The back is made up of many bones called vertebrae, and if you suffer a fractured vertebrae, the consequences can be serious. You may wish to think about making a personal injury claim for compensation for fractured vertebrae, and for this you’ll need the services of a personal injury lawyer. Accident Advice Helpline has over 16 years’ experience helping people claim compensation, and we have plenty of back injury experts who can handle your claim and help you get the compensation you’re entitled to if somebody else caused your accident.
What are the main causes of vertebral fractures?
Statistics show that car accidents are responsible for 45% of vertebral fractures, whilst falls account for 20% of injuries, sports accidents a further 15% and violent acts (such as an assault at work) for 15%. You could suffer a vertebral fracture in a road traffic accident, a workplace accident or even after a slip, trip or fall in a public place, and you may be lucky enough to escape with minor injuries or suffer serious, life-changing injuries that could leave you paralysed.
What are vertebrae exactly?
Did you know that the spine is made up of 33 bones called vertebrae? These vertebrae support the body, making it possible for you to stand, sit, bend and twist. Inside each vertebrae is a hollow space called the spinal canal, and it’s here that the spinal cord passes through. It’s responsible for relaying information from the brain to the body and back again. When the spinal vertebrae crack or break, a fracture can be the result. A very sharp movement (such as the impact of a car accident, for example) could even fracture vertebrae in the neck. Fractures can range from minor hairline fractures to serious wedge fractures. If somebody else caused your accident – for example if a driver ran a red light and crashed into your vehicle, you may be considering claiming compensation for fractured vertebrae.
What are the symptoms of a vertebral fracture?
How can you be sure if you have suffered a vertebral fracture? In order to claim compensation for fractured vertebrae, you’ll need to have your injuries assessed by a doctor and undergo treatment for your injuries too. Here are some of the most common symptoms:
- A tight or stiff feeling in the area affected
- Localised pain, or pain which radiates to other parts of the body
- Inflammation and swelling
- Pinched nerve symptoms
- Paralysis, in extreme cases
A diagnosis usually takes the form of a physical examination at hospital, followed by an x-ray. For more serious fractures, you may need to have a CT or MRI scan.
How is a vertebral fracture treated?
Treatment for fractured vertebrae can vary, and the type of treatment you need (and your recovery time) will affect how much compensation for fractured vertebrae you can claim. For a minor, hairline fracture, there is normally no serious treatment or surgery needed. Your doctor will usually give you a soft collar to wear to provide support, and recommend a few weeks of rest. A wedge or slice fracture of the neck vertebrae can occur after a severe whiplash injury. These types of fractures can be very serious, causing spinal cord injuries that can even result in paralysis. Severe whiplash is more common than you might think – one in 50 people diagnosed with whiplash will deal with chronic pain even years after their accident. To stabilise your fracture, a brace or orthotics may be worn for around eight to 12 weeks. In the case of serious fractures, instrumentation or fusion surgery may need to be carried out over time, prolonging your recovery time.
How soon can I get back to work?
The recovery time for a fractured vertebrae can vary greatly depending on the severity of the fracture. This means that the amount of compensation for fractured vertebrae can also vary greatly, and it’s important to discuss this with your personal injury lawyer if you are considering making a claim for compensation. For a minor compression fracture, expect to take around eight to 10 weeks to recover. The amount of time you may need to take off work will depend on the type of job you do and how physical it is. Remember that you can claim compensation for loss of earnings, if you have taken time off work to recover after your accident. For some people, pain and symptoms can persist for much longer.
A study carried out in Canada on the long-term implications of vertebral fractures looked at symptoms suffered by 116 patients over a three- to eight-year period. 22% suffered symptoms causing incapacity in the years following their accident, whilst 52% were still suffering from symptoms years later, although these were not incapacitating.
How much compensation for fractured vertebrae is normal?
When it comes to a personal injury claim, there is no one ‘normal’ amount, as we take into account a number of different factors when working out your settlement. For example, if you have fractured vertebrae in your neck after a fall from height at work and been left permanently paralysed, you would be likely to receive more compensation than somebody who has suffered a minor vertebral fracture which heals within a few weeks. The impact on your life, as well as any financial losses you have suffered, is taken into account by Accident Advice Helpline’s lawyers, and we have over 16 years’ experience helping people claim compensation for fractured vertebrae. Why not call us today on 0800 689 5659 to find out more about making a claim?
Our lawyers work on a no win no fee basis, which means there are no expensive upfront fees to worry about, and all advice is offered on a no-obligation basis, so you can get in touch with us without worrying about feeling pressured into proceeding with a claim. Remember that there is a three-year time limit in place to make a personal injury claim, so it’s best to get in touch with us as soon as possible after your accident, so that you have time to think about what your next step will be.