Lower Back Pain After a Car Accident
Legally Reviewed and Edited by: Terry Cochran
Lower back pain after a car accident may indicate an underlying injury to your spine or muscles. As you navigate the complexities of insurance claims and car repairs, it’s easy to ignore symptoms like lower back pain. However, untreated back issues can lead to chronic, long-lasting consequences for your health.
Understanding the potential seriousness of lower back pain after a car accident and your rights to compensation can help you get a settlement to pay for your injuries. A car accident attorney from Cochran, Kroll & Associates, P.C. can help you during the claims process and ensure you take the necessary steps to receive compensation.
Causes of Lower Back Pain After a Car Accident
Lower back pain after a car accident can result from various underlying causes. A collision’s sudden and forceful impact can subject the lower back to stress and strain, leading to different types of injuries.
Some of the most common causes of lower back pain after a car crash include:
- Whiplash-associated disorders: Whiplash occurs when the head and neck are forcefully thrown backward and then rapidly jerked forward in a whip-like motion. While whiplash primarily affects the neck, it can also lead to lower back pain. The abrupt and forceful movement can strain the muscles and ligaments in the lumbar region, causing pain and discomfort.
- Lumbar sprains and strains: A sprain occurs when the ligaments that support the spinal joints are stretched or torn, while a strain involves damage to the muscles or tendons in the lower back. The impact of a car accident can cause sudden movements or excessive twisting, leading to soft tissue injuries and subsequent lower back pain.
- Herniated discs: A herniated disc is when the gel-like center of a vertebral disc pushes through a tear in the tough outer layer. Car accidents can exert significant pressure on the spine, leading to disc herniation. The displaced disc material may compress nearby nerves, causing lower back pain and radiating pain, numbness, or tingling sensations in the legs or buttocks.
- Fractures and dislocations: Fractures may affect vertebral bodies, facet joints, or spinous processes. Dislocations occur when the normal alignment of the spinal bones is disrupted. These injuries can cause excruciating lower back pain and may require immediate medical attention and surgical intervention.
- Compression or wedge fractures: Compression fractures occur when the vertebrae in the lower back collapse or become compressed due to the forces generated during a car accident. A wedge fracture involves the front part of the vertebrae collapsing while the back remains intact.
- Annular tears: These are minor rips that occur in the annulus fibrosus, the tough exterior part of a spinal disc. During a car accident, the spine can experience sudden and intense pressure, causing these small tears. These injuries can result in lower back pain and increase the risk of developing herniated discs.
Symptoms of Lower Back Pain
Recognizing the symptoms of lower back pain after a car accident is crucial for your health and potential compensation claims. Timely diagnosis and documentation can help establish the severity of your injuries, affecting your treatment plan and eligibility for compensation.
Here are some lower back pain symptoms to be aware of after a car crash:
- Sharp or stabbing pain: This pain can often indicate that you’ve suffered a muscle strain or damaged a ligament. It usually occurs when attempting to move or shift your position.
- Dull, aching pain: A constant, dull ache may suggest that soft tissue like muscles or ligaments has been bruised or inflamed.
- Pain radiating down the leg: If you experience pain that travels down your leg, it could be a sign of sciatica, often associated with nerve or disc issues.
- Limited range of motion: Difficulty bending, twisting, or making regular movements could indicate muscle or ligament injuries or structural issues with your spine.
- Weakness or numbness: Experiencing weakness or numb areas can be a sign that nerves have been damaged or are being compressed.
- Swelling or inflammation: These symptoms usually suggest some form of tissue damage, muscle strain, or ligament sprain.
- Increased pain when sitting or standing for long periods: Persistent discomfort in these positions can mean issues with your spinal discs or vertebrae.
- Difficulty lifting objects: Struggling to lift items, even if they’re not particularly heavy, could suggest a muscular strain or an issue related to spinal alignment.
- Sudden muscle spasms: Involuntary muscle movements are often a sign of either muscle strain or potential nerve damage, usually occurring without warning.
- Changes in posture: If your posture has been affected, causing you to sit or stand differently, it could signify alignment or disc issues within your spine.
Seeking Medical Care for Lower Back Pain After a Car Accident
Immediate medical attention is critical if you experience lower back pain after a car accident, not just for your well-being but also for establishing a solid legal claim. Getting a prompt diagnosis helps you receive appropriate treatment and is essential evidence for any compensation you seek.
Medical records document the severity and nature of your injuries and establish a connection to the accident when making a claim. Delaying this process can jeopardize your health and weaken your legal position, allowing insurance companies to dispute your claim.
If you experience symptoms of lower back pain after a crash, visit a medical provider for a comprehensive evaluation. This often involves diagnostic tests like X-rays or MRIs. These assessments can detect underlying issues like muscle strains, ligament damage, and more serious spinal injuries, which can lead to chronic conditions if left untreated.
When filing a claim with your own personal injury protection insurance or against a negligent third party that caused the accident, your attorney from Cochran, Kroll & Associates, P.C. will use your medical records as evidence to support your case.
Eileen Kroll, a partner attorney and registered nurse, can use her medical knowledge to accurately assess the full extent of damages you should be compensated for. Eileen’s unique combination of skills enables her to make crucial links between your medical diagnosis, the treatment you’ve received, and how these factors affect your daily life.
This approach strengthens your claim and helps you maximize compensation so you can focus on your physical and emotional recovery after the collision.
What Kind of Settlement Can You Receive for Lower Back Pain Post-Crash?
You may be entitled to financial compensation to cover tangible and intangible damages when you’ve suffered from lower back pain after a car accident. The type and amount of compensation can vary based on the severity of your injuries and their impact on your life.
Your attorney can help you receive the following types of damages in an insurance claim or personal injury lawsuit:
- Medical expenses: This covers the cost of doctor visits, diagnostic tests, physical therapy, medication, and any surgical procedures needed for your lower back.
- Future medical care: If your lower back pain leads to chronic conditions or requires long-term treatment, you may be compensated for future medical expenses.
- Lost wages: Compensation for time taken off work to recover from your lower back injury.
- Loss of earning capacity: If the injury to your lower back affects your ability to work in the long term, you may be entitled to damages for reduced earning potential.
- Pain and suffering: Monetary compensation for the physical pain and emotional distress caused by your lower back pain.
- Quality of life damages: Compensation for lifestyle changes or recreational activities you can no longer participate in due to lower back pain.
- Out-of-pocket expenses: Reimbursement for any miscellaneous costs related to your lower back injury, such as travel expenses to medical appointments.
- Punitive damages: Punitive damages may be awarded in cases of extreme negligence or wanton disregard for others’ safety. These are also called exemplary damages in Michigan.
Determining Liability for Your Injuries
Determining liability for your lower back injuries after a car accident involves thoroughly investigating the circumstances surrounding the incident. This is a critical step because it establishes who is legally responsible for your incurred damages.
An experienced attorney will investigate your accident to establish liability, ensuring you have a strong legal claim. The following parties may be found responsible for your injuries:
- Driver negligence: The most common party to be held liable is the other driver, especially if they were speeding, distracted, or under the influence. Your attorney will collect evidence such as police reports, eyewitness accounts, and traffic camera footage to demonstrate negligence.
- Vehicle manufacturers: The vehicle manufacturer can be held responsible if a vehicle defect like faulty brakes or a malfunctioning steering system causes the accident. Your attorney will consult experts to analyze the vehicle’s design and manufacturing process.
- Local government: In some cases, the condition of the road can contribute to an accident. Poor signage, lack of lighting, or inadequate maintenance can make the government entity responsible for road upkeep liable.
Do You Need an Attorney to Receive Compensation?
While it’s possible to seek compensation on your own after experiencing lower back pain due to a car accident, the complexities of personal injury law mean that having an attorney gives you a better chance of receiving compensation.
Our legal professionals at Cochran, Kroll, & Associates, P.C., bring invaluable expertise to your case, protecting your rights during the claims processes to receive a fair settlement.
Here are some specific reasons why hiring an attorney can bolster your claim:
- Custom legal strategy for medical issues: Specializing in personal injury cases involving back pain, an attorney can craft a strategy that showcases the long-term impact of your injury, including the likelihood of chronic pain and future medical costs, to maximize your settlement.
- Forensic fault-finding: Determining liability involves more than just a police report. Your attorney can consult with accident reconstruction specialists and medical experts to strengthen your claim, identifying all parties that should be held responsible.
- Leveraging insider knowledge: Attorneys understand how insurance companies work and can use this knowledge to anticipate their tactics. This can be invaluable in countering low-ball offers and ensuring you get a settlement that truly reflects your needs.
- Navigating complexities, so you don’t have to: The legal process involves intricate procedures, time-sensitive deadlines, and critical negotiations. An attorney handles these complexities, allowing you to focus on your physical recovery.
- Maximizing damages: Lower back pain often requires ongoing medical treatment. Your attorney will include these future costs in your claim, ensuring that you’re financially covered in the long run.
- Risk-free representation: Our personal injury attorneys operate on a contingency fee basis, meaning you don’t pay unless you win your case. This allows you to seek expert legal aid without worrying about upfront costs.
Secure Compensation After Suffering Lower Back Pain in a Car Accident
If you’re dealing with the aftermath of a car accident, especially if it involves lower back pain, the right legal representation can make the difference between a minimal settlement and the full compensation you deserve.
Contact a qualified attorney from Cochran, Kroll, & Associates, P.C. today to discuss your options and ensure you get the compensation you need for lower back pain after a car accident.
Our contingency fee basis means we only get paid if we win your case, so there is no financial risk to you to get started. Call our law firm today at (1-866-779-7331) and schedule your no-obligation, free case evaluation.
Disclaimer : The information provided is general and not for legal advice. The blogs are not intended to provide legal counsel and no attorney-client relationship is created nor intended.