Can a Car Accident Cause Scoliosis?

Office Information
Hasbrook & Hasbrook
400 N Walker Ave #130, Oklahoma City, OK
Phone: (405) 605-2426

A car accident can cause debilitating back and spinal injuries, including a spinal column curvature known as scoliosis.  If you or one of your loved ones recently suffered a spinal cord injury in a car crash, we may be able to help you get compensated for your medical bills, the earnings you’ve lost, and other expenses caused by the accident.

What is Scoliosis? Can Physical Trauma cause it?

The spinal column consists of 33 bones called vertebrae, which protect the underlying spinal cord, a sensitive bundle of nerves traveling from the base of the brain to the coccyx (tailbone).  Normally, the spinal column forms a straight line, supporting and helping us hold our bodies upright.  Scoliosis occurs when the spinal column is bent to the side, forming more of an S- or C-shape than a straight vertical line. Some types of scoliosis are caused by medical disorders or are present from birth, such as congenital scoliosis caused by skeletal abnormalities or idiopathic scoliosis, which scientists believe is inherited.  However, scoliosis can also be caused by trauma, meaning a physical impact resulting in injury.  (For example, traumatic brain injury describes damage caused by a blow to the head, as opposed to damage caused by disease or infection.)  Scoliosis caused by blunt force trauma or other physical injuries is called degenerative scoliosis.

How is Spinal Curvature Diagnosed and Treated?

If you experience pain after a car accident, schedule an appointment with your physician as soon as possible, ideally within the first 72 hours of the crash.  What starts as an annoying twinge can develop into excruciating pain within days or even hours.  If you delay seeking medical care, the at-fault driver’s insurance company may cite your delay as an excuse to downplay the severity of your injuries and deny proper coverage. It’s also very important to hold onto any documentation resulting from doctor’s appointments and other medical care, such as copies of prescription slips.  Medical evidence can help to establish not only that your injuries were severe but that they were caused (or aggravated) by the accident.  (For more information on this topic, see our article on what happens if a car accident aggravates an existing injury.) Because scoliosis affects the vertebrae, your doctor will likely want to perform an X-ray to see whether there is any structural damage to your spinal column.  While squishy, gel-filled cushions called discs function as shock absorbers to some extent, a crash can easily cause these discs to bulge (called bulging disc) or rupture (called herniated disc), which may or may not be accompanied by vertebral fractures.  Left untreated, these issues can cause chronic pain and affect the spine’s normal curvature. Scoliosis treatment depends on the damage’s severity and resulting pain and impairment.  You may have to wear a back brace, see a chiropractor, or undergo surgery.  Bulging discs, herniated discs, torn rotator cuff, and broken vertebrae are all common examples of car accident back injuries that can require surgery.

Contact Us Today

A serious back injury can leave the victim immobilized and bed-bound while the damage heals.  This has a two-fold financial impact.  The injury victims miss out on income while recovering and are simultaneously burdened with astronomical medical bills, which can easily climb into the tens of thousands of dollars.  If there are complications, the medical costs skyrocket even higher as additional procedures and treatments become necessary. The good news is that you may be able to get compensation from the driver who hit you or, to be more specific, the at-fault driver’s insurance company.  Oklahoma requires all drivers to carry, at a bare minimum, $25,000 in coverage for property damage, $25,000 for personal injury or wrongful death (per person), and $50,000 for personal injury or wrongful death (per accident). If negotiating with the insurance company fails, you may consider filing a personal injury lawsuit as an alternate method of pursuing fair compensation for your injuries and financial losses. If you or one of your family members sustained a back or spinal cord injury in an automotive accident, don’t assume you are stuck paying for the expenses alone.  You may be entitled to compensation.  To learn more about your family’s next steps after a serious car accident, call the car crash attorneys of Hasbrook & Hasbrook at (405) 605-2426.  We’re here to help you and your loved ones explore your options, including late nights and weekends.  Our legal team serves Oklahoma City and the surrounding communities, including Edmond, El Reno, Tuttle, Norman, Shawnee, McLoud, and more.