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Back Injuries After an Accident in Virginia

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Attorney at Cooper Hurley Injury Lawyers

Back Injuries After an Accident in Virginia

By John Cooper, Norfolk Car Accident Lawyer

Back injuries rank fairly high on the list of serious potential problems you can experience after an auto accident.

Even an apparently minor accident at a low speed can cause a back injury, partly because the human body isn’t designed to absorb the jarring impact of a car wreck. It goes without saying that even a small back injury can be very painful and impact your daily life. There are many complicated bones, disks, muscles and tendons in the back area and a lot of potential for complications after an injury.

Often a back injury can be treated via physiotherapy but the most severe back injuries can involve damage to the spinal cord and could cause paraplegia or quadriplegia, conditions that are permanent and confine people to wheelchairs for the rest of their lives.

What Are the Types of Back Injury?

The spine can be divided into three areas; the neck or cervical vertebrae, the upper back which is called the thoracic vertebrae and the lumbar vertebrae (lower back).

These parts of the spinal cord are ringed with discs, muscles, ligaments and nerves. The pain you can suffer after an accident varies from a low-grade ache to excruciating, depending on where you have been hurt and how severely.

Thoracic Spine Injuries. 

These are the most serious kind of back injuries. Sprains and fractures in this area are usually caused by high-speed car accidents, and may lead to permanent nerve damage.

Lumbar Spine Injuries. 

 The lumbar spine is made up of the body’s five largest vertebrae and contains the strongest of the muscles necessary to give stability to the spine. If you only sprain the lumbar spine, it can be very painful. A sprain entails damage to the ligaments. A strain is defined as a stretching of the tendons, ligaments or muscles. Swelling, tenderness and a lack of movement can result which could impair your work and daily activity.

Herniated Discs

The discs in the back are the “jelly-like” cushions that separate vertebrae and protect your spine. A disk herniates when it’s displaced. Frequently, the herniated disc applies pressure to the spinal cord or the nerves around it. If you experience intense and sudden pain in the lower region of the back as well as numbness in your legs, you will likely have a herniated disk.  

Spinal Cord Injuries. 

Spinal cord injuries are the most extreme and serious form of back injuries and could affect your life permanently. These injuries range from bruising or excessive pressure to permanent damage to the nerves and spinal cord that can result in long-term disability or paralysis.

Victims of spinal cord injuries may end up incontinent and may lose their sexual function. There are also dangers such as infection due to surgery, bleeding and leaks of spinal fluids. If you have suffered a spinal cord injury, it’s very important that you receive the most you can from an at-fault party who caused your accident. It may be a driver or the owner of premises, where you have been injured. It could be the manufacturer of faulty equipment. See our Norfolk injury lawyers’ questions and answers about spinal cord injuries.

Serious back injuries may require the use of many complicated surgical procedures to reduce pressure on the spinal cord itself or the surrounding nerves. You may have to have sections of vertebrae removed or the fusing of bones following the removal of a ruptured disk.

If you have suffered a back injury caused by another party, call us today for a free consultation at (757) 455-0077.


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John Cooper

John Cooper is a veteran of personal injury law practice in Virginia. A native Virginian, he was raised in Norfolk and Virginia Beach. He has more than 20 years of experience handling personal injury cases and recently handled the largest auto accident settlement in 2010, according to VA Lawyers Weekly. The award provided $3.5 million to a child whose young father died when the vehicle he was a passenger in was rear-ended by a careless truck driver.

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Jim Hurley

Jim Hurley has been practicing law throughout Virginia for more than two-and-a-half decades. During his career, he has tried more than 100 jury trials — a staggering number — and handled hundreds more that were settled out of court. He is guided by the principle that the client is in charge of his or her case and should be kept fully aware of the litigation process. Jim has been awarded an AV Rating by Martindale-Hubbell, the highest rating given, for his practice of law. He was named in Virginia Super Lawyers in 2014, 2015, 2016.

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Bill O’mara

Bill O’Mara started his legal career in 2008, moving back to his home town of Chesapeake, VA. He has practiced in the field of plaintiffs’ personal injury and other litigation. He has gained extensive court room and trial experience, including contested trials before judges and juries across Hampton Roads. In 2014, Mr. O’Mara joined Cooper Hurley Injury Lawyers as an associate attorney. He became a partner in 2017.

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