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The Truth About Spinal Stenosis After a Car Accident

Colburn Law

Many injuries can occur after a car accident, leading to permanent damage and the need for long-term care. The spinal cord, which is responsible for transmitting signals between your nervous system and the rest of your body, is especially vulnerable to damage. Unfortunately, many Washington residents sustain spinal cord injuries during collisions, including spinal stenosis.

What Is Spinal Stenosis?

Spinal stenosis is a condition that involves the narrowing of spaces within your spine. As a result, the nerves that travel through the spinal cord sustain unnatural pressure, leading to long-term complications. There are two types of spinal stenosis injuries.

  • Cervical stenosis occurs when the part of the spine in your neck narrows. Symptoms include weakness, numbness, or tingling in a hand, arm, foot, or leg. You may also experience neck pain, balance problems, and difficulty walking.
  • Lumbar stenosis occurs when the part of the spine in your lower back narrows and is more common than cervical stenosis. Symptoms include weakness, numbness, or tingling in your feet or legs, as well as back pain. You may also experience pain or cramping in your legs when you walk or stand for long periods.

How Car Accidents Cause Spinal Stenosis

You can develop spinal stenosis due to a medical condition, such as thickened ligaments or tumors. However, many people develop this condition due to spinal trauma, which can occur during a car accident.

During a collision, one or more of the vertebrae in your spine can fracture or become dislocated. As a result, the spinal canal can sustain damage from the displaced bone and start swelling. This places pressure on the spinal cord or nerves, narrowing the spaces in your spine.

Damages for Spinal Stenosis Victims

If you developed spinal stenosis after a car accident, you could develop long-term complications that require frequent medical care. You may be unable to return to work, losing wages, and struggle to cope with the emotional impact of your injury. As a result, you can face significant financial, physical, and psychological hardships.

Washington is a fault car accident state, requiring at-fault drivers to pay for their victims’ damages in accidents they cause. If you are in an accident with a negligent driver, you could hold him or her accountable for your losses in an insurance claim or lawsuit. Spinal stenosis victims can recover compensation for multiple damages, including the following.

  • Past and future medical expenses
  • Disability accommodations
  • Rehabilitation and physical therapy
  • Lost wages and loss of future earnings
  • Property damage, including vehicle repairs
  • Emotional distress
  • Chronic pain
  • Loss of quality of life

What to Do After a Washington Car Accident

The moments after a car accident can feel overwhelming, especially if you are suffering from a spinal cord injury. Immediately after the collision, call 911 and report the accident to law enforcement. Seek emergency medical attention as soon as possible and save all records related to your treatment. If you can move around the accident site without further damage, take photographs of the scene and collect contact information from the witnesses and the other driver.

After you receive treatment, contact a Seattle car accident lawyer to discuss your legal options. An attorney can help you navigate the insurance or lawsuit process, allowing you to focus on recovery instead of paperwork. Speak to an attorney as soon as possible following the accident to identify your optimal path to compensation.