What Should I Do if My Back Hurts After Being Rear-Ended?
What Should I Do if My Back Hurts After Being Rear-Ended?
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What Should I Do if My Back Hurts After Being Rear-Ended?
According to the National Highway Safety Administration (NHTSA), rear-end accidents are the most frequent types of car crashes, responsible for almost 30 percent of all accidents in the U.S. While some rear-end collisions amount to little more than fender benders, others can cause significant injuries.
Suffering a severe back injury in a crash can change your life forever. However, knowing what to do when your back hurts after being rear-ended can be essential for recovering what you deserve. If someone else caused the accident, our experienced car accident lawyers could help you receive compensation for your damages such as medical expenses, lost income, and others. Contact Morgan & Morgan today to determine if you qualify for compensation for your back injury.
Causes of Rear-End Accidents
Causes of rear-end accidents can include driver error or negligence, bad weather, and dangerous road conditions. Most rear-end crashes occur due to:
- Tailgating (following too closely)
- Distracted driving
- Driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs
- Snow, ice, or excessive amounts of water on the road
- Low visibility
- Poor road construction
- Road defects
Most accidents are caused by driver error or negligence. If you got hurt in an accident with a careless or aggressive driver, you could be entitled to damages for your back injuries. Morgan & Morgan’s experienced car accident lawyers can walk you through your legal options and fight for what you deserve.
Common Back Injuries From Rear-End Accidents
Back pain can be a common symptom after a rear-end accident. Some back and neck injuries are mild and resolve on their own. However, others could require extensive medical therapies and cause steep healthcare bills. Some of the most common back injuries in rear-end accidents include:
According to the Mayo Clinic, whiplash is a classic rear-end accident neck injury. Whiplash can occur in minor and severe crashes and may cause upper back pain and other symptoms, such as:
- Neck stiffness and pain
- Shoulder pain
- Numbness in arms and hands
Whiplash, if mild, can be a harmless injury that heals on its own. However, severe whiplash could lead to chronic pain and other ongoing health problems. Treatments for severe whiplash can be costly and involve medication, physical therapy, and surgery.
Severe rear-end crashes can cause damage to the spinal cord itself as well as various other injuries, including:
Spinal fractures can occur anywhere in the spine and can be caused by high-speed rear-end collisions. Spinal fractures can damage the spinal cord. Symptoms of a spinal fracture can vary depending on the severity and location of the injury and include:
- Back or neck pain
- Numbness and tingling
- Weakness of limbs
- Muscle spasms
- Loss of bladder and bowel control
Spinal stenosis is a narrowing in the spinal area that can cause nerve damage. While spinal stenosis can result from aging, car accidents can cause injuries directly leading to spinal stenosis. Symptoms of spinal stenosis can include muscle weakness, pain, numbness, and problems controlling the bladder and bowels.
Herniated (slipped or bulging) discs
Herniated discs tend to occur in the lower part of the back. Some car accident victims have herniated discs from a car accident without experiencing any symptoms at first. Symptoms, when they do arise, can include numbness, weakness, and arm and leg pain.
Muscle Sprains and Strains
Muscle strains and sprains and other soft-tissue injuries of the back are common vehicle accident injuries. Muscles, tendons, and ligaments could suffer sprains, tears, and other damage. While soft tissue injuries are rarely serious, they can take several weeks and even months to heal and cause considerable discomfort and pain.
You Could Receive Compensation for a Back Injury
Back pain from a car crash can result in astronomical medical costs and loss of wages. Moreover, a victim with a severe or disabling back injury could see their career and home life irreversibly changed and may be unable to live independently. However, if someone else is responsible for your accident, you could receive compensation, including but not limited to:
- Past, present, and future medical expenses
- Lost income and future loss of earning capacity
- Medical transportation costs
- Modification of your car and home
- Awards for pain and suffering
While there is no average settlement amount for a back injury, compensation will depend on your type of injury, amount of medical bills, and other damages.
Your Best Steps When Your Back Hurts After Being Rear-Ended
When you were involved in a rear-end accident and developed back pain, your vital next step should be visiting a doctor as soon as possible to get an accurate diagnosis. Your medical provider can also rule out undetected injuries such as herniated discs and others. Other important actions can include:
To have a case and receive compensation, you will have to prove your damages and injuries. Start gathering evidence, such as medical reports, photographs of the accident, and other material, as soon as possible after the accident.
Contact a Car Accident Lawyer
If another driver or other party caused your accident, you should speak to a car accident lawyer promptly after the accident. We can assess your case and determine the best way forward to fight for what you deserve.
Managing Back Pain at Home
Visiting a doctor who can diagnose your injuries and offer specific treatment is crucial for the treatment of a rear-end back injury. However, there are some actions you can take at home to deal with your back pain. Make sure to check with your doctor first before trying any of the following pain management tips.
Taking time off work and resting can help to heal car accident back injuries. In some cases, icing or applying heat to the injury can be helpful to control pain. Ensure to ask your doctor whether ice or heat is appropriate for your injury. Ice can reduce swelling and inflammation if applied immediately after the injury occurs. Heat is not normally recommended directly after the injury, but in the days following can help to increase blood flow to the injured area. Increased blood flow can help to soothe tense muscles and reduce pain.
2. Pain Medication
A doctor, depending on your injury, may prescribe pain medication. Some over-the-counter pain relievers can also help with pain and reduce inflammation. However, if your pain is not improving after a few days, ensure to consult with your doctor.
Immediately after injuring your back, rest can be helpful. However, after resting for some time, gentle exercise can be just as vital for getting you back on your feet and reducing pain. Gentle daily walks can improve blood flow to the back and help the healing process. As the spine is supported by many muscles, keeping those muscles as strong as possible can help reduce back pain in the long term.
Your doctor may also recommend other therapies to help reduce pain and make you feel more comfortable such as massage or physical therapy.
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When Should I Get Checked by a Physician?
Even if you walk away feeling fine after an accident, you could have suffered an injury with a delayed onset. Pain and discomfort could start days or even weeks after an accident. Common accident injuries that may not have any symptoms at first include a range of back injuries such as soft tissue injuries, spinal cord damage, herniated discs, and others.
Since delayed back pain after a car accident is not uncommon, you should get checked by a doctor right away, even if you do not feel injured or notice only minor symptoms.
Waiting before seeking medical advice could also make getting your payout from an insurer more difficult. The insurance company could argue that your injuries were not caused by the car accident and minimize, delay, or deny your claim.
When Should I File a Car Accident Lawsuit?
In some cases, your only way to get justice and compensation is suing the at-fault party or their insurance company for damages. However, knowing when to file your suit can be critical for recovering what you need to rebuild your life after an accident.
The Statute of Limitations
The statute of limitations in your state will generally determine your deadline for filing a personal injury lawsuit. The time usually starts running down on the day of your accident or the date your injury was diagnosed. Filing your lawsuit after the statute has passed can lead to your case being thrown out right away. Since the deadline to file a lawsuit varies from state to state, it can be critical to speak to an attorney as soon as you can after getting injured. In some states, you only have one year to file a lawsuit.
Your Stage of Recovery
In most car accident cases, waiting until you have fully or partially recovered before filing a lawsuit is essential for recovering an adequate settlement. In the middle of recovery, your doctors might not yet understand the full scope of your injuries and future expected medical treatments. Filing too soon could result in a low settlement that could leave you out of pocket in the future.
Our experienced and tenacious car accident lawyers can determine the right timing for your lawsuit and fight for maximum recovery on your behalf.
Are Back Injuries Hard to Prove?
Back injuries can be tricky to prove in some cases. Back pain is very common and can have a variety of causes, including heavy lifting, repetitive strain injuries, sports injuries, and others. Moreover, some car accident-related back injuries are not apparent right away, which can provide ammunition to an insurance company looking for reasons to deny your claim. Visiting a doctor immediately after an accident can be crucial for proving that your back injury is from a car crash and not a sports or work accident.
Morgan & Morgan’s car accident lawyers can prove your injuries and build a case against the defendant. We know how to fight an insurance company that claims:
- Your back injury is a pre-existing injury
- Your back injury happened after the car crash
- You are exaggerating your injury and pain
Can I Afford Hiring a Morgan & Morgan Car Accident Lawyer?
If you were injured in a car accident due to another’s fault, you are entitled to justice and deserve the best legal representation possible. Morgan & Morgan wants to give injured victims the best chance at recovering their due, regardless of their financial situation. Therefore, we don’t charge our clients a dime upfront. Our fee is free until we win and you recover compensation.
Morgan & Morgan Wants You to Win
When your back hurts after a rear-end accident, getting what you deserve can be challenging. Since there can be numerous causes for back pain, insurance companies tend to fight hard to minimize or deny claims. However, you do not have to fight for what you deserve on your own. Our car accident lawyers can be here for you and:
- Help you receive adequate medical treatment
- Determine whether you have a case
- Identify all liable parties in your car accident
- Collect and organize evidence to prove your damages
- Negotiate hard for the settlement you deserve
- Present your case strongly at trial
Morgan & Morgan knows just how debilitating back injuries can be. In some cases, the healing process can take months or even years. Some victims deal with chronic pain for the rest of their lives after a rear-end accident. However, when we take on your case, you can rest assured that we never settle for less and will fight tooth and nail for the best possible outcome of your case. Contact us today for a free, no-obligation consultation to determine your next steps.