Neck and Back Injury Statistics
Each year, roughly 6 million people show up at hospital emergency rooms due to trauma-related injuries to their neck, head, and face. (2) Also, approximately 12,000 people suffer traumatic spinal cord injuries annually in the United States. (3)
“Trauma to the neck and back can lead to spinal cord injury and permanent disability.” (4)
Causes of Neck and Back Injury
Many types of accidents can lead to severe neck and back injuries. These include:
- Transportation accidents: Some statistics claim nearly 2,000 New Yorkers die each year due to motor vehicle traffic-related injuries. (5)
- Falling objects: More than 230 people die annually from falling objects. (6)
- Slip and falls: Millions of people end up in hospitals each year due to injuries from falls. (7)
- Medical malpractice: Medical errors are one of the leading causes of death in the United States, ranking number 3. (8)
- Defective work equipment: Machines of one kind or another are all around us. When they work, they make our lives a lot easier. However, when something goes wrong, you can suffer severe injuries and die. Several of the most hazardous machines are tractors, forklifts, excavating machines, and cranes. Hundreds of people die each year from mishaps with work equipment. (9)
Neck and Back Injury Signs and Symptoms
Spinal cord injuries of any kind may result in one or more of these signs and symptoms: (10)
- Loss of movement.
- Loss or altered sensation, including the ability to feel heat or cold, or touch.
- Loss of bowel or bladder control.
- Exaggerated reflexes or spasms.
- Changes in sexual function and sensitivity.
- Pain or intense stinging sensation due to nerve damage.
- Difficulty breathing, coughing, or clearing secretions from your lungs.
Back pain can range from a basic muscle ache to a burning, shooting, or stabbing sensation. In addition, pain may spread down your leg. The pain may worsen when you bend, twist, lift, stand, or walk. (11)
Other possible symptoms of neck or back injury may include: (12)
- Paralysis of an extremity.
- Localized pain.
Additional damage may also occur over days or weeks due to bleeding, swelling, inflammation, or fluid accumulation in and around your spinal cord. (13)
Suffering a neck or back injury because of someone else's negligence? Contact us for a free consultation today.
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Types of Neck and Back Injuries
You can suffer a traumatic spinal cord injury due to major traumatic events, such as falls, motor vehicle accidents, or acts of violence. Vehicle crashes continue to rank as the leading cause of injury, followed by falls and then gunshot wounds. (14)
You can also suffer a neck or back injury doing work using your upper body and arms. (15)
Your back gets injured from: (16)
- Sprains — overstretched or torn ligaments.
- Strains — tears in tendons or muscle.
- Spasms — sudden contraction of a muscle or group of muscles.
You can also suffer an injury playing sports or being in an accident damaging your tendons, ligaments, or muscles. These injuries can cause pain, compress your spine, and cause discs in your spine to rupture or herniate. (17)
Back injuries can lead to nerve and spinal cord problems, including: (18)
- Spinal nerve compression, inflammation, and further injury.
- Sciatica, caused by something pressing on your sciatic nerve. If you have this condition, you may feel “shock-like or burning low back pain” along with pain going through your buttocks and down one leg.
- Spinal stenosis, meaning your spinal cord has narrowed. This condition puts pressure on your spinal cord and nerves.
- Spondylolisthesis occurs when a vertebra of your lower spine has slipped out of place. The nerves exiting your spinal column can become pinched.
- Herniated or ruptured discs occur when your intervertebral discs become compressed and bulge outward.
- Infections of different parts of your spinal column.
- Cauda equina syndrome, means you have a ruptured disc pushing into your spinal canal. This compression presses on the bundle of your lumbar and sacral nerve roots. You can suffer permanent neurological damage if you do not receive appropriate treatment.
Legal Options Due to Neck or Back Injury
If you or a loved one has suffered a severe neck or back injury, you may have grounds for a personal injury lawsuit. If someone else’s negligence led to your injury, they may be liable. You may be entitled to compensation.
Negligence is an important consideration when filing a personal injury lawsuit. “Negligent conduct may consist of either an act, or an omission to act when there is a duty to do so.” (19)
If you are considering filing a lawsuit, seek out a reputable, highly experienced law firm specializing in personal injury and wrongful death litigation. We can provide you with the resources and knowledge necessary to explore your legal options.
If you or a loved one suffered a back or neck injury from someone else's negligence, you may be entitled to compensation.
How W&L Can Help
Weitz & Luxenberg has been helping people harmed by the actions and negligence of others for over 30 years. We are based in New York and know the state’s statutes and regulations inside and out.
Our dedicated team of personal injury attorneys also has a proven history of winning. We have secured over $18 billion dollars on behalf of our clients over the years.
Here are a couple examples of our wins:
- $ Hundreds of thousands – A woman was injured in her neck and spine when a suitcase from an overhead bin on an airplane dislodged and fell on her.
- $20.5 million – A man spends the rest of his life in a wheelchair after suffering a severe neck injury in a hit-and-run vehicle accident.