Back injuries are some of the most common and often serious outcomes of car wrecks. Unfortunately, while any injury can require extensive medical treatment and extended time away from work, car accident back injuries are more likely than many injuries to have long-term impacts on your life.
If someone else caused a car accident that injured your back, you are likely entitled to compensation for your damages. At David R. Price, Jr. P.A., our Greenville car accident lawyers are here to help if you sustained back or spinal cord damage in a crash. Contact us to start your case today.
What Are Common Car Accident Back Injuries?
Joint, vertebrae, disc and soft tissue damage are just a few of the most common back injuries from car accidents.
The vertebrae, joints, discs, and muscles in your spine allow you to sit, move, stand and walk. Damage to any of these can cause significant pain, and in some cases lead to partial or complete paralysis. Some severe back injuries may require surgery.
While some back injuries are immediately apparent, others develop over time. Don’t leave back injuries untreated, because you could develop a progressive disease after your accident called spinal stenosis.
Below is a closer look at common injuries to the back that can be caused by a car crash.
Facet joint damage
Your spine has multiple joints. In fact, each vertebra has two facet joints located on each side. Facet joint injuries include joint or cartilage damage and may create synovial fluid leaks.
The forces in a car accident often cause vertebrae compression fractures, which are small fissures or cracks in your vertebrae. Severe fractures can damage nerves or your spinal cord. Vertebrae can fracture in any area of your back.
Discs are spongy cushions between vertebrae. Car accident back injuries often compress, dislocate, rupture or crack spinal discs. These slipped, ruptured or herniated discs may swell and press on nerves, causing significant pain.
Spinal cord damage
Spinal cord injuries are among the most serious injuries people can suffer in car wrecks. Damaged or severed nerves in the spinal cord disrupt normal central nervous system functions. This damage can lead to temporary or permanent paralysis, affecting the arms, legs or both. Permanent nerve damage can cause chronic pain. All these conditions typically create disabilities.
The jarring forces in auto collisions often damage muscles and other soft tissues in the lower back. These lumbar sprains are usually painful, and may take time to develop and longer to heal.
Soft tissue injuries
The back’s soft tissues are made of blood vessels, nerves, ligaments, tendons and muscles. Car accidents can cause multiple soft tissue injuries in the back, including bruises, lacerations, sprains, strains and tears.
Sudden stopping and impacts in car crashes often throw your head back and forth rapidly. This movement can cause strains and sprains in the neck’s ligaments, muscles and tendons.
Commonly known as whiplash, this condition can also damage nerves and the spinal cord. Whiplash usually develops in the hours and days following an accident.
How Should You Seek Treatment for Car Accident Back Injuries?
Always accept medical attention from the paramedics who visit the accident scene to assess injuries. If medical personnel don’t come to the site of your accident, go to a clinic, doctor or emergency room immediately and request an examination.
You may not experience some of the following symptoms of back injuries until hours or days after your crash:
- Numbness or tingling
- Swelling or tenderness
If you notice these or other unexplained symptoms, visit a physician or medical facility as soon as possible.
Immediate and proper assessment and treatment of back injuries is vital. Not only are you protecting your health, but doctors also document your symptoms in medical records that your attorney can use as evidence in your accident claim.
What Factors Affect Car Accident Back Injury Settlements?
Settlement negotiations depend on individual case facts, so there’s no such thing as an average settlement for a crash that causes back pain or spinal damage. The damages you may be awarded from a car wreck are usually broken down into:
- Medical expenses: The cost of back surgery far exceeds the cost of medical treatments prescribed for temporary soreness and stiffness. Valid medical expenses include emergency care, hospital stays, surgery, rehabilitation and medications. Reimbursement for these current and future expenses is dollar-for-dollar.
- Lost wages: You can seek compensation for the wages you lose from work missed due to your accident.
- Non-economic damages: You may qualify to seek compensation for intangible damages like pain and suffering, permanent disabilities and losing your ability to enjoy life. These conditions affect each person differently.
- Property damage: Your vehicle and other personal property may be damaged and need repairs or replacement. The costs of repairs or replacement vary.
Your attorney from David R. Price, Jr., P.A. will assess your claim, negotiate the highest possible settlement amount, or take your case to trial if necessary.
How Can David R. Price, Jr., P.A. Help With Car Accident Back Injury Claims?
Our award-winning lawyers at David R. Price, Jr., P.A. in Greenville, SC, have over 35 years of experience we can use to protect your interests. We have a proven track record of obtaining high compensation amounts for our injured clients. As your attorneys, we can help you move forward after a life-changing car accident.
Contact us at David R. Price, Jr., P.A. today to request a free consultation about your car accident back injury claim. Use our online form to get started.