Many people may hurt their back in an accident. Even a minor collision can result in serious back pain. If you suffered a back injury because of someone else’s negligence, you may be able to seek compensation for the damages. However, you must be able to link your back injury to the accident.
Our South Bend-area auto accident lawyers are prepared to help. We offer a free consultation to discuss your legal options. There are no upfront fees. You do not pay us unless we win.
Below, we discuss some common back injuries and the challenges of linking them to an accident.
Common Types of Back Injuries After a Crash
Back injuries are quite common after a crash. Accident victims may experience pain in their upper, middle or lower back. The severity of these injuries can range from mild to severe. Some accident victims may even hurt more than one area of their back.
The most common types of back injuries after a crash include:
- Lumbar and thoracic vertebrae fractures – when one of the 33 bones protecting your spinal cord breaks
- Back sprains and strains – when soft tissue such as tendons and ligaments in the back are overstretched
- Herniated discs – when the jelly-like inner part of a spinal disc seeps out and compresses the nerves around the spine
- Spondylolisthesis – when vertebrae are displaced by stress fractures, compressing the spinal canal or nerves
- Facet joint injuries – when the joints between spinal bones are damaged, causing pain while twisting and turning the spine
- Spinal stenosis – when the spinal cord is compressed due to inflammation or damage to the area, vertebrae or discs around it
- Pinched nerves – when a vertebra impedes on the nerves around the spine
- Bulging discs – when a spinal disc is compressed but not enough to cause fluid to leak, like a herniated disc
Pain and discomfort are the most common symptoms of these back injuries. However, some of the more serious ones may result in reduced mobility.
How Are Back Injuries Treated?
There are various treatments accident victims may undergo for their back injuries, including:
- Back surgery
- Spinal injections
- Physical therapy
- Chiropractic care
These treatments result in high medical costs. You have the right to pursue compensation for these medical bills and other damages after a crash.
Symptoms May Be Delayed After a Back Injury
One unfortunate aspect of back injuries is that symptoms are often delayed. This means you may not think you suffered an injury until hours or days after the crash. This is why it is imperative that you do not delay seeking medical care. You should get to a doctor as soon after a crash as possible and get evaluated for any injuries. Your treating doctor may recommend diagnostic imaging tests like an X-ray or MRI to rule out serious injuries.
Linking Your Back Injury to the Accident
The insurance company may try to argue that your back injury is not a result of the crash. To counter this argument, you will need to provide evidence to link your back injury directly to the accident. If you saw a doctor immediately after the crash, he or she will have recorded a diagnosis of your injuries.
These medical records may be able to prove:
- You suffered a back injury
- When you were treated
- What your treating doctor’s theory is about how the injury occurred
If you wait too long to see a doctor, the insurance company can argue something else caused the back injury. But, if you get diagnosed soon after the accident, it may be harder for the insurance company to counter your claim.
What if I Had Back Pain Before the Accident?
Plenty of people experience some form of back pain at least once in their lifetime. This does not bar you from recovering compensation after an accident that resulted in back pain. However, it also does not mean the insurance company will immediately pay out on your claim.
If you have a history of back pain, the first thing you should do is tell your attorney. That way, he or she can prepare for when the insurance company gets hold of your medical records.
You should also tell your doctor about your medical history so he or she can differentiate between your old and new injuries.
If you have a well-documented history of back pain, this can also help prove your existing injuries were exacerbated by the accident. Especially if you had made significant improvement from an old injury.
Call Us Today for Help
If you suffered a back injury due to someone else’s negligence, call our knowledgeable attorneys today for help. We do not charge you anything up front, and we only get paid if you do. There is no risk to you.
Our attorneys are prepared to investigate your claim and build a strong case for compensation. Even if you had preexisting back pain prior to the crash.
Call (844) 678-1800 to schedule a free consultation.