One of the most common types of injuries following car accidents is back injuries. The back takes on the brunt of the force of an accident. Some back injuries from car accidents are serious and require surgery and ongoing treatment. This treatment can be expensive and put a financial strain on accident victims who are already dealing with painful injuries. An experienced lawyer from Kendall Law Firm can help explain your legal rights and options during a free consultation if you suffered a back injury after a car crash. Contact us today for your complimentary case review.
Types of Car Accidents that Cause Back Injuries
Back injuries can arise after nearly any type of car accident. However, they are most common in these types of motor vehicle accidents:
- Rear-end collisions – Back injuries commonly occur in rear-end collisions due to the way the body tends to move after being hit from behind. Whiplash, spinal cord damage, and damage to the cervical vertebrae are common injuries rear-end accident victims suffer.
- Head-on collisions – The head and neck may thrust forward during a head-on collision, increasing the likelihood of torn or herniated discs.
- Side-impact accidents – Side-impact accidents can cause severe back injuries because the seat belt maintains the body’s lower portion while the neck, head, and torso twist to the side.
Because there is a high risk of suffering a back injury in a car accident, victims must be vigilant about monitoring themselves for symptoms.
Symptoms You’ve Suffered a Back Injury After a Car Accident
Some symptoms following a car accident that may indicate you have suffered a back injury include:
- Sharp pain in the back, neck, or shoulders
- Lower back pain
- Shooting pain through the arms or down the buttocks or legs
- Loss of range of motion of the head or neck or loss of spinal flexibility
- Weakness or numbness in the buttocks, legs, or feet
- Loss of sensation in the hands, feet, fingers, or toes
- Chronic pain
- Difficulty walking
- Loss of bladder or bowel control
If you are experiencing any of these symptoms, seek prompt medical attention.
Common Back Injuries from Car Accidents
Some of the most common back injuries stemming from car accidents include:
- Lumbar spine injuries – The five largest vertebrae comprise the lumbar spine and help provide stability to the spine. Painful sprains and strains of the lumbar spine can interfere with your ability to work due to lack of movement and swelling.
- Thoracic spine injuries –Thoracic spine injuries are often the most serious kind of back injuries. Some result in permanent nerve damage.
- Herniated discs – Discs are cushions that separate vertebrae and provide a protective layer to the back. Herniated discs are displaced and can apply pressure to the spinal cord. They can cause nerve damage and chronic pain.
- Spinal compression fractures – When spinal vertebrae are compressed and cracked, spinal compression fractures can occur. Trauma from car accidents is a leading cause of spinal compression fractures.
- Spinal cord injuries – Spinal cord injuries can lead to permanent damage and the loss of important bodily functions. Some spinal cord injuries can result in paralysis or long-term disability.
Back Injuries That May Require Surgery After a Car Accident
Any of the above back injuries can result in the need for surgery, depending on their severity. Surgery may be able to relieve pain and restore mobility and sensation. Depending on the circumstances, victims may receive surgeries, such as:
- Spinal fusion – Spinal fusion joins together two or more vertebrae, usually to treat herniated discs or spinal fractures.
- Discectomy – This surgery involves removing a herniated disc completely.
- Laminotomy or laminectomy – This procedure removes portions of or all of the lamina that covers the spinal cord to relieve pressure.
- Vertebroplasty – This procedure involves injecting a bone cement mixture into a vertebra to repair spinal fractures.
- Kyphoplasty – This procedure may be used in combination with others so that an inflated balloon can provide the clearance to inject bone cement to repair a fractured vertebra.
These surgeries may be expensive and painful. Additionally, they may involve a long and cumbersome recovery period. An experienced car accident lawyer can help you seek compensation for these and other expenses you incur because of your back injury.
What Should You Do After Suffering a Back Injury in a Car Accident?
If you have suffered a back injury in a car accident, there are steps you can take to protect your health and your back injury claim, including:
- Seek medical attention immediately. Request a full medical exam so your doctor can accurately diagnose your injuries.
- Follow all of your doctor’s medical advice, including restrictions on work and recreational activities.
- Keep all of your medical records and bills to help support your claim.
- Keep a daily journal of your pain and other symptoms.
- Reach out to an experienced back injury lawyer for help.
What Damages Can You Recover?
Back injuries can be very expensive to treat. If someone else caused your back injury, you should not have to pay for these expenses. You may be able to recover compensation for the medical costs you incur because of the accident, including:
- Ambulance charges
- Emergency room visits
- Diagnostic tests, such as X-rays and MRIs
- Follow-up care
- Specialist visits
- Physical and occupational therapy
- Transportation expenses to medical appointments
Back injuries can also cause permanent disabilities or long recovery periods that can interfere with a victim’s ability to work. Compensation may be available for lost wages and earning capacity.
In addition to compensation for these financial losses, you may also be able to recover compensation for non-financial losses, such as:
- Pain and suffering
- Mental distress
- Emotional anguish
- Loss of consortium
- Reduced enjoyment of life
- Scarring and disfigurement
Get in Touch with Our Skilled Car Accident Lawyers
If you suffered a back injury after a car accident, the skilled car accident lawyers at Kendall Law Firm can help. We can investigate the accident, identify all at-fault parties, and account for the full extent of your damages. You can get started today by requesting a free consultation when you call (866) 590-9773.