How Rear-End Collisions Cause Spinal Cord Damage
The spinal cord is the central nervous system of the body, carrying messages from the brain to the entire body. The nerve tissue of the cord runs from the base of the skull and down the center of the back, surrounded by the bones of the back, which provide protection. A rear-end collision poses a danger to the healthy function of this critical body system.
Rear-End Accidents: The Risks
When a vehicle is hit from behind, the force throws the body forward. After the forward thrust, the body then goes backwards, often with violence. The force of the impact and motion can seriously damage the spinal cord, by damaging the bones and disks in the back, putting pressure on the spinal cord, often with disastrous consequences. In some cases, the damage can be resolved with time, but in other cases, the injured person will be facing permanent disabilities.
Types of Spinal Cord Injuries from Rear-End Collisions
A rear-end accident, even at slow speeds, can lead to permanent impairments. The impact and force on the back causes the bones in the spine to compress, putting pressure on the nerve system of the spinal cord. If the victim is lucky, the health of the system may be restored over time, but in many cases, the damage is permanent. The types of injuries that can occur include:
- Quadriplegia: Also termed “tetraplegia,” the body is paralyzed from the neck down, with all four limbs and torso affected.
- Paraplegia: The victim is paralyzed from the waist down, unable to move or control the legs, hips, and suffers a range of other consequences
- Monoplegia: A single limb is affected, and the victim can no longer feel sensation or move the limb.
- Hemiplegia: The arm and leg on the same side of the body have been paralyzed. The victim has no sensation in those limbs and cannot move them.
Neck Injuries, Spinal Cord Injuries, and Airbag Deployment Failures
Your vehicle is equipped with airbags, a life-saving technology – but any man made product can fail. Defective airbags may fail to deploy and contribute to severe spinal cord and neck injuries. Several airbag manufacturing companies have been forced to recall and replace faulty airbag systems.
When an airbag fails to deploy in a rear-end collision, the impact throws the body much further forward, posing a very serious risk of permanent or long-term injuries. When an airbag does not deploy as it should and the driver or passenger suffers neck or back injuries, an injury claim can be brought against the manufacturer.
The Long-Term Impact of a Spinal Cord Injury
When the spinal cord has been damaged, the injured person may suffer a range of complications beyond paralysis. These include:
- Bladder and bowel dysfunction
- Sexual dysfunction
- Chronic pain
- Uncontrolled spasms
Who is Liable?
A rear-end accident is almost always the fault of the driver behind. However, in some multi-car accidents, a domino effect occurs, pushing many vehicles forward, which could lead to a more complex injury case. Safe driving includes ensuring enough space between moving vehicles so that should a vehicle come to a rapid stop, the vehicles behind have the room to brake safely. Drivers who operate their vehicles unsafely by tailgating or driving distracted and failing to notice a stop in moving traffic can be held liable for any injuries related to a rear-end accident caused by their driving conduct.
Talk to Us About Your Case.
At The Lenahan Law Firm, our team is dedicated to protecting the rights of the injured, and to seeking fair and full compensation in cases of serious or catastrophic injuries. If you or a loved one was rear-ended and suffered spinal cord damage, you deserve to recover compensation for all damages, including financial losses, and the pain and suffering and emotional anguish associated with permanent disabilities.
Call our Dallas spinal cord injury lawyers today at (214) 295-1008 for a free case consultation.