One of the most common causes of back pain is a car accident. Most of the time, the pain is felt immediately or very shortly after the accident. However, there are times when the person does not experience back pain for several days – sometimes even longer.
Any pain that you experience after a car accident, especially back pain, should be checked out by medical personnel to rule out a spinal cord injury. If your pain is delayed for several days or longer, you should see a doctor as soon as the pain starts. Back injuries are not something to be taken lightly and back pain is usually the first indicator.
Common Causes of Lower Back Pain After an Accident
There are several common car accident injuries that cause lower back pain. The type of crash plays a significant part in what injuries the person sustains. Additionally, seatbelts are life saving devices, but they can also be a contributing factor when it comes to back injuries. Common causes of lower back pain after an accident include:
- Whiplash – This is very common with rear end crashes. The impact causes the head to snap back and forth with great force. Pain from whiplash may not be present immediately after the crash but show up a day or so later. Vision disturbances, neck pain, dizziness, and headache are typical symptoms, but low back pain may also be present.
- Herniated Disc – A disc can herniate as a result of the force of a car crash. The gel-like substance in the disc center that acts as a cushion get squeezed through cracks in the hard, outer portion, irritating nerves. Symptoms include back pain as well as pain in the arm or leg.
- Spinal Cord Injuries – The most common cause of spinal cord injuries is a car accident. There may be pain accompanied by lack of mobility or compromised motor function, but the full extent of the injury may not be evident for weeks.
- Fractures – Compression fractures are a common injury resulting from car accidents. The seatbelt holds the lower part of the body in place, but the upper part of the body is thrown forward with great force. This can result in broken vertebrae and is marked by severe pain.
- Spondylolisthesis – This can be a debilitating injury that results when the supporting elements of the spine are fractured due to trauma caused by a car accident. This is an emergency situation and the person should receive immediate medical care. If left untreated it could result in loss of neurological function.
- Soft Tissue Injuries – This involves the tissues around the spine, including tendons, ligaments, and muscles. It is not as serious as a fracture, but the pain can be intense.
What to Do If You Have Lower Back Pain
If you have lower back pain after a car accident, it is important that you receive medical treatment as soon as possible. The longer you wait, the less credible you appear. In cases where your pain is delayed, see a doctor as soon as you begin to feel the pain.
Document each doctor you see and all treatment, tests, and procedures you receive. Keep a file with all your information, including phone calls with dates, times, and summaries of the conversations. Your attorney will be able to use this for your claim.
Compensation for Your Lower Back Pain After a Car Accident
Back pain is often a condition that recurs and can follow you for the rest of your life. It can cause lack of mobility, headaches or migraines, and pain in your arms or legs. You may not be able to work or may have to change jobs because of a back injury. You may also need to see a doctor or receive physical therapy for a very long time.
All of these things are taken into consideration when determining your compensation after the car accident. Your attorney will work with you and your doctors to get a clear picture of what your treatment entails and your degree of disability. You may be compensated for lost wages due to missed work, medical bills, training required to change careers, medical equipment that you need, and even emotional distress. Your attorney will review what type and amount of compensation you are entitled to receive.
Lawsuits & Settlements for Lower Back Pain
Your settlement will depend on several factors. The type of injury, extent of injury, degree of disability, and impact on your quality of life will all be taken into account. Your attorney will be able to give you an idea of the settlement amount and help you get the best settlement amount possible.
If you have been in a car accident and are experiencing lower back pain, we can help. At Johnstone & Gabhart we are committed to helping our clients get the compensation they deserve. Our experienced, skilled attorneys will work with you and fight for you. Call today for a free case review and get the help you need.