Back Pain After A Car Accident
If you’ve been in a car accident, even a minor one, you may be familiar with back pain. This is especially true if your car was hit from behind. Whiplash is a common injury after a car accident, and it can cause pain in the neck, shoulders, and back, but there are many other ways that the back or spinal cord can suffer after an impact.
If you’re dealing with back pain after a car accident, it’s important to seek medical attention as soon as possible. Many times, the pain will go away on its own, but there are also serious conditions that can cause back pain and require treatment.
Common Sources of Back Pain After a Car Accident
The following are just a few of the many potential sources of back pain after an accident. Since the back is so complex, it can be difficult for even a team of medical professionals to pinpoint the root cause. Whether or not you see your injuries listed below, contact our firm right away to speak with an experienced attorney about your unique situation.
Whiplash is one of the most common causes of back pain after a car accident. Whiplash is a neck injury that occurs when the head is suddenly jerked forward and then backward. This can happen in a rear-end collision but can also occur in other types of accidents. Since this is a soft-tissue injury in the general area of the neck and shoulders, it can also impact the upper back. A serious enough upper back strain can indirectly lead to serious lower back pain, as well as the muscles.
Symptoms of whiplash include neck pain, stiffness, headaches, and dizziness. In some cases, there may also be numbness or tingling in the arms or legs. Whiplash is usually treated with over-the-counter pain relievers and ice packs.
If the pain from whiplash doesn’t go away within a few days, or if it gets worse, it’s important to see a doctor. Some other serious conditions can cause back pain, and incorrectly attributing the pain to whiplash could delay treatment.
Another serious condition that can cause back pain is a herniated disc. This happens when the soft inner material of a disc in the spine pushes through the harder outer shell, which can happen due to overuse, injury, or aging. When a disc herniates, it can put pressure on the spinal cord or nearby nerves, which can cause pain.
Symptoms of a herniated disc include localized back pain that gets worse with movement, as well as the potential for pain that radiates down the legs, known as sciatica. The pain of sciatica, whether or not it stems from a herniated disc, can be debilitating.
Herniated discs can be extremely painful and may require surgery to fix. Even herniations that do not require surgery must be treated with ongoing pain management, physical therapy, and continuous monitoring.
Another serious condition that can cause back pain is a spinal fracture. This can happen in a car accident if there is a significant impact on the spine, such as a car collision.
Spinal fractures can be very painful and may require surgery to heal properly, but may also be able to heal themselves over time with proper care and attention.
Another possible cause of back pain after a car accident is spinal stenosis, which is a narrowing of the spinal canal. This can happen due to an injury or simply from the aging process. Spinal stenosis can cause a lot of pain and may require surgery to fix.
What To Do If You Are In a Car Accident
If you’ve been in a car accident, it’s important to see a doctor even if you don’t think you’re injured. Back pain after a car accident often doesn’t show up immediately. It’s also important to get a police report and exchange insurance information with the other driver.
If you do have back pain after a car accident, it’s important to seek medical attention as soon as possible. Back pain can be a symptom of many different conditions, some of which are very serious. Don’t wait to see if the pain goes away on its own, as this could delay treatment for a serious condition.
Proving Back Pain After a Car Accident
If you have back pain after a car accident, getting treatment and documenting your injuries is important. This will be important if you decide to file an insurance claim or personal injury lawsuit. It can be frustrating to suffer through this pain for months, only to find that the insurance company is working to downplay your pain — especially for soft-tissue injuries that don’t readily show on an x-ray.
Make sure to keep all of your medical records, including any imaging studies and receipts for any out-of-pocket expenses related to your injuries. It’s also a good idea to keep a journal detailing the pain and other symptoms you’re experiencing and how your injuries impact your life.
An experienced attorney can help you collect the evidence you need to prove your injuries and, more importantly, will fight to ensure that this evidence factors into the settlement that you are negotiating for.
Settlement Value of Back Injuries
Those who are unfamiliar with the claims process may think that there is a set value for each type of injury. In reality, every car accident and every personal injury claim is different. The value of your case will be determined by several factors, including:
- The severity of your injuries
- The expected length of your recovery
- Whether you will have long-term or permanent effects from your injuries
- The cost of medical bills you have incurred
- The amount of lost wages you have suffered, as well as potential future lost wages
- The impact your injuries have had on your life
Each of these factors and others will contribute to the settlement amount that your attorney is working towards, but since no two cases are similar, there is no way to simply run your situation through a calculator and get an answer. Working with an attorney is the best way to make sense of your situation and fight for the damages you are rightfully owed.
Contact Mountain States Injury Law For a Free Consultation
If you or someone you love has been injured in a car accident, call the car accident attorneys at Mountain States Injury Law today. We offer a free consultation, so you can get your questions answered and learn more about your legal options without any obligations. Call us or fill out our contact form to schedule your free consultation.