The spine is designed to give us mobility and allow us to sit and stand upright. The spine, however, is not designed to withstand the impact of a bad back injury after a crash.
The vertebrae (the bones that make up the spine) or discs (the soft cushioning between the vertebrae) can be easily dislodged or damaged in a crash. Even when someone feels OK immediately after sustaining a spinal injury, the pain and discomfort can set in days later.
What causes crash-related back pain?
Your crash-related back pain may be due to:
- A slipped or herniated disc: This occurs when fluid inside of the discs protrudes through the outer protective layer. The gel-like fluid then puts pressure on the nerves in the spinal cord, resulting in pain, numbness, and tingling. Slipped discs are often age-related and caused by years of repetitive stress. They can also be caused by sudden trauma, such as that caused by a crash. A slipped disc may lead to sciatica (pain in the lower extremities), tingling in the limbs, numbness, muscle spasms, and acute pain.
- Dislodged or broken vertebrae: The impact of a crash can either knock the vertebrae out of place (spondylolisthesis) or cause a fracture. Like a slipped disc, this can place pressure on the nerves in the spinal cord. Serious fractures can lead to severe pain, muscle weakness, and loss of bladder or bowel control.
Why should I get prompt medical attention due to a back injury?
Even a minor back injury caused by a rear-end collision can make it difficult to walk, perform physical tasks, or even sit for long periods of time. This could impact your ability to perform at work, go about your daily activities, and engage in recreational activities.
That's why you should always get medical attention promptly after a crash. Your doctor may be able to identify your back injury and offer treatment options before it becomes problematic.
Depending on the severity of your back injury, your treatment may be extensive and costly. You may need to undergo months of physical therapy and surgery (in severe cases). In addition, your doctor will likely prescribe medication to manage the pain and inflammation, and suggest that you wear a back brace.
You may need to take time off from work and avoid certain activities while you recover.
Should I pursue a legal claim?
After your medical appointment, it's critical that you speak to an experienced car accident attorney as soon as possible. Your initial medical evaluation will give your attorney the tools to place an accurate value on your claim.
An attorney can maximize your chance of recovering full compensation for your damages by negotiating with the insurance companies and going to trial, if necessary.
The Mobile car accident attorneys at Dean Waite & Associates, LLC have built a solid reputation throughout Alabama for helping injured motorists obtain the financial compensation they need. Contact us online and schedule your free case evaluation with our legal team. You can also call us at 866-434-5840.