​Back Pain From a Car Accident

Personal Injuries

The human body often cannot absorb the impact of a car accident without damaging muscles, nerves, and ligaments, particularly in your back. Even “minor” back injuries can lead to severe, ongoing and sometimes permanent pain, making it difficult for the accident victim to work, sleep, or enjoy everyday activities.

In some cases, back injuries can be long-lasting, and you may not feel the full impact of your damages for some time. Proving the severity of your injuries and the effect they may potentially have on your future may require the assistance and guidance of an experienced car accident attorney like those at Hughey Law Firm.

Don’t let the insurance company downplay the serious nature of your injuries. A car accident lawyer can negotiate with an insurance adjuster on your behalf and ensure that you receive total and fair compensation for your losses.

What Are Some Common Symptoms of a Back Injury?

back pain from car accidentIn the immediate aftermath of a car accident, someone may experience restricted mobility or pain in the back or neck. In the event of any immediate back or neck pain, it is advisable to go to the emergency room for radiology work, including x-rays, MRIs or a CT scan.

For others, severe back pain may not develop for several hours after the crash. Due to the possibility of delayed symptoms with certain back injuries, seeking the advice of a medical professional is essential to your well-being and the potential success of your case.

Here are the most common symptoms of back injuries:

  • Pain
  • Stiffness
  • Headaches
  • Muscle Spasms
  • Weakness
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Loss of normal movement
  • Numbness or tingling in your limbs, hands, or feet
  • Difficulty walking or standing

A wide range of back injuries can be caused by a car collision, with whiplash being one of the most common. This injury affects the cervical spine and can cause long-lasting back pain. Soft tissue injuries are another example of a back injury that causes significant pain, muscle spasms, and stiffness.

The supportive discs in your spine can slip out of place, crack, or rupture during a car accident. Because the body typically can’t absorb large amounts of force at once, the impact of a car accident can result in a herniated disc or cause vertebrae in your spine to fracture. Spinal cord injuries are among the most serious injuries you can sustain after a car accident.

Damage to the spinal cord can result in permanent nerve damage or paralysis. If you are suffering from a lower back injury after a car wreck, you shouldn’t assume that the pain will go away on its own; even a minor back injury can lead to chronic pain or mobility limitations.

Post-accident endorphins may also mask the pain of more severe injuries after an accident. Delaying treatment not only increases the risk of your injuries worsening, but it will also make it more difficult to prove that the accident caused your injury. A knowledgeable car accident lawyer can help you navigate the tricky claims process and determine the amount of compensation you may be entitled to in your claim. The sooner you start the claims process, the better.

Compensation Available in a Back Injury Claim

Back injuries after a car accident can greatly disrupt your work or financial future, require significant medical care, and impact the overall quality of your life. After an auto accident, you should contact both your insurance company and the at-fault party’s insurance company to report the accident as soon as possible. Make sure you record the contact information of any and all insurance adjusters involved in the case as there may be upwards of 4 or 5 involved in your accident.

In a car accident injury claim, you may seek damages for:

  • Medical expenses (including future costs)
  • Lost income or wages (including future earnings)
  • Loss of consortium
  • Emotional pain and suffering
  • And more.

If a negligent driver injured your back in a car accident, you may seek compensation for all losses related to the accident by filing an insurance or personal injury claim. An experienced car accident lawyer can help you determine the best option for your situation, review your case, and collect evidence to support your claims.

Leading Causes of Car Accidents

The aftermath of any car accident can be stressful. When you’ve been in an accident where you’ve suffered an injury, the last thing you should worry about is dealing with insurance adjusters trying to minimize your case’s value. From property damage to medical expenses, being in a car accident can quickly become overwhelming. Without the help of an experienced car accident lawyer, getting full and fair compensation for your claim may seem impossible.

Here are some of the most common causes of car accidents:

Distracted Driving

When drivers are behind the wheel for long hours, they may become inattentive, bored, or distracted by their phone, a GPS device, or even fiddling with the AC or radio. Keeping your attention on the road is crucial to avoiding an accident. You should also avoid eating, drinking, or even interacting with the other passengers in your car if they are a distraction. Distractions can create dangers often as serious as drunk driving.

Driving Under the Influence

Driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol greatly impairs your ability to mentally process and affects muscle coordination. Drinking and driving make it impossible to operate a motor vehicle legally and safely. When motorists’ judgments are impaired, they often begin to commit reckless driving errors like speeding, breaking traffic laws, failing to turn on their turn signals or headlights, or not yielding to pedestrians in crossing areas. Drunk or intoxicated driving is one of, if not the, leading cause of traffic-related deaths.

Reckless Driving

Disregarding traffic rules puts other motorists and anyone sharing the road at risk of injury or death. Speeding, driving under the influence, running red lights, braking suddenly, tailgating other drivers, weaving in and out of traffic, or failing to yield to pedestrians in a crosswalk are all examples of aggressive or reckless driving. Driving at excessive speeds is not only more likely to make an accident occur, but the resulting injuries are likely to be more severe.

Vehicle Defects

When vehicles are bought and sold on the market, car manufacturers and distributors are responsible for ensuring that the cars they design, build, and sell, comply with federal safety standards. Despite this, there are numerous accidents caused by vehicle defects each year. Faulty airbags are a leading culprit of mechanical defects. When they fail to deploy or explode upon impact, it can result in injury or death for the motorist or occupant of the passenger seat. Additional examples of vehicle defects include tires, faulty brakes, and steering assemblies.

Poor Weather Conditions

Drivers that get behind the wheel when weather conditions are poor have a responsibility to proceed with extreme caution, maintaining a safe distance between their car and other motorists. Stormy, rainy and snowy weather all make it especially difficult to see or judge the speed of nearby vehicles.

When a motorist brakes, they may hydroplane, spin out, and collide with other vehicles or objects on the road. Vehicles with worn or damaged tires are at a higher risk of sliding, skidding, or hydroplaning. Despite poor weather conditions, drivers who operate their vehicles in bad weather may be held liable for any accidents they cause if they fail to exercise caution while driving.

Regardless of the cause of your accident, serious consequences may arise. If you or a loved one were involved in an accident, consider consulting an experienced personal injury lawyer who can review the details of your case and explain your legal options.

Consult a Back Injury Lawyer About Your Case

In back injury cases, filing a personal injury claim can become complex. When the defendant refuses to accept liability, an experienced back injury lawyer can fight on your behalf to obtain financial compensation for your injuries and losses.

If you’re struggling with a debilitating back injury and getting back to your normal life after an accident, call our office to set up an initial consultation with one of our skilled back injury attorneys. They will provide you with the resources and experience necessary to pursue fair compensation after an auto accident.

What to Do After a Car Accident?

When you’re involved in a car crash where you suspect you have injured your back, seeking immediate medical attention is the first step you should take. Failure to treat a car accident injury or receive a proper diagnosis can result in long-term or permanent damage. The sooner you seek medical attention, the better your chances of making a full recovery.

Avoiding movement if you suspect that you’ve sustained a severe injury will prevent it from becoming worse. Have someone at the accident scene call emergency services and request an ambulance. A trained medical response team will have the proper training to safely move you onto a stretcher and take you to the hospital.

If your injury seems minor and you can move around comfortably after the accident, do your best to safely gather evidence of the crash scene by taking pictures and videos of the damage sustained to your vehicle and any other vehicles involved. You should also take photos or videos of the surrounding areas, including nearby street signs, well-known landmarks, and tire skid marks on the road.

Be sure to document your injuries by taking photographs as soon as they become visible. Once you have seen your physician and they’ve assessed and diagnosed your injuries, contact an experienced car accident attorney who will collect medical reports, police reports, and other relevant evidence and begin building a case on your behalf.

Be consistent with your medical treatment until your doctor determines that you have healed completely. Prematurely stopping treatment may affect your health and negatively affect your ability to recover compensation for your medical expenses and other losses, including loss of future earning capacity. An experienced car accident lawyer often gives your claim the best chance of a successful outcome.

How much is my car accident case worth?

Determining the value of your car accident case will depend on several factors, including the severity of your injuries, any lost income, or the value of damage to your personal property. By scheduling a consultation with an experienced car accident attorney, you can obtain an estimate of the potential value of your car accident case and a better understanding of your legal options.

Why is there a delay in my back pain after an accident?

It is not uncommon for symptoms of a back injury to develop days or even a couple weeks after an accident. For this reason, it is essential to schedule a medical evaluation with your healthcare professional, who can determine if you’ve sustained an injury with delayed symptoms.

If you were in a car accident and sustained delayed back pain but have not settled your claim or signed a liability release, you can still recover compensation for your injuries. An experienced car accident lawyer can gather evidence of your injuries and help estimate any future expected healthcare expenses.

Should I accept a settlement offer from an insurance company?

In general, never accept an insurance company’s initial settlement offer without consulting a car accident lawyer first, especially if you’ve suffered severe injuries or considerable damages and are still receiving medical treatment. Insurance companies are trying to protect their bottom line and their client’s best interest, which is why they typically first offer accident victims low-ball settlements. Having a seasoned auto accident attorney on your side can help you avoid accepting compensation that is far less than what you deserve or need to recover.

Can I still drive my car after an accident where I suffered a back injury?

Until a professional inspects your vehicle, refrain from driving it. Even if you think your car only sustained minor scratches, a mechanic might find more serious problems that could endanger you or others if you drive it. Take your vehicle to the mechanic after discussing the trip with your insurance adjuster and the at-fault driver’s insurance adjuster, and give the bill to your car accident lawyer to include in settlement negotiations.