What Should I Do If I Have Lower Back Pain After a Car Accident?
From back pain to complete paralysis, there is a range of potential lower back injuries. The type and severity of lower back injuries stemming from car accidents can result in medical bills for prescriptions, rehabilitation treatment, and medical procedures, as well as loss of work and/or a decrease in quality of life.
When it comes to pursuing personal injury claims, we fight for our clients in ensuring they receive the maximum compensation possible for their injuries. A lower back injury can have serious consequences. It can be painful and debilitating. It can also affect your ability to live and work normally. Even more, missed wages and expensive hospital bills can impact your bottom line.
If you or a loved one has suffered a lower back injury as a result of an accident, here’s what you need to know.
Types of Lower Back Injuries
A car accident can have a resounding impact on our lives, especially when a lower back injury occurs.
Our lower back is an important part of the body's ability to move and transmit information. It contains muscles, ligaments, and the base of the spinal column. Knowing the common types of lower back injuries that can occur in a car accident is important for medical and legal considerations.
At Huber Thomas Law, we want to equip clients with knowledge in pursuing their claims. However, we are not medical experts. Please consult with a medical professional if you have any questions or concerns about a lower back injury.
Your spine consists of bones called vertebrae. These bones are stacked on top of one another and cushioned by intervertebral discs. A sudden impact in a car accident has the potential of rupturing these cushion-like discs. This can lead to pain and discomfort, as the ruptured discs can put pressure on nearby nerves.
Lumbar Strains and Sprains
Your lumbar region, located at your lower back, contains muscle and ligaments. When a sudden or excessive movement occurs, a strain on your muscles or a sprain of your ligaments can occur. You may feel localized pain, stiffness, tenderness, and movement difficulties when these injuries occur.
Not only can the discs in your spine rupture, but the vertebrae they protect can also fracture. A fractured vertebra occurs when a high-impact force cracks a bone in your spine. This can lead to damaging effects on your spinal cord, which is the bundle of nerves that run through the vertebral canal. Symptoms can range from back pain to paralysis.
Spinal Cord Injuries
As previously mentioned, the spinal cord is a collection of nerves that run down your spinal column from your brain to your lower back. A major impact car accident has the potential of causing this type of lower back injury. The level of severity can range from complete (total loss of function) to incomplete (some loss of function).
Causes of Lower Back Injuries in Accidents
A crucial element of building a case for fair compensation is linking causation between accident and injury. There are typical vehicle incidents that cause a lower back injury. By proving they occurred through expert, medical, and witness testimony, we may find a causal link to your injury. Below are some of the common causes of lower back injuries in vehicle accidents.
Impact from Sudden Movement
Rapid acceleration or deceleration can cause abrupt bodily movements. A sudden jerk forward or backward can impact components of the lower back, including ligaments, muscles, and other tissue.
Seatbelts provide great protection for a majority of sudden automobile movements. However, in a high-impact collision, they can also exhibit force. Seatbelts have the potential of spraining, straining, or fracturing components of the lower back.
When we think of “whiplash,” most of us think of a head or neck injury. However, whiplash has the potential of causing injury to the lower back, including strains and sprains. A rapid back-and-forth motion can also cause a herniated disc.
If a vehicle flips or rolls over, occupants of the car can experience significant injury, including that of the lower back. An automobile flipping over can cause very unpredictable movement, leading to the potential of fracture, spinal cord injury, or herniated discs.
Steps to Take After a Lower Back Injury
A lower back injury after a car accident can put your life on pause. There will be issues to face as you navigate medical treatments, legal documents, and insurance claims. Not only will you have to recover your health, but you will also have to recover your finances through the insurance claims process.
Let’s face it. Insurance companies typically do not have your best interests in mind. However, if you follow the proper steps below, you will be better set up for success in winning fair compensation for your injuries.
Seek Immediate Medical Attention
Be sure to seek immediate medical care, even if you don’t feel pain initially. Many injuries have a delayed onset. A qualified medical professional can conduct a proper assessment, diagnose your injuries, and prescribe you the right treatment.
Document Scene and Injuries
To support your personal injury claim, you will need to acquire as much information as possible. Take photos of the accident scene, vehicle damage, and any injuries that are visible to the eye. This documentation will be valuable in pursuing legal action.
Gather Witness Statements and Information
If there were any witnesses of the incident, you will want to have their contact information and statements. Their testimony may support in substantiating claims.
Report the Accident to the Authorities
When an accident occurs, you must contact the police and report the accident. They will create an official report of the accident, which will support insurance claims and legal proceedings.
Contact Your Insurance Company
Provide detail to your insurance company of the accident and any injuries sustained. You will need to follow all directions provided by them regarding the claims process.
Consult with an Attorney
Reach out to an attorney who specializes in car accidents and personal injury law. An experienced team, like Huber Thomas Law, will be able to evaluate the case, advise on legal action, and help you pursue compensation for any damages resulting from your injury.
Keep in mind that each jurisdiction has their own prescriptive periods. This governs the time limit in which you must file a personal injury lawsuit. You must act quickly in order to seek compensation and not forfeit your ability to do so.
Keep a Record of Symptoms, Treatments, and Expenses
As you undergo medical treatment for your lower back injury, keep a record of all symptoms and how they are affecting your life. You will also want to follow your prescribed medication and treatment plan and document all scheduled appointments. Keep a record of your medical bills in order to support your ability to receive compensation for expenses.
When you work with a law firm like Huber Thomas Law, you will receive specialized guidance unique to your specific situation. We’ve walked hundreds of clients through the legal process following their vehicle accident with care and expert advisement. With Huber Thomas Law, clients can rest assured their health and livelihood will be advocated for through the legal system.
Legal Considerations of Lower Back Injuries
Through our years of fighting for our injured clients, we know an in-depth investigation is the key to courtroom success. We urge you to document as much as you can regarding the accident, including police reports, expert witnesses, and medical evaluations. The following will be crucial in building your case.
- Medical Documentation – Keep a record of all medical documents, including diagnoses, treatment plans, medical bills, prescriptions, etc.
- Damages – If you are required to seek rehabilitation, take leave from work, or reduce your normal activity, you must document these damages.
- Witness Contacts – Your legal team may choose to contact witnesses to substantiate statements or claims of the events that occurred.
- Photos and Videos – Keep a record of all photos and videos of vehicle and property damage at the accident scene.
Huber Thomas Law will leverage these documents, reviewing them carefully to build the best case for fair compensation. With this information, we will assist you in the following:
It may be likely that your lower back injury was the result of someone else’s negligence. If the other party failed to provide reasonable care, you are entitled to compensation. Our job at Huber Thomas Law will be to review the facts of the case to determine if the other party directly caused the accident – as well as your lower back injury – due to their negligence.
Navigating Insurance Claims
It’s important for you to know the terms and coverage of your insurance policy. You will want to promptly notify your insurance company when an accident occurs. However, you must be careful when communicating with insurance adjusters. The Huber Thomas Law team can advise you on what to say when giving your statement and the proper documentation to provide.
Linking Causation Between Accident and Injury
Using medical evidence, documentation from the scene, and other relevant materials, we will assist in finding any causation between the accident and your injury. We will also review the timing of the accident and your injury, as well as any preexisting conditions if relevant.
Further, we will facilitate the gathering of expert testimony and witness statements. These components are crucial in establishing a causal link. From medical experts to eyewitnesses, these parties can provide their perspective on whether the accident was likely to cause your lower back injury.
Evaluating Comparative Negligence
In certain jurisdictions, comparative negligence may be applicable. If you are found partially responsible for the incident, the compensation you are able to receive may be reduced. Huber Thomas Law can help you understand comparative negligence and how it affects the potential legal outcomes of your case.
Receiving Fair Compensation
This is where the real work begins. Once we have a case built, we will aggressively pursue the compensation you deserve to move forward. While most cases for automobile accidents are settled outside of court, we prepare as if we are going to trial. This gives us more leverage at the negotiating table if we can reach a settlement, as well as top-notch preparation if the case goes in front of a judge or jury.
Huber Thomas Law has litigated hundreds of cases arising from vehicle accidents, securing millions in compensation on behalf of our clients.
Choose Huber Thomas Law for Personal Injury Representation
At Huber Thomas Law, we work tirelessly for our clients. We understand that a car accident can have resounding impacts on your daily life and livelihood, especially if you have sustained injuries that affect your quality of life.
If you’ve experienced a lower back injury as a result of a car accident, don’t be afraid to pursue the compensation you deserve. It will make a difference in your bottom line, saving you from a mountain of medical bills and recovery costs.
Ready to discuss the details of your case? Schedule a free consultation with Huber Thomas Law.