Maryland Neck, Back and Spine Injury Lawyers Recover Damages in Serious Motor Vehicle Accident Cases
At Kramer & Connolly, we have little patience for those seeking to profit from minor fender benders by faking a whiplash injury. We prefer to spend our time fighting to recover for victims of motor vehicle accidents who have sustained serious injuries to their neck, shoulders, back and spine.
Although insurance companies may legitimately question unsubstantiated claims of "whiplash" in accidents lacking significant property damage, the impact of a car accident produces trauma that often results in very legitimate and serious spinal injuries. According to our medical experts, the flexion and extension of the spine when an accident victim sustains the impact of a collision may cause spinal injuries ranging from milder "soft tissue" inflammation, to ruptured or herniated discs, fractured vertebrae, or even spinal cord injuries resulting in paralysis.
Those sustaining significant trauma from the impact of motor vehicle accidents often suffer symptoms of the following types of spinal injuries:
- Soft Tissue Injuries - the whiplash occurring when the head, neck and back are jerked back and forth at the time of impact causes inflammation of the muscles and strain ligaments, resulting in what doctors call cervical, thoracic, lumbar and lumbosacral sprains and strains. Accident victims suffering from these injuries usually experience symptoms within 24 hours of an accident, when swelling produces stiffness, soreness and a noticeable loss in range of motion. Treatment typically consists of physical or chiropractic therapy, but occasionally cortisone injections and more intensive forms of treatment are necessary.
- Fractures - like other bones in your body, the vertebrae which line the spinal column may break under very severe trauma. When we say that someone broke their neck or back, we typically mean that one or more of the vertebrae comprising the cervical or lumbar spine sustained a fracture. Because these bones surround the spinal cord, such fractures are extraordinarily serious as they may jeopardize the health of the body's central nervous system. In most cases, surgery is necessary to restore stability to the spinal column. But, unfortunately, accident victims sustaining fractured vertebrae must often live with painful and permanent reminders of the horrific impact sustained.
- Bulging or Herniated Discs - the discs are "shock absorbers" which provide the proper spacing between vertebrae and allow us the flexibility to bend, stretch and turn. As we age, it is not uncommon that these discs wear down, resulting in some form of degenerative disc disease that may produce symptoms or may not even be noticeable. But when these shock absorbers bear the brunt of a traumatic impact in a car accident, they may rupture and impinge on the spinal cord or on nerves emanating from it. In many cases, nerve impingement produces very severe pain which, depending on the part of the spine affected, may radiate to such limbs as the arms and legs and produce numbness or tingling in hands, feet, fingers and toes. If you experience any of these symptoms following an accident or shortly thereafter, it is essential that you receive prompt medical attention. Treatment may start with more conservative forms of physical therapy or anti-inflammatory medication in an effort to reduce the impingement without surgery. But if that fails, orthopedic surgeons must remove the diseased disc and fuse the vertebrae that it used to cushion. Even if successful in reducing the patient's pain, an accident victim undergoing such a discectomy and fusion often suffers a permanent loss or range of motion and other limitations.
- Paralysis - very severe impacts may sever the spinal cord or may cut some of the nerves emanating from it, resulting in paralysis to various regions of the body. In the worst of these cases, accident victims who sustained such an injury in the neck may be rendered quadriplegics. In general, the lower the spinal cord injury, the lower the paralysis resulting from it. These injuries are often experienced immediately following an accident, but are more fully diagnosed after a period of convalescence. While the field of medicine has made great strides in treatment of spinal injuries, persons paralyzed in accidents face a lifetime of expensive care and treatment -- and attorneys with the expertise and experience to recover the damages needed to pay for it.
At Kramer & Connolly, we have reviewed hundreds of thousands of pages of medical records, questioned and cross-examined hundreds of neurologists and orthopedic surgeons, and attained an understanding of complex medical issues essential in asserting the rights of seriously injured accident victims. Indeed, the complexity of neck, back and spinal injuries requires an understanding of the medical issues arising in these cases as well as an understanding of Maryland law governing these claims.
If you or a loved on has sustained a neck, back or other orthopedic injury as the result of a Maryland accident, it is essential that you engage Maryland lawyers with significant experience in these serious injury cases.