Even a minor car accident can leave you feeling shaken and achy. In fact, one of the most common physical complaints after being in a crash is back pain. Back pain is a broad symptom that encompasses many injuries. Some accident survivors experience pain in their neck, shoulders, and upper back. Other people report lower back and hip pain after an accident.
No matter where your back pain presents itself after being in a car wreck, you should see a physician as soon as possible. Though some injuries that cause back pain will go away with minimally invasive treatments, others can require more focused medical intervention. Therefore, it is important that you see a health care professional to avoid serious, potentially life-changing complications.
What Types of Accident Injuries Can Lead to Back Pain?
When you get an examination for your back pain, you may be surprised by your diagnosis. The trauma that leads to back pain does not always occur in your back. Instead, your injury may simply radiate outward and feel like back pain, even though your back is not your injured body part.
Below are a few types of crash injuries that cause back pain:
- Soft tissue sprains and strains: The intense force of a car accident can throw your body around suddenly. As a result, your muscles, tendons, and ligaments may become strained or sprained. This can make your back throb or tingle. If the sprained or strained soft tissues are close to your back and spinal cord, you may feel anything from numbness to shooting pains.
- Herniated discs: Slipped or herniated discs in your back can cause extreme back pain that may move outward. In some circumstances, surgery may be necessary to alleviate this problem.
- Crushed or damaged vertebrae: Like all bones, the vertebrae can be broken or crushed during a car accident. Because the vertebrae run up and down your back, you may feel pain, pressure, numbness, or a prickly sensation.
- Whiplash: You may have heard of whiplash. This condition happens when your neck is rapidly moved around due to an unexpected force, like the collision of two vehicles. The pain from whiplash can spread down from your neck and leave your upper back feeling tender and sore.
- Heart attack: One type of crash response that can lead to back pain and should never be ignored is a heart attack. Not everyone who has a heart attack feels pressure in the chest; they may feel back pain. This is yet another reason to seek immediate medical treatment as soon as post-accident back pain begins.
How Is Crash-Related Back Pain Treated?
Depending upon the underlying reason for your back pain, you may have to undergo a variety of procedures and treatments. These can include physical and occupational therapy, surgery, and at-home care. You may also be prescribed medications to take to ease your pain or address what is causing the pain.
Though you may be tempted to avoid going to a doctor or emergency room because of the cost, you should take back pain seriously. It is not reasonable to think that your back pain simply will go away on its own. Instead, you deserve to understand your best choices for recovery.
You may be advised by your doctor to focus on self-care. If your doctor prescribes rest, follow those directions. Being non-compliant can make it harder for you to prove that your back pain was truly bad enough to require medical help. Accordingly, you may find it harder to receive compensation through a personal injury lawsuit.
Should You Keep a Record of Your Back Pain?
Tracking your back pain can be helpful for you as both a medical patient and as a crash survivor. Many people who have been in accidents have found it wise to keep a daily journal of everything, such as levels of pain and appointments.
Your journal could prove useful in compelling a higher settlement offer if you are trying to get compensation to cover costs related to your crash.
Can You Get Compensation for Your Accident-Related Back Pain Costs?
Suffering from back pain after a car accident can make it hard to go to work and enjoy living the life you want. In extreme situations, accident survivors have had to forgo their occupations or modify their homes because of their crash injuries.
As long as you were not at fault for the accident that led to your back pain, you may have several ways to be compensated for expenses related to the event. The first is through your insurance. Depending upon the insurance you carry, your insurance carrier may pay a portion of your medical bills up to a certain amount. This can help offset the cost of your health care deductibles, copays, and out-of-pocket expenses.
Another way to get compensated is by filing a claim with the other driver’s insurance. As long as the driver carried insurance, the insurance should help pay for some of your expenses. However, not all insurance companies make the claims process straightforward. Consequently, many people work with a car accident lawyer.
A final way to collect both economic and non-economic damages after a serious crash may be to file a personal injury lawsuit. Working with a lawyer can ensure that you have the right documentation and meet all deadlines.
Is It Possible to Avoid a Back Injury?
Unfortunately, you are not completely protected in a car crash. However, you may be able to mitigate some injuries that can lead to back pain by being safety-minded:
- Wear your seat belt. Seat belts are lifesavers.
- Follow posted speeds. You may not be able to control what other drivers do, but you can ensure that you drive at an appropriate and safe speed.
- Avoid driving in dangerous weather. When it is dangerous outside, you should aim to stay indoors.
You may not be able to stop a car crash from causing you back pain. Nevertheless, you can take your pain seriously and get medical and legal help.
Virginia Beach Car Accident Lawyers Protect the Rights of Crash Survivors Who Have Debilitating Back Injuries
Do you have a back injury that was caused by a negligent driver? If so, contact one of our Virginia Beach car accident lawyers for legal assistance. Our legal team at East Coast Trial Lawyers will help you with your case. Call us at 757-352-2237 or contact us online to schedule a free consultation. Located in Virginia Beach, we serve clients throughout Chesapeake, Eastern Shore, Hampton, Newport News, Norfolk, Portsmouth, and Suffolk, Virginia, as well as North Carolina and nationwide.