A motor vehicle collision that occurs in a matter of seconds can unfortunately do enough damage to last a lifetime. Aside from brain injury, another common injury resulting from car accidents is a neck or back injury.
Sometimes motor vehicle accidents leading to a neck or back injury are the result of another person's carelessness behind the wheel. Fortunately, if you have been hurt in a car crash in Texas, it is within your rights to seek justice through the civil court system.
Neck or back injuries
The neck's anatomy makes this part of the body a common motor vehicle accident casualty. After all, the majority of the essential structures of the neck are in the front, including the jugular veins, esophagus, trachea, carotid arteries and sympathetic/parasympathetic nerves, for example. A sudden force that a rotational movement, jerking movement or seat belt applies might end up crushing the cartilage in the trachea, thus potentially leading to strangulation.
Other injuries that might result from a car accident include damage to your major blood vessels, which increases your coma risk by interfering with your body's supply of blood to your brain, and damage to any nerves that supply your heart, breathing muscles or larynx, which plays a major role in swallowing and speech.
In an accident where you come to a sudden stop, your vertebrae and the intervening vertebral disks may suffer damage as well. For instance, the impact may fracture your bony vertebrae, or you may suffer a hernia. Both of these types of injuries can pinch the nerves that emerge from the spinal cord or lead to spinal cord damage itself, which may cause respiratory death, coma or partial paralysis below your injury site.
You may also experience numbness and tingling in your shoulders, arms and chest; radiating pain; muscles weakness; or the loss of the movement of your muscles as a result of the pinching of the nerves associated with the spinal cord. Unfortunately, nerve pain can persistent off and on for years following the accident.
Filing a claim
After you have suffered a neck or back injury in a car crash in Texas, you may choose to file a personal injury claim against the reportedly at-fault driver, seeking damages. A preponderance of the evidence is necessary to establish liability before the civil court hearing your case. If you are successful, the court will adjudicate claims for monetary damages, which -- if awarded -- may help you to address your accident-related medical bills, loss of wages and other expenses.