Being in a car accident means that your body will feel the force of the crash and continue moving until it is abruptly stopped either by colliding with a solid obstacle, like the steering wheel or windshield, or by being stopped by the seat belt or airbag. Other cases may have your body stop moving when it finally hits the ground. It is not uncommon for this sudden and violent movement to impact different body parts, particularly the spine, neck, and back. Damage to these areas does not require a violent wreck, even minor accidents can play havoc with the back.
If you or a loved one are dealing with the aftermath of an accident that has injured your back, the personal injury lawyers at Grossman Law Offices want to remind you to make recovering your health a priority. By leaving the legal aspects in the hands of an experienced car accident attorney, you can have the time you need to go to your medical appointments and treatments. Here is what else you need to do.
What Should I Do if My Back Hurts After a Car Accident?
Being in pain after a car accident is not something that should be taken lightly. You need a healthcare professional to give you a full checkup and determine whether there are any internal injuries you may not be aware of. However, if the pain is obvious, the intervention of a qualified physician becomes even more urgent.
Schedule an Appointment with Your Doctor
Set up an appointment as soon as possible after the accident and have your doctor examine you thoroughly. If the pain is in your back, your doctor can tell you if it is being caused by mechanical or soft tissue injuries and if there is any nerve damage or paralysis as a result of having spinal disc fragments that were ejected from their original position.
To avoid further complications and long-term consequences from your injuries, start receiving the necessary medical care and treatment right away.
Get Medical Treatment
To accurately diagnose how serious your back injury is, you will probably require diagnostic imaging procedures. This is vital not only to allow your physician to determine the type of treatment you will need but also to show the insurance companies who will want to verify that you received immediate medical attention and that the injuries have been documented in your medical records.
If you file a claim against the party responsible for your injuries, you have a greater chance of obtaining a complete and fair payout if the injury and treatment have been documented, showing a strong relationship between your current pain and the crash. Also, delaying treatment sends a clear message to the other driver and their insurance that your injuries were not so serious as to require immediate treatment. This may result in a much lower payout or in your claim being denied.
Avoid Trying to “Tough It Out”
You never want to underestimate the severity of a back injury. You may interpret it as minor or as something that will likely resolve itself on its own, when the reality may be quite different. Do not allow the shock of the accident to distract you from what is important: taking care of your health. By ignoring your back and not receiving medical treatment, you may be allowing more disc material to jut out or tear, creating a larger problem that may take much longer to heal.
Talk to an Experienced Car Accident Attorney
If you convince yourself that your back pain is something of no importance, you may also be convinced by the insurance company to sign a waiver or accept a settlement for a very low payout. Think about your current and future medical needs and never rush to sign a document from an insurance company before consulting its content with your accident attorney. You may sign your rights away only to discover that the back pain is not only not going away but may require surgery or some other form of expensive treatment.
What Are the Most Common Types of Back Pain After car Accident?
The most common type of back pain is whiplash, a widely reported symptom in victims of car crashes. People may also experience disc herniations, strains, sprains, and fractures. It is also common for victims to sustain more than one type of back injury after a car accident.
When one or more vertebrae crack, shatter, or are injured, a spinal fracture may occur. When people talk about a “broken back” they may be referring to an injury to any of the 33 bones that make up the backbone and are responsible for protecting the spinal cord.
Strains and Sprains
When the soft tissue of the back is stretched, it may get damaged. This damage may affect tendons that serve to connect muscles and bones. When there is a back sprain, ligaments that connect bones to other joints are damaged.
The pain associated with sprains and strains can be difficult to ignore. The problem becomes more complicated because these injuries do not get picked up by imaging procedures. Only an experienced medical professional can correctly assess the situation.
It is common for discs to shift after a car accident. When this happens, nerves can get squeezed, causing a herniated disc. A disc herniation is the process of the inner section of the spine pushing through the outer ring.
When you have a herniated disc, you may hear your doctor referring to it as a disc that is bulging, rupturing, or sliding. If so, you may feel a burning sensation in the area, numbness, or weakness.
Although some of these conditions may resolve themselves with rest, medications, injections, chiropractic care, physical therapy, or exercise, others may require surgery and have a long recovery process. Let your attorney value your case and help you in the negotiations with the insurance company. You do not need to stress over your financial situation when you need to be focusing on recovering your health.