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Back Injury From Car Accident

A severe back injury from a car accident can turn your life upside down and have devastating consequences on your health, career, and family. However, if another was responsible for the collision, you could receive comprehensive compensation, including awards for medical expenses, pain and suffering, lost wages, and more.

Do not wait to seek legal advice and help, as the time to file a back injury claim or lawsuit could be limited. Morgan & Morgan’s dedicated car accident lawyers help victims every day get what they need and deserve after suffering injuries in car crashes. Discover today whether you qualify for compensation by contacting us for a free case review.

Types of Back Injuries From Car Accidents

Injuries to the back and spine can be common, even in minor car crashes. Sometimes, back injuries are delayed and may not be diagnosed until some days after the accident, when symptoms such as back stiffness and pain appear. Significant back and spine injuries can permanently disable victims, keeping them out of work and away from their usual activities and hobbies.

However, you could be entitled to compensation if you suffer any of the following injuries or others in a car crash:

Neck and Cervical Spine Injuries

According to the University of Connecticut (UCONN), 42 percent of cervical spine injuries in the US occur in car accidents. Whiplash, resulting from the head violently jolting forward and backward in a crash, is a typical car accident injury in the location of the cervical spine.

Neck and cervical spine injuries, such as sprains and strains, can be mild and heal on their own. However, more severe cervical spine injuries, such as dislocated or fractured vertebrae, can be life-changing and disabling. Fractured spinal vertebrae can cause permanent nerve damage, ongoing pain, and paralysis.

Upper Back Injuries

Upper back injuries and pain can be common in accidents, particularly after rear-end collisions. Soft tissue injuries of the upper back, such as strains, sprains, and tears, can occur. While herniated discs typically involve the lower back, they can also happen in the upper back. Symptoms of herniated discs include:

  • Pain
  • Numbness and tingling
  • Weakness
  • Difficulty stretching the back or moving
  • Weakness in arms and legs

Upper back pain after a crash should be promptly diagnosed and treated as it can be a sign of severe injuries, such as herniated discs and fractures.

Soft-Tissue Injuries

Soft-tissue injuries can occur all over the body in a car accident. However, the back area typically absorbs much impact stress during a collision, making soft-tissue injuries likely. Muscles, ligaments, and tendons may get stretched, pulled, and torn in a crash, potentially causing stiffness and excruciatingly painful muscle spasms. While soft-tissue injuries are rarely serious, they can cause high medical costs and interfere significantly with a victim’s ability to perform everyday work and home life tasks.

Spinal Cord Injuries and Paralysis

Spinal cord injuries in car accidents can be catastrophic, life-threatening, and permanently disabling. Moreover, permanent paralysis can also cause life-long emotional distress and mental health problems for victims. Individuals with severe damage, such as a severed spinal cord, may never live independently or work again and usually require ongoing care.  

Seeking Prompt Medical Advice Is Critical

Consulting a doctor as soon as possible after your accident can be crucial for your health and legal claim. In many cases, accident victims do not realize that they could be significantly injured and deny emergency medical help at the crash scene. They then find out weeks later, when symptoms linger or become unbearable, that they suffered a significant injury in the collision.

Putting off a doctor’s visit may not only compromise your health and recovery but could also be detrimental to your legal claim. The other side may argue that your injuries are minor because you did not seek treatment immediately. Therefore, even if you only experience slight symptoms initially, consider seeking medical advice to rule out any underlying conditions and protect your compensation claim.  

Symptoms of Common Back Injuries From Car Accidents

Crash victims sometimes walk away from the accident feeling fine. However, the chaos and stress experienced during a car accident can mask pain. After several days, individuals may experience symptoms such as headaches, back pain, and back stiffness, potentially pointing to an injury. Typical back injury symptoms can include the following:

  • Painful muscle spasms
  • Pain in the neck and back area
  • Loss of range of motion
  • Stiffness, numbness, or tingling
  • Difficulty performing simple everyday tasks
  • Pain radiating down the legs
  • Problems standing or walking

According to the National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI), back pain is one of the most common causes of disability. Therefore, take any discomfort or pain in the back and neck area seriously. If you did not receive emergency medical attention at the accident scene and notice any pain or other symptoms in the days after, see a doctor immediately for diagnosis and treatment.

Compensation for Car Accident Back Injuries

A significant or permanent back injury can result in sky-high ongoing medical expenses and have devastating consequences for a victim’s home life and career. If this has happened to you or a loved one, you could be entitled to economic and non-economic damages.

Economic Damages

Economic damages car crash victims could seek from the responsible party can include, among others:

  • Medical expenses and future medical costs
  • Home health services
  • Physical therapy
  • Loss of wages, benefits, and retirement contributions
  • Loss of future earning capacity
  • Costs of household services
  • Car damage or replacement

Non-Economic Damages

Non-economic damages are awarded for losses resulting from the accident that do not come with receipts or set dollar amounts but are suffered on a personal level, such as:

  • Emotional distress
  • Physical pain and suffering
  • Permanent scarring and disfigurement
  • Disability
  • Loss of life enjoyment

As back injuries in accidents can vary, compensation will generally depend on the extent of your injuries and financial damages. A significant or permanently disabling injury typically results in a higher settlement than a minor injury.

Morgan & Morgan’s experienced car accident lawyers are here for you in the most challenging times of your life. We fight hard for car accident victims so they can recover the entire worth of their claims and rebuild their lives after suffering a severe injury. 

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FAQ

Get answers to commonly asked questions about our legal services and learn how we may assist you with your case.

  • What Are My Next Best Steps After a Car Accident?

    As we have seen, getting medical help and contacting a car accident lawyer can be your best next steps after a crash. However, there are other actions you can take at the accident scene and in the following days that can protect your rights and your claim, such as:

    • Remaining at the accident scene
    • Dialing 911 for medical help and law enforcement
    • Assisting any injured individuals, if possible
    • Taking pictures of the damaged vehicles and crash scene
    • Gathering contact details and insurance information of all involved drivers
    • Collecting names and contact details of witnesses
    • Retaining proof of your expenses, such as receipts, pay stubs, and medical bills
  • How Do I Know Whether My Back Injury From a Car Accident Is Severe?

    The only sure way to know whether your accident-related back complaint is severe or minor is to seek medical advice. Since almost all of us have suffered back pain before, car victims might think that discomfort or pain in the back is no big deal and will go away on its own.

    However, back pain from an accident can point to a severe injury that could permanently affect your body and is not to be confused with pain from overuse or bad posture. Back injuries may be severe when you experience:

    • Numbness or loss of sensation
    • Difficulty breathing
    • Debilitating muscle spasms
    • Problems with standing up straight
    • Severe pain that stops you from working and carrying out normal daily activities
    • Lack of bladder and bowel control

    It is always best to consult a medical professional if you suffer any unusual back or neck symptoms after a crash.

  • Can I Negotiate Directly With the At-Fault Insurance Company?

    In theory, you are not required to hire a lawyer and could negotiate directly with the insurance company responsible for reimbursing you after a crash. However, in practice, this could be an expensive mistake. Insurers generally do not have your best interests at heart and instead want to get away with paying as little as possible. They may coerce you into agreeing to a lowball settlement offer or even try manipulative tactics to reduce or deny your valid claim.

    Negotiating directly with the insurance company can be tricky, particularly if you have a severe back injury and considerable damages. You may need professional help to recover the full value of your claim.

    It is essential to note that once you sign a settlement agreement and release form, you typically lose the right to file a lawsuit. Consider speaking to an attorney before agreeing to a settlement or signing any documents from the responsible insurance company.
    A car accident lawyer at Morgan & Morgan can protect your rights and negotiate with the at-fault party’s insurer, leaving you free to concentrate on your recovery.

  • How Much Is My Back Injury Worth?

    Car crashes can lead to debilitating back injuries with astronomical medical bills and other financial losses. While some victims might only suffer minor back pain, others could be permanently disabled and require round-the-clock care. Since circumstances and injuries can vary, there is no average settlement amount for a car crash back injury. The worth of your claim can depend on several factors, such as:

    • The scope and permanence of your injuries
    • Your medical expenses and future estimated medical costs
    • How much income you lost as a result of the crash
    • Whether your car has minor damage or needs significant repairs or replacement
    • Whether you have any fault in the accident

    Knowing how much your back injury is worth can be complicated. Since each case is different, getting legal advice can help to understand the value of your claim. Our car accident attorneys can assess your damages and determine the approximate worth of your case. 

  • How Can a Car Accident Lawyer Help Me?

    Having a seasoned car accident attorney by your side can provide you with peace of mind and legal protection. Moreover, when Morgan & Morgan handles your case, you can rest assured that your best interests always come first. Our attorneys never settle for less and fight tooth and nail for the full value of your claim, even if it means going to trial. We can:

    • Assist you with getting medical help
    • Determine whether you have a legal case
    • Investigate your accident thoroughly
    • Collect the evidence required to prove your claim
    • Identify all potential at-fault parties
    • Calculate your present and future expected damages
    • Communicate and negotiate with the responsible insurer
    • Fight your case aggressively at trial, if necessary

    Morgan & Morgan recovered over $20 billion for the injured over the last three decades. We could help you, too, get what you deserve so you can get your life back on track after suffering a crash-related back injury.

  • How Much Does an Auto Accident Attorney Charge?

    Morgan & Morgan never charges clients upfront. Our fee is free unless and until we win and recover compensation for you. We believe that all car accident victims deserve the best legal representation, giving them the best chance to recover the compensation they need to move forward with their lives. 

  • Morgan & Morgan Wants You to Win

    Suffering a painful and debilitating back injury from a car accident that happened due to no fault of your own can be frustrating and upsetting, especially when your life is forever changed. Morgan & Morgan sees every day the devastating consequences victims of car crashes and their families face. However, you do not have to struggle alone. Our motivated car accident lawyers want nothing more than to help you recover adequate compensation.

    Contact us now for a free case review to learn about your legal options.

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