Back Injuries from Car Accidents
According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), neck and back injuries are the most commonly diagnosed motor vehicle accident injury in emergency departments across the country. These injuries vary in severity, ranging from sprains and strains of the neck and back to spinal damage.
One of the biggest challenges a car accident victim faces with regard to back injuries is that they do not always emerge immediately. In some cases, shock and disorientation immediately after the accident prevent the injured person from noticing the injury. Even when there is some pain immediately after the car accident, many injury victims believe that they are just sore from the impact or have strained muscles. So, it is easy to miss or underestimate a back injury immediately after an accident.
This is one reason that it is so important to have a medical professional check you out as soon as possible after the accident if you have any doubt about your medical condition. Similarly, it is important to follow up with your own doctor or go to an emergency department or walk in clinic if you begin to develop symptoms in the days following your car accident.
When in Doubt, Seek Medical Attention for Back Pain
Getting your injuries checked out early is obviously important for medical reasons. Continuing to go about your business with an undiagnosed spinal injury or other serious back injury can aggravate your condition. The end result may be that your pain and limitations last longer, or even that you do lasting damage.
It is also important to note that some back injury symptoms may not immediately be recognized as spinal symptoms. One common example is headache. Others may include:
- Pain, swelling, tenderness in the abdomen
- Numbness or tingling in extremities
- Difficulty breathing
- Loss of control of bowels or bladder
- Vision problems
- Balance problems
Don’t assume that strange symptoms suffered after a car accident are unrelated just because you can’t see a clear connection.
At the same time, being responsible about your medical care will be important if it turns out that you were seriously injured through someone else’s fault. When that happens, you are typically entitled to compensation to help pay your medical bills, replace lost income, and otherwise compensate you for your injuries. But, if you have not received prompt medical care, you may be unable to prove that the accident caused your injuries. Or, the negligent driver who caused your injuries may claim that they are only partially responsible since you aggravated your own condition by failing to seek medical care or follow the doctor’s instructions.
Most Common Motor Vehicle Accident Back Injuries
Some of the most common types of back injuries sustained in motor vehicle accidents include:
- Lumbar sprains, which are especially common after being rear ended
- Lumbar spine injuries, which range from sciatica to spinal cord fractures that require surgical intervention
- Disk herniation, which occurs when disks are compressed or knocked out of alignment by a jarring impact
- Thoracic spine injuries, which cause significant pain in the upper and middle back and in serious cases may cause paralysis
Of course, these are just examples of some of the common types of back injuries sustained in car accidents. Every injury is different. The risks associated with an injury and the best course of action can only be determined by a medical professional who assesses your injuries. It can be very difficult for a person suffering a back injury to know how serious it is or what activities are safe. Therefore, it is important to seek medical attention if you are experiencing back pain, limited range of motion, or certain other symptoms after a car accident.
Getting the Help You Need After a Car Accident Injury
If you have been seriously injured, it is also important that you gather information about your rights and options involving compensation. Your best source of information can be a consultation with an experienced car accident attorney. Attorney Kevin P. Broderick has extensive experience helping victims of motor vehicle accidents and other injuries secure fair compensation. He offers free consultations to people injured in car accidents in Massachusetts and New Hampshire. You can schedule yours right now by calling 978-459-1792 or filling out the contact form on this page.
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