There are many different types of injuries to the spine that happen as a result of car crashes. There are injuries to the cervical or lumbar discs that can happen to themselves; these shock absorbers that help us move can be damaged — they can be ripped, they can be torn, they can be herniated. The disc itself can be knocked out of place where it’s pressing on a nerve, the disc can actually be forced out. Inside these discs are chemicals and material that is like crab meat. And if they are subjected to enough force, that seal will actually be broken and the material inside will jet out and press on nerves.
The chemicals inside the disc will actually come out like a chemical burn and burn these nerves. There are also joints along the spine just like anywhere else in the body, and these joints can be damaged. If there’s a car accident (like a t-bone collision) and the head hits the window, these joints can actually slam together, damaging each other. There are also ligaments that can be ripped or torn, muscles that can be ripped and torn. So often times somebody will experience a whole host of different injuries at the same time in the accident. And what I do is conduct a medical forensic examination to determine what injuries came from the accident to be able to explain to the jury in a very simple way to bring it home through expert testimony.