SPINAL INJURIES & FRACTURES
Serious Spinal Injuries and Fractures
It is very common for a person to sustain a neck or low back injury in a motor vehicle accident particularly if it is a rear-end or front-end impact. In those situations, the body is subject to a flexion extension motion or “whiplash.” It is important to understand that whiplash is not an injury, but is merely a generic term to describe the mechanism of injury. In most cases, the occupant of the motor vehicle is subjected to a tremendous amount of force in milliseconds. Because of the application of force in a rear-end crash, the vehicle is pushed forward and the occupant’s body responds by snapping backward and then forward. The effect of this is to subject the cervical spine (neck) and the lumbar spine (low back) to a huge amount of force applied over a very short time. The most vulnerable part of the neck is where the curve is at its maximum and the same goes for the low back. Consequently, it is frequent that an occupant of the car that has been rear-ended or had a front-end impact will suffer a disc injury in the neck or in the low back.
A disc injury is often not a single event like a fracture, but it is a process. The process is initiated by the application of the large amount of force in the motor vehicle accident. As the disc herniates, it begins to push against pain-sensitive structures that are adjacent to the disc and the person begins to feel pain at the site of the disc injury. The process advances by causing the person to feel pain and numbness along the path of the sensory nerve that is affected. In the case of a neck injury, this can mean pain and numbness in the shoulders radiating down through the upper and lower arms into the hand. The person often does not feel the pain and numbness initially, but it may take weeks to evolve. If this happens, the individual would be well-advised to see a neurologist or neurosurgeon for a consultation.
Often a person who has been in a motor vehicle accident will fracture a bone. Fractures are less common today than they were 20 years ago, but they still happen. Cars are made to absorb impact and they transmit an energy to the occupants thereby causing more soft tissue injuries (herniated discs and the like) and fewer fractures. Still, fractures are suffered particularly in cases of heavy impact between the vehicles.
Experienced Attorneys for Spinal Injuries
Jacobowitz and Gubits, LLP, has extensive experience in representing clients who have sustained disc injuries and nerve injuries such as radiculopathy. We have also represented clients who have suffered all types of fractures. We are well-acquainted with competent medical practitioners and we can help a client get to good doctors who care about their patients. We will counsel a client to keep a pain journal or symptom log so the client can explain to their physician the nature and extent of their injuries.
We will also explain to a client the New York State’s “serious injury” threshold which must be dealt with in motor vehicle cases. In New York, there is no automatic right to maintain a lawsuit against the person who caused the automobile accident. While you may start a case, it could get dismissed if you cannot prove that you suffered a “serious injury” as the law defines it. We can help you prove that your injury is serious as defined by the law and we can explain how to present yourself to physicians so they understand the impact of the injury upon your life. With the right help, your case should not be dismissed and you should be able to resolve it favorably or have a successful trial.
To speak with a lawyer at our office about your personal injury case, contact us online, call us at 845-764-9656 (toll free at 866-303-9595).