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Thoracic and lumbar spine fractures in car accidents

South Carolina residents who are injured in a car accident might sustain a thoracic or lumbar spine fracture. Spines may fracture in three different patterns known as flexion, extension and rotation, but extension is most common in car crashes.

Diagnosing such an injury can be difficult because it is often accompanied by other trauma, including brain injury. The individual could be in so much pain from other injuries that the pain from a spine fracture does not initially register. EMTs on the scene at a car accident might stabilize a patient on a backboard with a neck brace until the extent of the injuries can be assessed. It might then be necessary for an emergency room doctor to thoroughly examine the patient's ability to move and feel in order to diagnose the fracture. There may also be imaging tests.

A spinal fracture is treated either by putting the patient in a brace or cast or with surgery. The brace may be worn for up to 12 weeks. It is important that the individual be monitored for potentially serious complications that could include blood clots or pneumonia. A period of rehabilitation will follow whether the injury has been treated surgically or non-surgically.

An individual who has sustained a spinal fracture or other serious injuries in a car accident in which they were not at fault might want to consult an attorney. If another driver was responsible, a civil lawsuit filed against that driver may be successful, holding them liable for paying compensation to the victim. This is possible even if there is no criminal case against the driver. It is only necessary that the driver be found negligent; negligence means the driver was not exercising a reasonable amount of care. If the driver was driving in a work-related capacity, it is also possible for the employer to be named in the suit.

Source: American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons, "Fractures of the Thoracic and Lumbar Spine," Accessed March 18, 2015

Philpot Law Firm, PA
115 Broadus Ave.
Greenville, SC 29601

Toll Free: 866-853-3497
Toll Free: 866-853-3497
Phone: 864-990-0226
Phone: 864-990-0226
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