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Back Pain After a Car Accident: What Should I Do? – Morgan & Morgan

If you developed back pain after being rear-ended or in another type of vehicle collision, act quickly to protect your legal rights. You could recover damages such as medical bills, lost wages, and others if someone else is responsible for causing your accident and back injury.

Our experienced car accident attorneys can help you put your life back together after suffering a debilitating back injury. Find out if you have a case today by contacting us for a free consultation.

Seek Medical Attention After a Car Accident

Our bodies can suppress pain during stressful and chaotic situations such as a car accident. The result can be that accident victims do not realize how seriously they are injured until their back hurts a few days after the car accident. Just because you feel fine immediately after a collision does not mean that you have no injury. 

Delayed onset back pain after an accident is widespread. Therefore, seeking medical help promptly after an accident can be essential for your health. While milder back pain could heal on its own with rest and time, chest and upper back pain after a car accident could point to serious conditions and should be investigated by a medical professional. 

Moreover, if you wait for weeks before going to the doctor, you may have trouble recovering compensation for your injuries and medical expenses. The liable party’s insurance company could argue that your symptoms and injuries are caused by something other than the accident.

Common Causes of Back Pain After a Car Accident

Back pain after an auto accident can point to a variety of injuries of the neck and back area, some more serious than others. Common injuries can include but are not limited to:


Whiplash is a common neck injury after car accidents. A whiplash injury results from the rapid back-and-forth motion of the head during impact and is often responsible for neck and back pain after getting rear-ended. Mild whiplash, although uncomfortable, is a relatively harmless injury that typically goes away with time, rest, and over-the-counter pain medication. 

However, according to the Mayo Clinic, moderate or severe whiplash can cause long-lasting complications for accident victims, including chronic pain and loss of motion range. Treatments for severe cases of whiplash can be extensive and costly, potentially involving chiropractic treatments, physical therapy, prescription pain medication, and neck injections.

Strains and Sprains

Soft-tissue injuries of the back and neck area can be common in all types of car accidents. The human body tends to absorb a great deal of stress during a collision, particularly during high-speed or rear-end collisions. Muscles, tendons, and ligaments can get torn, stretched, and pulled in an accident, resulting in back pain, stiffness, and painful muscle spasms. Back pain from soft tissue injuries can be excruciating and interfere with a victim’s ability to maintain their regular work or home life routine for several weeks or months. 

While strains and sprains are not life-threatening, a pulled ligament or muscle can take months to heal fully and could result in high medical costs and income loss for an accident victim. 

Spinal Cord Injuries

Spinal cord injuries can be life-threatening, disabling, and emotionally distressing for a car accident victim. Spinal cord damage and severance are some of the most serious injuries a victim could suffer in an accident, potentially leading to permanent paralysis. An individual with extensive spinal cord damage may never work again or live independently without daily assistance.

Degenerative Disc Disease

Degenerative disc disease occurs mainly due to the natural aging process. However, being involved in a car accident can exacerbate disc disease considerably. The term degenerative disc disease can refer to a variety of conditions where one or several discs between the vertebrae are damaged or deteriorated, such as:  

  • Herniated discs
  • Spinal stenosis
  • Pinched nerves
  • Sciatica
  • Osteoarthritis

Herniated discs, in particular, are common car crash injuries resulting in backache after a car accident. Treatment for herniated discs and other degenerative disc diseases can include pain management, physical therapy, and surgical treatments.  

You Could Have Legal Recourse

Back pain after a crash, if connected to a serious injury, can result in astronomical medical treatment costs. A significant back injury can also cause emotional distress and have devastating effects on an accident victim’s career and home life. Moreover, overall life enjoyment may be greatly reduced as victims may not be able to partake in hobbies and activities that they used to enjoy before the injury. 

However, a personal injury lawsuit could compensate you not only for your medical costs but also for the emotional effects, physical suffering, and other consequences of an injury on your life. Contact Morgan & Morgan today to find out how you could get justice.

Signs and Symptoms of Back Injuries After Car Crashes

According to the National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI), lower back pain is the second most common cause of disability in the U.S. If you were recently involved in a car collision, you should take back discomfort or pain seriously, no matter how minor it may seem. Symptoms that could point to a back or neck injury can include:  

  • Pain and discomfort in the back and neck area
  • Muscle spasms
  • Pain radiating down the buttocks and legs
  • Stiffness and loss of range of motion
  • Numbness or tingling in extremities
  • Difficulty walking or standing

If you notice any of these symptoms or others after a motor vehicle accident, make sure to consult your doctor for advice as soon as possible.

Compensation for Back Injuries 

Neck and back injuries from car accidents can vary greatly from one person to another. Therefore, compensation will also differ from one case to the next. Generally, a catastrophic or permanently disabling injury could result in a considerable settlement. Current and estimated future costs of medical treatments will also play a role in what you could recover. Types of damages victims could seek include:

  • Costs of all medical bills and out-of-pocket expenses 
  • Lost income and future lost income
  • Compensation for physical and emotional suffering
  • Payment for permanent disability

You could also receive other types of damages, depending on your specific injuries and accident circumstances.

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