Common Spine Injuries After a Car Accident

Car accidents frequently result in painful injuries that can greatly affect victims’ quality of life. One of the most severe consequences is spine injuries, which affect the central nervous system and the structural integrity of the spinal column.

These structures are vital to the human body, controlling movement, sensation, and essential functions like breathing and circulation. Below are some of the most common spinal cord injuries that can occur in these collisions.


Whiplash is one of the most frequently reported injuries in car accidents, especially rear-end collisions. It occurs when the head is suddenly jerked forward and then backward, causing the neck to move beyond its normal range of motion. This can result in stretched ligaments and muscles in the neck, leading to pain, stiffness, and sometimes more severe neurological issues.

Spinal Fractures

The force of a car accident can cause one or more vertebrae in the spine to fracture or dislocate. These injuries can lead to significant pain and disability, requiring immobilization with a brace or surgical intervention to stabilize the spine.

Herniated Discs

Discs act as cushions between the vertebrae in your spine. The impact of a car accident can cause these discs to rupture or shift, a condition known as herniation. When a disc herniates, it can press on spinal nerves, resulting in pain, numbness, and weakness along the nerve’s path.

Spinal Stenosis

Spinal stenosis, the narrowing of the spinal canal, can be an indirect result of a car accident. Though often a degenerative condition, trauma from a crash can accelerate its onset or exacerbate existing stenosis. Symptoms include pain, numbness, and muscle weakness that can make walking difficult.

Spinal Cord Injuries and Paralysis

Spinal cord injuries and paralysis represent some of the most severe and life-altering outcomes of car accidents. These injuries occur when the spinal cord itself is damaged due to the impact of the crash, leading to a partial or complete disruption of nerve signals between the brain and the body. They often result in partial or complete paralysis below the point of injury, radically altering the lives of the victims.

Living with spinal cord injury or paralysis often requires modifications to the home, the need for mobility aids such as wheelchairs, and potentially around-the-clock care. Medical expenses, ongoing care costs, lost income, and other related expenses can quickly escalate into the millions over a lifetime. The emotional and psychological toll can be immense as victims adapt to changes in their abilities and lifestyles.

Recovery for Spinal Injuries After a California Car Accident

In California, if you’ve sustained a spinal injury from a car accident, legal avenues exist to support your recovery. You have the right to file a claim against the driver responsible for your collision and secure compensation to help pay for your medical expenses, disability accommodations, and other related costs.

To strengthen your case, you need someone who can advocate for your right to financial recovery. A Bakersfield car accident attorney can gather evidence, negotiate with insurance companies, and, if necessary, pursue litigation to achieve the compensation that you rightfully deserve.  After your accident, reach out to a personal injury lawyer in Bakersfield as soon as possible to discuss your case and begin your journey to justice.