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Auto Accidents and the Spine – Understanding the Dangers and Prognosis

Spinal InjuryThe spine protects the nerves that carry messages from the brain to the rest of the body. Unfortunately, an auto accident can be extremely damaging to this sensitive but crucial structure. The result can be a severe and significant injury. Learn more about the types of spinal injuries that one might sustain in an auto accident with help from the following.

Vertabrae Movement and the Injuries it Can Cause

During an accident, the upper part of the body can be thrust forward while the seat belt holds the bottom half in place. This sudden force and jarring of the spine can cause the bones within the spine to move out of place or break. If this happens, an injury to the spinal cord may occur. Alternatively, a disc within the spinal column can be damaged, or the spinal column may be narrowed and place pressure on the spinal column.

Spinal Cord Injuries

Spinal cord injuries occur when the protected bundle of nerves is damaged. Symptoms of this type of injury can include tingling, weakness, numbness, and loss of bladder or bowel control. In such situations, it is critical that the victim is not moved without help from emergency responders. The victim should also seek immediate medical treatment.

Prognosis of a spinal cord injury often depends greatly upon the severity of the injury. For example, a complete spinal cord injury to an upper part of the spine could result in lifelong and severe disability. However, incomplete spinal cord injuries might eventually heal.


Spondylolisthesis can occur when one or more vertebrae shift out of place. Those displaced bones can then narrow the structure of the spine and place pressure on the spinal cord. In some instances, it may go unnoticed for years. In others, the victim may experience numbness, tingling, weakness over the leg or buttocks area, or difficulty walking. Extreme cases may also involve loss of bowel or bladder control.

Herniated Discs

Discs are doughnut-like structures that sit between each vertebra. They are there to cushion the bones and prevent rubbing. However, in an accident, the jarring of the spine can puncture the tough exterior of the disc and may cause the inner, jelly-like fluid to leak out onto the nerves of the spinal cord. The result can be weakness, numbness, and tingling in the affected area or the extremities. Alternatively, the victim may not experience any immediate effects but may, over time, start to experience deterioration of the spinal discs.

Pursuing Compensation for Spinal Injuries

Spinal injuries can devastate victims and their families. Corsiglia, McMahon & Allard, LLP fight for the rights and best interests of victims. In every situation, we pursue the most compensation possible. Learn more about how we can assist with your case. Call (408) 289-1417 and schedule your consultation with our San Jose spinal injury lawyers today.

Client Reviews
I absolutely cannot speak highly enough of CMA Law, particularly of Mr. McMahon, with whom I have had the most experience. My entire family and I trusted CMA with our case following a significant and life-altering vehicle accident, and to say they delivered is putting it lightly. They were reachable & personable at every stage of this arduous, complex, and scary process, made things easier at every stage, inspired us with confidence, and delivered results. If you're looking for a law firm to place the trust of you in your family in, look absolutely no further than CMA - this is your firm. Declan O.
I suffered a severe spinal injury while working as a farm mechanic in the Salinas Valley. The attorneys -Tim McMahon and Mark Sigala were fantastic from the beginning. They fought for me over 3 long years and in the end, we won a difficult liability case against the farm company who was using dangerous equipment. The defendants in the case tried everything to put the blame on me and even claimed I was their employee in order to avoid civil responsibility. Tim and Mark never gave up on me and my case. I cannot recommend them highly enough. They are fighters. Adrian A.
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