of car accidents but due to deterioration of the bones. They also typically happen towards the midsection of the back.

Symptoms of compression fractures after a Nashville car accident

Though soreness and limited mobility may be easily written off as minor after a car accident, it is critical to be fully examined in an emergency room afterwards. You may not feel like you have a broken bone when you have a fracture of the vertebrae, and treatment is beneficial. Some of the most common signs that you need medical care include:

  • Weakness or a numb feeling in various areas of your back
  • Spinal deformities – the shape of your spine seems to change
  • Severe and debilitating back pain
  • Trouble standing or walking due to increased back pain
  • Trouble stretching or flexing the spinal column
  • Changes in bowel and bladder control

Treatment may be able to help you, including both non-surgical and surgical care. Some people just need bed rest for a period of time, while others may need ongoing physical therapy to reduce pain and improve mobility.

What type of compensation can I receive for a compression fracture from a car accident?

As with all types of injury cases, the amount of compensation you can receive varies greatly on different factors. For example, Forbes says that workers’ compensation awards for back injuries fall between $20,000 and $80,000, but those awards only cover medical expenses and some wage loss. In a car crash claim, the calculations would be different. Some of the factors that go into determining the value of your claim include:

  • The severity of your injury
  • The amount and length of time you will undergo physical therapy
  • If your injury required surgery to repair
  • The time missed at work due to your injury
  • If the fracture led to the purchase of medical equipment to make mobility easier
  • If the accident resulted in the death of a loved one in the vehicle with you

When you have a compression fracture, the need for medical care may be extensive and may increase over time. As a result, we strongly encourage you to seek out our car accident attorneys for immediate help. We want to help seek compensation for the full value of your injury. Contact Rocky McElhaney Law Firm now to discuss your specific injuries and needs with a team you can feel comfortable with fighting for you. We operate offices in Nashville, East Nashville, Hendersonville, Clarksville, and Murfreesboro to better serve you. Call our office or complete our contact form to schedule a free consultation with a member of our team today.