Car accidents involve immense force—even when driving at low speeds. The forceful
impact from a car collision can easily cause severe damage to structures
in the lower back. Spinal stenosis is one of the most common lower back
injuries that affects the spinal canal.
Spinal stenosis is considered a narrowing of spaces in the spine which
often occurs from impacts, disc herniation or bone spurs, causing pressure
on the spinal cord and/or nerve roots. This injury causes intense, debilitating
pain in the back, legs or buttocks.
The narrowing of the spinal canal can lead to the following symptoms:
- Pain the neck, back, arms, shoulder, legs or buttocks
- Muscle weakness
- Tingling sensation or numbness
- Loss of balance
- Bladder and bowel issues
Treatment for Spinal Stenosis
Treatment will depend upon the individual’s injury and symptoms.
Potential treatments after a car accident include physical over-the-counter
medication, cortisone injections, physical therapy, chiropractic care,
However, if these treatments are not effective in curing the ailment and
relieving pain, surgery may be required. Although surgery for this injury
has a high success rate, individuals will suffer some pain during the
recovery. It is not uncommon for spinal stenosis sufferers to continue
experiencing negative side effects from the injury.
So How Can a Car Accident Victim Recover Compensation?
According to the no-fault accident laws in New York, personal injury protection
(PIP) coverage is the first option. PIP will cover a victim’s injuries
and lost wages up to their policy limits (at least $50,000).
However, surgeries and physical therapies can easily surpass that limit.
But under Article 51 of the Insurance Law, a victim can file a personal
injury lawsuit against the negligent party if he/she has incurred a basic
economic loss exceeding $50,000 or has suffered “serious injury”.
Serious injury is defined as personal injury which results in one of the
- A temporary injury which prevents the victim from performing all of the
individual’s usual and customary daily activities for more than
90 days during the 180 days following the cause of the injury
- Significant disfigurement
- Permanent consequential limitation of a body organ or member
- Permanent loss of use of a body organ, member, function or system
- Significant limitation of use of a body function or system
If you are suffering from spinal stenosis stemming from a car accident,
our New York City personal injury attorneys at Lurie, Ilchert, MacDonnell
& Ryan LLP can help.
Contact us and request a free consultation today.