Escaping unscathed out of a car crash is a miraculous thing. If you got out with no broken bones, no sprains, nothing was torn, no gruesome wounds or visible catastrophic trauma, you’re indeed lucky. Neck and back pain is the most dangerous pain in the human body.
However, there is enough evidence to know that visible injuries are only half of the accident victims’ problems. Deferred and hidden injuries, of which neck and shoulder pain are the most common, can appear right away or several hours or even days after a car accident.
Other common injuries associated with auto accidents include a whole array of back injuries that can be detrimental to an accident victim’s spinal cord, soft tissue and overall range of motion for long periods of time, or even permanently.
Working with insurance companies after a car accident is never going to allow you to fully evaluate your damages and legal options, and this is because insurance companies will always try to minimize their liabilities at all costs.
When you work with an experienced law firm like Greathouse Trial Law, you’ll be putting you or your loved one in the very best position to establish a successful personal injury case. Working with an experienced car accident attorney will always better allow accident victims to properly pursue their medical treatments and physical therapy because they won’t be tied down by handling their legal recourse on their own.
If you or a loved one is experiencing neck and/or back pain after a car accident, it’s crucial that you contact us for a free consultation so we can evaluate your scenario and put you in the right direction towards your rightful compensation.
Common Types of Neck Injuries
There are a great number of different types of neck pain that can turn into serious injuries if a car accident victim doesn’t receive proper medical attention as soon as they notice symptoms.
A neck injury is the type of injury that will always require the assistance of a medical professional like a chiropractor or other health care team, so you should always get fully examined after a car accident to ensure you’re not suffering from any of the following types of neck injuries:
A Whiplash injury is a neck injury due to forceful, rapid back-and-forth movement of the neck, like the cracking of a whip. Whiplash most commonly results from rear-end collisions, when the impact pushes the body forward and forces the neck to try to stabilize the head by sending it backward.
This quick motion often hyperextends the spinal discs, surrounding nerves and ligaments, which subsequently causes a lot of pain and inflammation.
The symptoms of whiplash, if not seen right away, can manifest anywhere between 24-72 hours, or in unusual cases, days after the accident. Some of the common symptoms include:
- Neck pain and stiffness
- Loss of motion in the neck
- Headaches starting from the base of the skull
- Minor tingling or numbness
- Facet joint pain
There are many types of disc injuries that result from car accidents, and a pinched disc in your neck or upper back is a very serious type of injury. When your spinal nerves have been seriously pinched, it can lead to pain, muscle spasms, numbness or tingling throughout your extremities.
These serious car accident injuries may require extensive amounts of pain medication, chiropractic care or even surgery to fully correct.
The soft discs in between the bones of your neck within your spinal canal help protect the bones from harming one another. Disc herniation occurs when a harsh force, like a car crash, causes the discs to severely swell up or even tear.
Herniated discs put a tremendous amount of pressure on an accident victim’s spinal cord and surrounding nerves, which ultimately can cause an incredible amount of long-term pain.
Common Back Injuries That Occur in Auto Accidents
Back pain that results from a car accident can also entail a lot of different soft tissue injuries, spinal cord injuries, and other serious injuries that require the assistance of personal injury lawyers.
Our spinal cords are divided into three areas, and each of these areas entails their own spinal discs, spinal nerves, soft tissue, and ultimately the possibilities for a lot of different medical treatments. Some of the most common types of back injuries associated with auto accidents include the following:
Thoracic Spine Injuries
There are many instances in which thoracic spine injuries are some of the most serious types of back injuries. The thoracic spine consists of the upper back, which connects our ribs to our chest region, so any kind sprain or fracture caused by the impact of an auto accident can result in serious injuries like nerve damage, shoulder pain, and disc injuries.
Lumbar Spine Injuries
Our lumbar spinal area consists of very large vertebrae and strong muscles, so any injury to this area will result in serious lower back pain. A lumbar sprain will entail damage to the surrounding nerves, and could also be the result of a disc herniation.
Many accident victims who sustain a lumbar spine injury will seek alternative medical treatments like chiropractic care because certain imaging tools like X-rays and CT scans may not be quite enough to fully diagnose these issues.
Just like with neck injuries, disc herniation can be a serious back injury as well. The pressure that’s evoked by a herniated disc can significantly affect the spinal canal’s surrounding nerves, which subsequently can cause a ton of pain and numbness within the back and extremities.
Spinal Cord Injuries
Spinal cord injuries tend to be some of the most extreme forms of back injuries, and this is primarily because of the possibilities of permanent damage and disability. It’s not uncommon for spinal cord injuries to result in partial or even total paralysis throughout a certain region of an accident victim’s body.
Spinal stenosis technically is the narrowing of the spinal canal’s bone channel. This typically is caused by aging, but it can also be caused by the trauma that is typically entailed in a serious car crash. There are also many instances in which a herniated disc or bone fragment is intruding itself upon the spinal canal’s spacing, which leads to an enormous amount of pressure and pain.
Degenerative Spinal Disorders
Although degenerative spinal disorders are typically associated with old age, the impacts of a car accident can evoke these disorders that then can lead to a whole array of conditions and other injuries. Some common types of degenerative spinal disorders include:
- Spinal osteoarthritis
- Bulging or herniated discs
- Degenerative disc disease
- Degenerative scoliosis
- Spinal stenosis
- Bone spurs
- Foraminal stenosis
Treatment for Neck and Back Pain After an Auto Accident
Since back pain due to a car accident may not seem so bad at first, you may be tempted to try Ibuprofen or other over-the-counter home remedies. While these may provide temporary relief, they do not address the underlying damage. So if symptoms persist after weeks and half-measured treatments are clearly not helping, you need to visit a health care specialist or chiropractor.
A doctor will normally conduct a physical examination to understand what you can and cannot do with your neck and/or back by identifying areas where you feel the most pain. They may also ask you questions about your injury, such as when and how it occurred, and whether the pain is dull, shooting, or sharp.
Considering the gravity of the situation, they might ask for an X-ray, or other tests like CT scans and MRIs, to rule out other injuries and degenerative diseases.
Depending on the seriousness of the pain, back injury treatments could include anything from physiotherapy, medication in the form of tablets as well as injections, or even surgery. So, it’s important for accident victims to understand that their back pain treatment could take anywhere between 4-6 weeks to an extended amount of months. It goes without saying, the sooner the treatment starts, the better.
This entire ordeal is very expensive, not just on the body and the mind, but also on the bank account. Recovery can take time, and you are most likely to not be able to work for the entire duration.
Fight for Your Rightful Compensation
If you’ve been in an accident and are in the middle of an expensive, time-consuming, life-changing recovery; then you should know that you have the right to sue for damages.
This is exactly why you’ve been paying those hefty insurance premiums every month. You deserve to get the settlement you need to not just cover the expenses for your treatment, but also for the emotional pain and suffering caused by the accident.
Moreover, if there is even a minor chance that the other party in the accident acted irresponsibly or was negligent, you deserve to be compensated for both lost time and money. Therefore, you are right in your place to file a case against the said party and pursue a fair settlement.
Can You Do This on Your Own?
While you are legally allowed to file and fight a case, it is advisable to find a trusted, capable and experienced personal injury lawyer to represent you in the matter for a couple of reasons.
One, they have experience managing the police, insurance companies, opposition lawyers and all other parties that need to be reached out to.
Second, a good lawyer will always be abreast of changing laws, to help you develop the most robust argument to lead you to victory.
Finally, as you must know, legal processes can take months, even years and is a strenuous responsibility. Managing it, while undergoing medical treatment may be too overwhelming and lead to neglect. It is, therefore, wiser, to reach out to an expert and use their skills to your benefit.
If you’ve been in an accident and need a trusted counsel in and around Greater Atlanta, contact attorney Riah Greathouse for a free consultation today!