Scoliosis is a medical condition in which your spine has a sideways curve resembling the letter S or C. It has a variety of causes: some people are born with the condition while others develop it at a young age, which is why many schools have scoliosis screening programs. Some cases are minor and have little impact on your quality of life while others can leave you in constant pain and limit your mobility. See the car accident blog.
More than eight in 10 cases of scoliosis are idiopathic, which means the cause is unknown. Some cases are believed to be hereditary while others result from certain neuromuscular conditions, birth defects, and spinal injuries like those experienced in car accidents.
How A Car Accident Can Cause Scoliosis
If another driver strikes you from behind at a high speed, the impact can cause your head, neck, and back to whip violently forward. While your spinal discs normally act as shock absorbers, the extreme force of a rear-end car crash can cause them to rupture (become herniated) or bulge and even fracture the vertebrae.
Left untreated, spinal injuries can result in the gradual degeneration of the tissues in and around the cord, causing your spine to curve. You could also experience related conditions such as damage to your internal organs, mobility issues, and arthritis.
If you already suffer from scoliosis, there’s always a possibility that a violent crash will aggravate it. Many people with scoliosis can live normal lives without needing to resort to advanced treatments like surgery, but if a careless driver causes your condition to worsen, you may be able to hold them responsible for the injury.
What Are The Signs Of Traumatic Scoliosis?
If you experience discomfort or pain in your back after a motor vehicle accident, report it to your doctor. In some cases, the severity of a spinal injury is not readily apparent, and failure to treat it properly could result in curvature.
Other signs of traumatic scoliosis include:
- Tingling or numbness in your limbs due to pinched nerves
- Feelings of strain in your lower back and leg muscles
- Uneven shoulders, causing one arm to hang lower than the other
- Uneven ribcage
- One hip is higher than the other
Your doctor will probably take X-rays and order other imaging tests to pinpoint any structural damage to your spine and determine the extent. If they diagnose traumatic scoliosis, you may have to wear a back brace to correct the curvature and undergo chiropractic treatment to improve your pain and discomfort. If you have damaged discs or fractured vertebrae, you could have to undergo surgical treatment with a neurosurgeon or orthopedic surgeon.
Claiming Compensation Can Be Difficult
Back injuries are especially difficult to recover from. You may have to stay in bed until you’ve healed sufficiently, causing you to miss work and lose income. Treatments are also typically expensive, especially if complications arise and ongoing surgeries and procedures become necessary.
It is important to note that claiming compensation for traumatic scoliosis can be challenging. Some insurance companies will drag their heels over paying out a claim while others may insist that your scoliosis and the accident are unrelated, even if you never had back problems before the crash.
If you were diagnosed with scoliosis before the accident, this does not let the driver or their insurance company off the hook. When someone else’s negligence causes an existing condition to worsen, leaving you in constant pain and facing months of ongoing treatment, an experienced personal injury attorney will help you prepare and present the documentation needed to prove your claim and represent you at trial if the insurer continues to be difficult.
What’s the Bottom Line?
Car accidents can cause debilitating spinal injuries, including traumatic scoliosis. If you or someone you love suffers a spinal cord injury because another driver was negligent, the personal injury lawyers at Fales & Fales, P.A. can help. We will fight to get you the compensation you need to cover your medical bills, lost wages, and other losses. For more information or to schedule a case evaluation, please contact us.