Spinal injuries are a catastrophic physical trauma that affect the lives of both those who sustain them and the families who care for their injured loved ones. If you have ever been involved in an accident with a large commercial truck or 18-wheeler, you understand how these collisions can lead to injuries that carry long-term physical, emotional, and financial consequences. These include spine and neck injuries that, in some cases, can result in partial or complete paralysis.
How can truck accidents result in spinal injuries?
A person’s spine is made up of vertebrae, which are essential delicate bones. Along with the vertebrae are surrounding tendons and nerves. Spinal disks, located between the vertebrae, serve as cushions to make movements of the spine more comfortable. All of these together make up the spinal column, which houses the spinal cord. The tremendous forces exerted during a truck accident have the potential to greatly affect the spine and injure any of its parts, either temporarily or permanently.
Forces from truck crashes have the potential to throw drivers and passengers against object like airbags, seat belts, dashboards, and windshields. In addition, the momentum of these collisions can result in dangerous objects flying through the air after impact, such as twisted or sharp metal, potentially penetrating the spine. Truck accidents can cause spinal injuries such as displaced disks, fractures, whiplash, tissue tears, and damage to the spinal cord itself, among others.
Common spinal injuries from trucking collisions
There are five classifications of spinal injuries, based on the regions of the spine: thoracic, cervical, lumbar, coccygeal, and sacral. Several vertebrae comprise the thoracic, cervical, and lumbar regions of the spine. These vertebrae serve to protect the nerves in the spinal cord. The sacral and coccygeal region are in the pelvic area. They consist of a single vertebra, and include the nerves of roots that extend from the spinal cord to various areas of the body.
Any region of the spinal cord can sustain a complete or incomplete injury. A complete injury includes total loss of function on each side of the body below the level of the injury. An incomplete injury of the spinal cord includes partial loss of movement or sensation, or impairment on only one side of the body.
Physical consequences of spinal cord injuries
Spinal cord damage, depending on the extent and seriousness of the injury, can result in temporary or permanent:
- Blood pressure and heart rate issues
- Breathing difficulties
- Chronic pain
- Digestive, bowel, and bladder issues
- Lost sexual function
- Muscle spasms
- Paralysis in some form
- Sensory loss
Traumatic spinal cord injuries, unfortunately, are not uncommon when the forces of tractor-trailers and 18-wheelers are involved.
If you have suffered a catastrophic injury from a preventable accident caused by a large truck, you need the representation of our trusted Richmond injury attorneys at Phelan Petty. Allow us to pursue the monetary recovery you deserve for your losses. To schedule a free, no-obligation consultation about your case, give us a call today at 804.980.7100 or complete our contact form and leave us a message.
Michael Phelan is a Virginia trial attorney who practices with a special focus on traumatic brain injury (TBI) cases, pharmaceutical and medical device claims, product liability cases, and truck accidents. Michael’s peers have consistently recognized him for his excellence as a trial lawyer, and his clients have praised him for his commitment to deep research, his outstanding communication skills, and his sincerity and dedication.