If you have suffered a spinal cord injury in a motor vehicle accident, you may be entitled to significant financial compensation. On this page, we provide important information about common accident-related spinal cord injuries. If your accident occurred in Massachusetts or Rhode Island, The Bottaro Law Firm can help you determine if you have a claim for compensation. Contact us to learn more.

Getting to Know Your Spinal Cord

The spinal cord is one of the most important parts of the human body. It is made up of the nerve fibers that connect your brain to nearly all of the other parts of your body, and together with the brain it forms your central nervous system. The spinal cord is protected by a stacked series of bones, called vertebrae, and between the vertebrae are jelly-filled discs that provide support and cushioning to help prevent serious injuries.

Your spinal cord is divided into three regions: lumbar, thoracic, and cervical. The lumbar region is in your lower back. The thoracic region is in the middle of your back, and is the longest portion of the spine. At the top, the cervical spine runs the length of your neck and connects to the base of the skull.

Types of Accident-Related Spinal Cord Injuries that May Entitle You to Compensation

The following are the most common types of spinal cord injuries in motor vehicle accidents:

Fractured Vertebrae

Vertebrae fractures are most common in the lumbar and thoracic regions of the spine, and may also occur at the connection of these two regions (called the thoracolumbar junction). The severity of spinal fractures can vary widely – from the nearly imperceptible to those requiring emergency surgery. While many accident victims experience severe pain and immobility immediately upon fracturing their vertebrae, it is also possible not to experience symptoms for days or weeks following the collision.

Untreated spinal fractures can get worse over time, and will eventually lead to permanent damage. They are also exceedingly common in serious motor vehicle collisions. This is why we always tell people to see a doctor after being involved in an accident, even if they initially feel fine.

Disc Injuries

Accident victims may suffer disc injuries either in addition to or separately from fractured vertebrae. When a disc ruptures, the jelly-like fluid inside can escape, causing pain and other symptoms. This is a condition known as a herniated disc, which may also be referred to as a slipped disc, bulging disc, or protruding disc. We discuss herniated discs in more detail on our Back Injuries page, linked below.

Paralysis (Paraplegia and Quadriplegia)

Paralysis is a life-changing condition that results from damage to the nerve fibers in the spinal cord. When a vehicle collision causes damage to the nerves, this can interrupt the communication between the brain and the muscles. This results in loss of muscle function, and, as a result, immobility. Some individuals who suffer from paralysis lose feeling in the affected parts of their body as well.

Paralysis can either be complete or partial, and can affect one or both sides of the body. Paralysis affecting the lower half of the body – the legs, torso and pelvic organs – is known as paraplegia. Quadriplegia, or tetraplegia, affects the torso, arms, and legs.


Whiplash is a spinal cord injury that occurs when the head moves forward and then snaps back in a whip-like motion. It is most common in rear-end collisions, though it may occur in other types of accidents as well. Most individuals who suffer from whiplash experience neck pain and stiffness, loss of range of motion, and headaches within the first 24 hours. Other symptoms may include dizziness, fatigue, blurred vision, ringing in the ears (tinnitus), difficulty concentrating, memory problems, and depression.

While many individuals who suffer from whiplash are able to fully recover within a few months, some victims can experience chronic pain for years after the accident.

More Information about Motor Vehicle Accident Injuries

In addition to suffering spinal cord injuries, many motor vehicle accident victims suffer a wide range of other injuries as well. At The Bottaro Law Firm, we have secured millions of dollars in compensation for accident victims in Massachusetts and Rhode Island. Along with spinal cord injuries, we regularly handle cases involving:

Seek Financial Compensation for Your Spinal Cord Injury. Contact The Bottaro Law Firm Today

To find out if you have a claim for financial compensation, we invite you to schedule a free consultation. We have office locations throughout Massachusetts and Rhode Island, but if you are in pain one of our attorneys will gladly come to you. Get started today by completing our online form or calling (401) 777-7777. You can also text attorney Mike Bottaro 24/7 at (401) 300-5007 to discuss your case.