Top Causes of Back Injuries in San Antonio
The back including the vertebrae of the spine, the discs, and supporting musculature is extremely fragile considering how much support it provides the body. Pain from lower back injuries is considered the No. 1 medical complaint in America.
While normal wear and tear with aging may lead to back pain, traumatic injuries in car accidents, motorcycle accidents, and falls are common causes of serious back pain, according to the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke. San Antonio is one of the most dangerous cities in Texas for motor vehicle crashes.
Will My Back Injury Cause Chronic Pain?
A back injury can cause chronic pain or if the spinal cord is damaged, paralysis. The back injury victim is likely to lose work time and may be unable to return to work, and the pain and loss of mobility may adversely affect their enjoyment of everyday life.
Common Causes of Back Injuries
The most common causes of spinal cord injuries in the United States, according to the Mayo Clinic, are:
- Motor vehicle accidents. Car, truck, and motorcycle accidents are the leading causes of spinal cord injuries, accounting for almost half of the new spinal cord injuries each year.
- Falls. Overall, falls cause about 31% of spinal cord injuries. A spinal cord injury after age 65 is most often caused by a fall.
- Acts of violence. Over 13% of spinal cord injuries result from violent encounters, most commonly involving gunshot wounds. Knife wounds also are common.
- Sports and recreation injuries. Athletic activities, such as impact sports and diving in shallow water, cause about 10% of spinal cord injuries.
- Alcohol. Alcohol use is a factor in about 25% of spinal cord injuries.
Cancer, arthritis, osteoporosis, and inflammation of the spinal cord can also cause spinal cord injuries.
What if I have Major Back Injuries from the Accident?
A blow to the back can injure tendons, ligaments or back muscles. A traumatic injury may cause the spine to become compressed, which can cause a disc to rupture, putting pressure on nerves in the spinal cord. When spinal nerves become compressed and irritated, back pain may result. Sciatica is pain that radiates from the lower back down a leg.
Sprains and strains account for most back pain. Sprains are caused by overstretching or tearing ligaments, and strains are tears in tendon or muscle. Both can occur from the sudden deceleration of a car during a crash.
If the spinal cord is damaged or severed in a car accident, the individual will suffer a loss of sensation and motor function, causing partial or complete paralysis.
San Antonio Spinal Cord Injury Attorney
A spinal cord injury causing paralysis is a life-changing injury for the accident victim and his or her loved ones. It can be disastrous financially due to the high costs of medical care and the inability to work.
Doctors describe the extent of a spinal cord injury as:
- Complete. All feelings and the ability to control movement are lost below the point of injury.
- Incomplete. An incomplete injury varies by the degree of motor or sensory function below the point of injury.
The higher up the spine the spinal cord injury occurs, the larger the portion of the body affected. Paralysis is described as:
- Tetraplegia or quadriplegia. This results from a neck injury. The arms, hands, trunk, legs and pelvic organs are all affected.
- Paraplegia. Loss of sensation and movement in all or part of the trunk, legs and pelvic organs.
The National Spinal Cord Injury Statistical Center (NSCISC) says there are about 17,730 new spinal cord injury cases each year, not counting those who die at the accident scene. About 291,000 people are living in the United States with a spinal cord injury.
The Costs of Spinal Cord Injury in 2019
The National Spinal Cord Injury Statistical Center says the average health care costs and living expenses and the estimated lifetime costs and losses directly attributable to spinal cord injury vary greatly based on the individual’s degree of impairment, education and pre-injury employment history.
The average spinal cord injury victim will initially spend 11 days in the hospital and then 31 days in rehabilitation. About 30% are re-hospitalized one or more times during any given year following injury for an average of 19 days.
One year after being injured, 17% of people with spinal cord injuries are employed, according to the NSCISC. But the employment rate increases over time to 32% at 30 years post-injury.
The first year’s costs and losses due to a spinal cord injury range from more than $368,500 for some loss of motor function, to $550,000 for paraplegia, $816,000 for low cervical injury tetraplegia and $1.129 million for high cervical injury tetraplegia.
Lifetime costs for a spinal cord injury range from $1.6 million to $5 million for someone injured at the age of 25 and from $1.18 million to $2.75 million for a 50-year-old victim.
Seeking Compensation for Back Injuries in San Antonio
If you suffered a debilitating back injury in an accident someone else caused, you may be able to seek compensation for your losses and pain and suffering.
The San Antonio back injury lawyers at Herrman & Herrman, P.L.L.C. seek full compensation for our clients who are living with debilitating back injuries.
Our legal team investigates the accident to determine who was legally responsible for your injury and documents your symptoms, medical treatment and medical prognosis to build a case for compensation to you.
Our attorneys take a fact-based approach to presenting your story by teaming up with medical experts and documenting the impact of your injuries through a day-in-the-life narrative.
The compensation available for a back injury may include:
- Payment for past and future medical expenses. Most back injury victims recover after medical treatment and physical therapy, but spinal cord injuries lead to lifelong medical needs that include medication, assistive devices and possibly continual personal assistance or nursing care. We calculate paid and outstanding bills and project future costs to determine the scope of your losses.
- Lost income and lost earning capacity. A back injury may limit your ability to handle the physical demands of your job and force you to change your occupation or prevent you from returning to work.
- Pain and suffering. Texas law allows you to seek compensation for the physical pain that a back injury has caused you.
- Mental anguish. A serious back or spinal cord injury may cause emotional distress, anxiety, and depression for the victim who must confront physical changes, chronic pain and adapting to a new lifestyle. You may be entitled to compensation for the mental anguish you have suffered.
- Loss of consortium. Paralysis from a spinal cord injury may include loss of sexual function. If your accident leaves you disabled and unable to enjoy intimate relations with your spouse, you may experience a reduction in the enjoyment of life. You may seek compensation for loss of marital relations as part of your legal claim.
- Exemplary damages. In some accident cases, we may be able to seek punitive damages, which is extra compensation awarded to punish a defendant for outrageous behavior.
Compensation for economic damages is calculated from receipts, bills, past income, etc., and economic analyses to project future costs. Noneconomic and exemplary damages awards are based on the picture we paint for a jury or in negotiations with insurers.
Our attorneys at Herrman & Herrman, P.L.L.C. match their aggressive approach to negotiations for damages with dedication, attention to detail and a relentless pursuit of justice as we build your case.
We understand the impact that a serious back injury can have on your financial stability and quality of life. We are committed to helping our clients in San Antonio and throughout South Texas seek full compensation to regain control of their lives.
Contact Our San Antonio Back Injury Attorneys
The San Antonio back injury lawyers of Herrman & Herrman, P.L.L.C. understand the impact a back injury suffered in a car accident, slip and fall or workplace accident can have on the accident victim and his or her family. Our attorneys and staff are focused on helping injured San Antonio residents and their families regain financial stability and move forward.
Hospital Bills from Your Back Injury?
If someone has caused an accident that left you hospitalized with a back injury in the San Antonio area, Call Herrman & Herrman, P.L.L.C. to schedule an appointment with an experienced personal injury lawyer. We can provide a free, no-obligation explanation of your legal options and, if possible, will aggressively pursue maximum compensation for you. We may be able to help you seek compensation for your past and future medical expenses, lost income, pain and suffering, and other expenses related to the back injury. Schedule a free case evaluation today.
Contact Herrman & Herrman Back Injury Lawyers in San Antonio