How do Car Crashes Lead to Neck and Back Injuries?

woman holding her back after a crash

Vehicular crashes leave millions of Americans injured every single year, and many of these injuries involve the neck and back. These high-risk areas can cause numerous aches and pains in less severe cases, but they can also cause paralysis in more critical occurrences.

So how does the impact from a crash lead to these life-altering bodily effects?


Whiplash is one of the more common terms that we associate with injuries related to car crashes. It is the proper term for the straining of the neck. When a vehicle halts, jolts, or very quickly is forced to turn due to an impact, the result causes a jostle in your neck, leading to tears and excessive stretching to the tendons and muscles in your neck.

Spinal Cord Damage

The initial impact of the wreck can cause the integrity of your spine to shift out of place. This can commonly lead to disc injuries when a disc slips, ruptures, herniates, or bulges out. When the spinal cord endures more harmful damage, it potentially could lead to paralysis.

Paralysis is the loss of use to an area of muscles in your body. In most cases, the victim loses all sensations of feeling in the impacted area.


When paralysis comes from a car wreck, it typically occurs when nerves in the spinal column have severe damage. The nerves contained within the spinal column control most of the muscles in our bodies.

The nerves in the cervical spine control tasks in the upper half of the body, while the nerves in the lumbar spine dictate the lower body. Therefore, severe damages to these parts of the spinal cord will decide the potential for paralysis in the upper or lower half of the body.

Paralysis injuries are often grouped into four different categories:

  • Monoplegia - a single limb is paralyzed.
  • Hemiplegia - one side of the body is paralyzed.
  • Paraplegia - legs or lower half of the body are paralyzed.
  • Tetraplegia - arms and legs are paralyzed. This is also commonly referred to as quadriplegia.

What to Do After You Have Been in an Accident

Seek Medical Attention

If you or a loved one is involved in a serious accident, it is vital to seek medical attention immediately.

Collect Names, Numbers, and Driver's License Information

Following the accident and ensuring the physical safety of everyone involved, it is essential to collect the contact and insurance information for all parties impacted by the collision.

Report the Incident

Making the slightest mistakes can have an impact on the compensation you receive in your car accident claim, so it's critical to report the accident and provide all of the information you have collected from all parties at the collision scene.

Involved in an Accident that Resulted in a Neck or Back Injury? We are Here to Help

If you suffer from neck and back injuries due to a wreck, the last thing you should worry about is dealing with insurance companies. Instead, allow us to help you so you can recover to the best of your abilities. We will be by your side as you juggle all the costs involved.

We want to help. Contact Skousen, Gulbrandsen & Patience, PLC today at (480) 999-9181.

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