Back Injuries in Pedestrians Struck by Motor Vehicles
As the push to be healthier and greener continues, more people are choosing to walk and jog to work or school, or just around town, yet too many local governments have done little to protect the safety of these most vulnerable road users. In fact, as the number of car accident fatalities drops across the country, the number of pedestrians who are seriously injured or killed every year is increasing.
When a pedestrian is struck by a motor vehicle, even at low speeds, the back and spine can sustain serious injury. The most common types of these injuries include:
- Disc Injury to the cushions that lay between the vertebrae. When these discs are damaged, the vertebrae may move in such a way that it puts pressure on surrounding nerves causing numbness, tingling, and pain that shoots down through the buttocks and legs.
- Spinal Cord Injuries that allow the nerves contained in the cord to be damaged. When this happens, the signals that normally pass to the brain for movement and sensory interpretation are disrupted. SCI’s can result in complete paralysis, where there is no feeling or movement below the level of the injury or incomplete paralysis where there is at least some movement or feeling below the injury site. Aside from paralysis, SCI can also cause respiratory problems, lack of bowel or bladder control, and impairment of sexual ability.
- Compression fractures of the bones of the spine that allow the vertebrae to shift or collapse. Symptoms of a compression fracture may include changes in posture and difficulty breathing as well as pain that intensifies with movement. It is crucial that you lay still after being hit to prevent further damage and injury to the spinal cord and the nerves that are housed there.
- Soft tissue injuries include damage to the muscles and connective tissues that crisscross your back. These types of injuries can be caused by the impact itself, or how your body is twisted, bent, and flipped after impact. Though most will recover from soft tissue damage, many people suffer pain, limited movement, and weakness for a lengthy period of time afterward.
It's important that you seek medical treatment if you have been hit by a vehicle so any back or spinal injury can be properly diagnosed and treated. Your doctor may take x-rays or order a CT scan, MRI, or bone scan, so they have a clear picture of exact nature of the injury. Most back injuries are treated with injections, pain medications, and physical therapy or rehabilitation. Even in cases of severe muscle strain, your recovery may take longer than you might expect.
If you or a family member suffered a back injury after being hit by a motor vehicle, you might be able to seek compensation for your losses, including lost wages, medical expenses and costs related to your injury. Contact us today to learn more.