As an Atlanta Car Accident Lawyer, I understand that automobile accidents are one of the leading causes of lower back pain. Common back injuries resulting from auto accidents include a herniated disc, lumbar or lower back strain, and spinal cord injuries. These injuries can cause serious and debilitating pain in the lower back, making everyday activities – like working, caring for your family, or engaging in leisure activities – difficult. In fact, about 10% of these auto accident back injuries lead to long-term disability for Atlanta car accident victims who we have represented over the years.
Spinal cord injuries, in particular, can cause serious nerve damage, resulting in paralysis, loss of feeling in certain areas of the body, and loss of reflex functions. Spinal cord injuries can also lead to secondary medical problems including infection, sexual dysfunction, muscle spasms, loss of bladder control, and centralized hypersensitivity or pain in certain areas of the body.
Treatments for lower back pain include orthopaedic care, physical therapy, chiropractic care, prescription medication and surgery. However, for people suffering from spinal cord injuries whose chronic pain has proved unresponsive to prior treatments, doctors have begun using Spinal Cord Stimulators.
Spinal Cord Stimulators are prescribed for the treatment of chronic pain (lasting 3 months or more) and work to manage chronic lower back pain by intercepting and altering the perception of pain signals from the nerve pathways along the spine to the brain. Spinal Cord Stimulators are devices with internal and external components. A battery-powered stimulator is placed inside the abdomen, upper buttocks or collar-bone area, while wires called leads are implanted along the spinal cord and attached to the stimulator. A hand-held remote control helps the patient moderate his own pain.
Although a Spinal Cord Stimulator has recently provided good pain relief for one of my clients who was severely injured in an Atlanta auto accident, these devices also come with many risks, including, but not limited to, infection, allergic reaction, scarring, loss of blood and need for blood transfusion, loss of function of any limb or any organ, paralysis, brain damage, need for repeat surgery, persistent pain, cardiac arrest or death. In addition, the implanted battery inside the stimulator will wear out over time and additional surgeries will be required to replace the battery. Current batteries can be expected to last between three and five years, and the cost of a single surgery to replace a dead battery may be as much as $30,000.
If you have been in an auto accident and are experiencing lower back pain which seems to be getting worse or which persists for more than 3 months after the accident, it is important to see a medical specialist to determine a course of treatment. Specialists can determine the nature and extent of car accident back injuries through X-rays, CT and CAT scans, MRIs, discograms, and bone scans.
If you are suffering from auto accident back injuries resulting from an accident caused by another party, you may be able to seek damages from the responsible party. Liable parties may be required to compensate victims for medical expenses, loss of income or earning potential, and pain and suffering. To find out if someone else might be liable for your injury and to ensure that they pay damages, contact an experienced auto accident attorney.
Robert J. Fleming has been handling wrongful death cases, dental malpractice, bus accidents, car accident cases and premises injury cases for individuals and families who have been harmed, injured or died as a result of the carelessness or negligence of another for more than 20 years. He practices in and around the Atlanta, Georgia area including handling lawsuits in Fulton, DeKalb, Clayton, Gwinnett, Cobb and other counties and nearby cities including Alpharetta, Austell, Avondale Estates, Chamblee, College Park, Conyers, Duluth, Decatur, Doraville, Hapeville, Johns Creek, Jonesboro, Lawrenceville, Norcross, Peachtree City, Riverdale, Roswell, Sandy Springs, Stone Mountain, and Smyrna. If you have been seriously injured in a car accident and would like discuss your case, contact Robert J. Fleming directly on (404) 525-5150 or contact us online.