Individuals with serious back injuries often require extensive medical treatment, including:

  • Emergency care
  • Surgery (and possibly multiple surgeries)
  • Long-term hospitalization
  • Rehabilitation
  • Medication
  • Assistive devices (wheelchairs and walkers)
  • Assisted living or home health care
  • Mental health counseling.

The Dallas personal injury lawyers of Tate Law Offices, P.C., understand the tremendous challenges that confront those who sustain back injuries and spinal cord damage due to the negligence of others. We strive to recover compensation for the medical expenses, lost income, pain and suffering and other damages that victims face as the result of a back injury. Our legal team features attorneys Tim Tate and Chris Rehmet, who are both members of the Multi-Million Dollar Advocates Forum and included among the “Top Trial Lawyers in America®.” We know how to handle serious injury cases involving spinal cord damage and how to maximize the value of our clients’ cases.

Vertebrae Injuries: Spine Injuries

Individual vertebrae bones form the spinal column and protect the spinal cord, which runs through the center of the column. The vertebrae are identified by the region of the back where the vertebrae are located. The three main areas of the back are:

  • Cervical spine (neck) – The seven cervical vertebrae are numbered C1-C7
  • Thoracic spine (mid-back) — The 12 thoracic vertebrae are numbered T1-T12
  • Lumbar spine (lower back) — The five vertebrae are numbered L1-L5

Trauma resulting from a high-speed car accident or a motorcycle crash often causes fractures of the thoracic or lumbar vertebrae.

Doctors classify vertebrae fractures by the pattern of the damage to the backbone. The spinal fractures that are most common among people injured in traffic accidents are:

The vertebra is pulled apart as a result of overwhelming forces upon it. These breaks are also known as flexion-distraction fractures. For example, the impact of a head-on collision may cause a car accident victim’s body to be flung forward while the lower body is held in place by a lap belt, leading to a flexion-distraction fracture.

A rotation fracture results from extreme bending sideways. A side impact collision could cause vertebra rotation fracture. A rotation fracture may cause a vertebra to shift out of position, destabilizing the spine.

A compression fracture is one type of flexion fracture. It occurs when the front part of the vertebra breaks, causing the bone to compress.

Axial burst fractures are more complex flexion fractures involving vertebra fractures in multiple places. The front and back of the vertebrae is damaged and loses height. Falling from a height and landing on the feet may cause this type of fracture. The treatment may involve surgery to remove any bone fragments pressing on the spinal cord.