Back Injury After a Car Accident
You’re parked at a stoplight, calmly waiting for the light to turn green. Suddenly, you hear the screeching of brakes behind you. You check the rearview mirror just as a pickup truck slams into the back of your car and it lurches forward. Your car is totaled, but you feel fine and you are grateful for that, at least. However, as the adrenaline wears off, you begin to feel the pain in your back. You assume a few pills will take care of the issue, but the following morning, you can hardly get out of bed. If you have suffered a back injury in a car accident, you can probably relate to some aspects of this.
Unfortunately, back injuries are some of the most common medical problems people encounter after a vehicular accident. For some, the injuries are so bad that they may never walk again.
What Car Accidents Lead to Back Injuries?
Any car accident can lead to back injuries. The sudden jerking movement as the car lurches sideways, forward or backward can lead to pain or severe injury. However, some types of accidents have a higher likelihood of causing back injuries than others.
Rear-end collisions are most commonly associated with back injuries. If the vehicle that slams into the other is larger, then the risk of injury multiplies. In the worst-case scenario, the vehicle hitting your car may be a semi-truck. Note that even if your vehicle is moving at the time the other vehicle crashes into it, you can suffer severe injuries.
Rollovers are among the most deadly accidents, especially for vehicles with soft roofs or no roofing at all. The violent motions of the vehicle and the damage done to the vehicle in the process can cause severe damage to your back. The more times your car rolls over, the more likely this is.
Getting into a T-bone accident by another car can also lead to back injuries. The sudden sideways jerk of your vehicle can throw your spinal cord out of sync and even fracture it. Side-impact crashes can cause your vehicle to flip as well, which also increases the risk of back injuries.
What Are the Types of Back Injuries?
There are many different types of car accident injuries that can lead to back pain. Even if your back does not begin to hurt until days or even weeks later, the damage may continue to grow worse. This is why it’s so important to seek medical attention after a crash, no matter how minor it might at first appear.
Most people associate back strains with heavy lifting, but a strong impact, pressure or force can also lead to back strain. This causes damage to the tendons and muscles by forcing them to stretch beyond their natural capacities.
People also tend to associate back sprains with heavy lifting. The type of damage is very similar to back strains, but this time, it is the ligaments that stretch beyond capacity and become damaged.
The spinal cord belongs to a sensitive system in the body that does not respond well to damage. Thoracic vertebrae, lumbar and compression fractures are the main ones to look out for. These can lead to difficulty breathing or even paralysis.
Sometimes the bones themselves do not become injured. Instead, it is the small discs that rupture or break under the pressure sustained during a car crash. This can lead to numbness, weakness and intense pain.
What Should You Do If You Sustain a Back Injury After a Car Accident?
After a car crash, there are two main priorities you should have in mind. The first is your health, and the second is getting the information of the person responsible. You may be tempted to risk your injured body to get the person’s information. However, always put first your health and that of any passengers in the vehicle.
1. Check for Injuries
If there are other people in the vehicle with you, check to see if they are injured. If you do not feel hurt, you may have a responsibility to assist people in the other vehicle as well. This can include the driver who slammed into you.
2. Call 911
If there are physical injuries or more than minor property damage, always call the police. If the other driver becomes combative, it may be in your best interest to remain in your vehicle and try to note distinguishing features as you call.
3. Get Contact Information
Ask the other driver for contact information, insurance documents and anything else you need to file a claim. It is also a good idea to take pictures of the vehicle, the driver, occupants and the surrounding areas, if you can. You never know what you might capture that helps your case later on.
4. Call an Attorney
While you wait for the police to arrive, your attorney can advise you on how to respond to questions. You might feel you have nothing to hide and that the other driver is in the wrong, but how you phrase your responses could change that. Cooperate with the police when they arrive, but be mindful of what you say.
5. Seek Medical Attention
Always seek medical attention. Even if you decline to do so at the scene of the accident, schedule an appointment with your doctor as soon as possible. Let your doctor know you were in a motor vehicle accident. Keep all records related to your visit and follow all medical advice your doctor provides.
Should You Find an Attorney for a Back Injury Car Accident Case?
If you suffer a back injury, no matter how minor, you could have medical bills to tend to. If the injuries are more severe, you may even need to call off from work. At the scene the other driver may have at first showed empathy and a willingness to take responsibility, but that can change.
An attorney can advise you on how to move forward, how much your case is worth and the best way to get a settlement while you recover from your back injuries. Submit a request online or call us today at (866) 345-6784 to get in touch with an experienced lawyer in your area!