Hasbrook & Hasbrook often encounter clients who have suffered from severe back injuries post-accidents. Sometimes, this could include a spinal cord injury, leading to chronic back pain. In addition, facet joint injuries and muscle spasms can lead to severe pain. Nobody should have to live a life of pain after a car crash, and that is why we advocate for car accident victims.
If you have a lumbar or thoracic spine injury, you need an experienced car accident attorney to fight for you. Learn more about back injuries below, and call us to schedule a free case consultation.
Addressing Back Injuries From Car Accidents
Back injuries from car accidents vary markedly in their severity. They may manifest immediately after the accident or sometimes take days or weeks to become evident. Such injuries can result in chronic pain, limiting one’s ability to work or perform daily tasks. Victims need to get a proper medical evaluation and consider consulting with legal experts.
Legal representation, like Hasbrook & Hasbrook, can guide victims through the complex claims process. Reach out to us today for help following a back injury.
Types of Accidents That Cause Back Injuries
Car accidents vary in severity, and so do the resulting injuries. A few common examples include:
- Rear-End Collisions: These accidents often lead to whiplash, which can severely impact the neck and upper back. The sudden jolt can strain muscles and ligaments, causing pain and discomfort.
- T-bone Accidents: Also known as side-impact crashes, they can cause injuries to the spine due to the sudden lateral movement. The spine might get compressed or twisted, leading to severe injuries.
- Head-On Collisions: The force of two cars colliding head-on can be tremendous. This can lead to multiple injuries, including those to the back’s lumbar region.
- Rollover Accidents: In these accidents, a car flips onto its roof. The impact and the rolling motion can strain the back significantly, leading to potential fractures or disc injuries.
- High-Speed Crashes: The greater the speed, the more forceful the impact. Such accidents can lead to traumatic injuries, including severe damage to the spinal cord.
Back Injury Symptoms After a Car Accident
It’s crucial to identify back injury symptoms post-accident. Some common symptoms include:
- Pain and Stiffness: Continuous pain or stiffness in the back can indicate a potential injury. This pain might intensify with movement or while in certain positions.
- Numbness or Tingling: If you feel numbness or tingling in your feet or legs, it might indicate a nerve injury in the back.
- Weakness: A feeling of weakness or inability to move a part of your body can be concerning. It might be due to a nerve or muscular injury.
- Limited Range of Motion: Difficulty bending, twisting, or moving can indicate a potential back injury. It’s essential to consult a medical expert if such symptoms persist.
- Swelling or Bruising: Any visible swelling or bruising around the back area post-accident should be a cause for concern.
Types of Back Injuries Caused by Car Accidents
Back injuries can vary, depending on the accident’s nature and severity. Understanding the common types can aid in seeking appropriate medical treatment. Some typical injuries include:
- Strains and Sprains: Overstretching or tearing muscles and ligaments in the back can lead to strains and sprains. They often result from sudden jolts or twists.
- Disc Injuries: The spine has cushioning discs between vertebrae. An accident can cause these discs to rupture, bulge, or herniate, leading to pain and discomfort.
- Spinal Cord Injuries: Potentially the most severe, these injuries can result in paralysis. The spinal cord is crucial for transmitting signals; any damage can be life-altering.
- Compression Fractures: Compression fractures are small cracks in the spine (vertebrae) bones, often resulting from high-impact accidents. They can be extremely painful and limit movement.
- Whiplash: While commonly associated with neck injuries, whiplash can also impact the upper back. It results from the sudden back-and-forth movement of the head.
Whiplash is a neck injury that stems from the neck bouncing from side to side. It’s common in rear-end car collisions. The rapid motion can strain neck muscles and ligaments, leading to the injury.
Symptoms: Whiplash might present with neck pain, stiffness, and headaches. Some people also experience blurred vision, dizziness, and fatigue. The symptoms can appear immediately or might take a few days to manifest.
Diagnosis and Medical Evaluation: Doctors typically use a physical examination to diagnose whiplash. They’ll check for pain points, range of motion, and neurological issues. In some cases, imaging tests like X-rays might be needed.
Treatment Options: Treatment for whiplash often includes pain management and physical therapy. Over-the-counter pain relievers can help, but prescription medications might be necessary in severe cases. Physical therapy exercises can aid in restoring range of motion and strengthening neck muscles.
Herniated Disc Injuries
The spine comprises vertebrae cushioned by discs. A herniated disc occurs when the disc’s center pushes out into the spinal canal. This is also called a ruptured or slipped disc.
Causes of Car Accidents: High-impact car accidents can exert significant force on the spine. This can lead to discs becoming herniated. The sudden jolt or compression can cause the disc material to bulge or rupture.
Signs and Symptoms: These symptoms often include back, buttocks, or leg pain. There might also be numbness or tingling in the affected area. The pain can be sharp and can intensify with specific movements.
Diagnosis and Imaging: Medical professionals diagnose herniated discs using physical exams and imaging tests. MRI or CT scans can show the damaged discs and surrounding structures.
Treatment Options: Treatment can range from pain management to surgery in severe cases. Medications and physical therapy are often involved. Surgical intervention might be necessary if conservative treatments don’t provide relief.
Compression fractures involve the vertebrae in the spine. They occur when bones in the spine collapse, which can be due to trauma or weakened bones.
How They Occur in Car Accidents: High-impact collisions can cause significant force on the spine. This can lead to compression fractures, especially if bones are weakened or brittle.
Signs and Symptoms: Pain is almost universal. It can be sharp or chronic, and it might worsen with movement. Other symptoms can include a stooped posture or loss of height.
Diagnosis and Medical Assessment: Doctors typically use X-rays to diagnose compression fractures. In some cases, MRI or CT scans might be necessary to assess the damage’s extent.
Treatment Modalities: Treatment can include pain management, bracing, or surgical interventions. Physical therapy can also aid in recovery and strength building. Surgery might be necessary for severe fractures to stabilize the spine.
Sprains and Strains
Sprains and strains refer to injuries to the ligaments and muscles, respectively. They occur due to overstretching or tearing. Sudden jolts or twists, common in car accidents, can cause these injuries.
Common Symptoms: Pain, swelling, and limited movement are typical symptoms. The affected area might also feel tender to the touch. Bruising can sometimes be visible.
Diagnosis and Evaluation: Medical professionals diagnose these injuries using physical examinations. They’ll assess the pain, swelling, and range of motion. In some cases, imaging tests might be necessary.
Treatment Approaches: Treatment typically includes rest, ice, compression, and elevation. Over-the-counter pain relievers can help manage pain. Physical therapy can aid in restoring range of motion and strengthening the affected area.
Factors Affecting Severity of Back Injuries
Back injuries can vary significantly in their severity. Several factors influence how severe an injury might be post-accident. Understanding these can provide clarity on the potential recovery process:
- Speed of the Collision: Higher speeds usually result in more forceful impacts. This can lead to more severe injuries, especially to the back.
- Position of Occupants: The way a person is seated or whether they’re wearing a seatbelt can influence injury severity. Proper posture and seatbelt use can reduce the risk.
- Vehicle Size and Type: Larger vehicles can cause more damage in a collision. Similarly, certain car designs provide better protection in a crash.
- Pre-Existing Medical Conditions: Existing issues like osteoporosis can make bones more fragile. This can result in more severe injuries, even in minor collisions.
- Point of Impact: Where the vehicle gets hit can play a role. For instance, rear-end collisions are notorious for causing whiplash.
It’s essential to remember that every accident and individual is unique. Various factors combined will determine the severity of any resulting back injury.
Secondary Medical Concerns From Back Injuries
Back injuries can lead to a cascade of other health issues. The spine is central to our body’s functioning, and any damage can have widespread effects. Secondary concerns can exacerbate the victim’s suffering, leading to prolonged recovery or permanent damage.
Beyond the immediate pain, back injuries can lead to chronic conditions. Persistent pain can limit mobility and affect mental health. Depression and anxiety can become real concerns for victims. This underscores the importance of comprehensive medical evaluations post-accident.
What To Do if You Have Back Pain After a Car Accident
Taking immediate steps is essential if you experience back pain after a car accident. Early action can improve outcomes and ensure you get the compensation you deserve. Here’s a step-by-step guide:
- Seek Medical Attention: Even if the pain seems mild, get a medical evaluation. Some injuries might not be apparent immediately and could worsen over time.
- Document Everything: From medical bills to accident details, keep records. These can be crucial if you decide to pursue a legal claim.
- Avoid Settling Immediately: Insurance companies might offer quick settlements. Always consult with a lawyer before agreeing to ensure you get fair compensation.
- Consult With a Lawyer: A legal expert, like those at Hasbrook & Hasbrook, can guide you on the best course of action. They can help you understand your rights and the potential compensation you can claim.
- Follow Medical Advice: Adhering to treatment plans and medical advice is crucial. It ensures a smoother recovery and can aid in legal claims.
Back pain post-accident is a serious concern. Addressing it promptly and effectively can significantly affect recovery and any subsequent legal actions.
Filing a Claim or Lawsuit for Your Back Injury
A back injury in a car crash is serious, so remember you have legal rights. Filing a claim can help recover compensation for pain and suffering, lost pay, and medical bills. It’s crucial to understand the process and what to expect.
Starting the process involves notifying the at-fault party and their insurance company. This is the initial step in seeking compensation. While some claims settle out of court, others might go to trial.
Statute of Limitations
In Oklahoma, you typically have two years from the incident to file a personal injury lawsuit. Please file in time to avoid losing your right to bring a case after this accident. It’s essential to be aware of this timeframe and act promptly.
Compensation for a Back Injury in a Car Accident
Back injuries can lead to significant medical expenses. Beyond immediate treatment, long-term care or therapy might be necessary. When the accident wasn’t your fault, you shouldn’t bear these costs alone. Reach out to us to ensure you maximize your compensation. You could recover damages for medical bills, lost wages, and emotional distress.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
How long does it take to recover from a car accident back injury?
Recovery time varies based on the injury’s severity. Minor strains might heal in a few weeks, while severe spinal injuries could take months or even result in permanent damage.
How much is the average settlement for a back injury?
Settlements vary based on injury severity, medical costs, lost wages, and other factors. While minor injuries might fetch smaller amounts, severe injuries can lead to substantial settlements.
What causes delayed back pain after a car accident?
Delayed pain can result from adrenaline-masking injury symptoms. As the adrenaline wears off, pain can emerge. Additionally, some injuries, like herniated discs, might not present symptoms immediately.
Discuss Your Legal Options With a Personal Injury Attorney | Call Hasbrook & Hasbrook Today!
If you’ve suffered a back injury from a car accident, know you’re not alone. With the proper guidance, you can navigate the path to recovery, medically and financially. Hasbrook & Hasbrook is here to support and guide you. Please take a look at our case results as well. Contact us today to schedule a case consultation.