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Can Semi-Truck Accidents Cause Spine Injuries?

Posted in New Mexico Truck Accident Cases

A semi-truck accident is often catastrophic, meaning it inflicts injuries that will affect a victim for the foreseeable future. This includes permanently debilitating injuries to the spine. The back, neck and spinal cord can sustain injuries in a commercial truck accident in many different ways. If you believe you or a loved one has a spine injury from a semi-truck accident, go to a hospital immediately. Then, when you are ready, consult with a truck accident lawyer in New Mexico about your legal options.

Types of Spinal Cord Injuries Often Suffered in Truck Accidents

The human body is often not strong enough to withstand the gravitational forces of a semi-truck accident. A crash can result in injuries to all parts of the body, including the spine. A spinal cord injury can occur in a semi-truck accident due to blunt-force trauma to the back or spine, the spinal cord getting crushed, a seat belt severing the spine, or the jerking back-and-forth motion of the crash pulling a muscle. Trauma to the spine in an automobile accident can lead to both hard and soft-tissue back injuries, such as:

  • Muscle strains and sprains
  • Whiplash
  • Disk herniation
  • Slipped or ruptured disk
  • Spinal concussion
  • Bone fracture
  • Nerve damage
  • Severed spine
  • Paralysis (paraplegia, tetraplegia, etc.)

A spinal cord injury can be complete or incomplete. A complete injury is more severe, as it means that the injury has completely cut off the connection between the brain and the body. This will lead to an irreversible loss of feeling and function below the point of injury. An incomplete spinal cord injury, on the other hand, means that the truck accident only partially injured the spine. It may or may not be possible to recover from an incomplete spinal cord injury.

What Are the Long-Term Effects of a Spine Injury?

Spinal cord injuries are some of the most severe injuries possible in a semi-truck accident. This is because the spinal cord is responsible for all feeling and movement in the body. If a crash compromises any component of the spinal column, it can permanently interrupt this critical messaging system and cause a permanent disability. Some of the potential long-term effects of a spinal cord injury include:

  • Permanent loss of feeling and function
  • The inability to move some or all limbs
  • Loss of bowel and bladder control
  • Trouble communicating
  • Respiratory problems
  • Related health complications, such as infections
  • Increased risk of mortality

Each case is unique. One victim’s spinal cord injury may not cause the same symptoms or have the same prognosis as another’s. It is critical to see a doctor immediately for a potential back injury after a big rig accident. If you feel any pain, tingling, numbness, or loss of feeling in your back or neck, go to a hospital. If you are diagnosed with a spinal cord injury from a truck accident, protect your rights by hiring an attorney for the financial recovery process.

Who Is Responsible for a Semi-Truck Accident Injury?

Truck accidents and related spinal cord injuries are often preventable. A trucking company has a legal responsibility to prevent foreseeable collisions by applying a reasonable level of care, such as properly training its truck drivers and maintaining its trucks. If a trucking company is negligent, meaning that it carelessly fails to fulfill its responsibilities, it could bear legal responsibility – or liability – for a related accident. This means that the trucking company will have to pay for a victim’s injuries, including the expenses related to a spinal cord injury.

A trucking company in New Mexico will also be vicariously liable for the mistakes of its workers, including truck drivers, in most cases. However, you may have a case against another party, such as a truck manufacturer or cargo company, depending on the circumstances of your crash. In New Mexico, the person or party most at fault for causing your crash will be responsible for your losses. To discuss your case in more detail, consult with an attorney who can help you with a case involving a serious spine injury.