There are a number of factors that affect the type of car accident injury you’re likely to sustain, including the location your vehicle is hit, the speed of impact, and the safety features in your vehicle. Even in the mildest accident, however, you could sustain a back injury. Some back injuries only require rest to heal, others may require surgeries and physical therapy, and severe injuries may result in permanent disability.
If you’ve been in an accident that was caused by someone else’s negligent actions, you deserve compensation to cover the cost of damages you’ve incurred. Part of the compensation will likely be awarded for your injury and the related medical bills. Understanding your injury will ensure you know what you are owed.
Back Injury Symptoms You May Experience After the Accident
Symptoms vary greatly depending on the severity of your back injury. No matter what you’re experiencing, it’s imperative to seek medical attention after an accident. A seemingly minor injury may not make itself known for days or weeks after a collision; however, symptoms are also likely to present themselves immediately following the wreck – especially if the injury is severe.
The most common symptoms related to a back injury after a car accident include the following:
- Pain in the head, neck, shoulders, or back
- Abnormal sensations like numbness, tingling, or burning
- Pain that worsens with activity
- Sagging arm, joint, or shoulder
- A grinding sensation during movement
- Difficulty focusing
- Headaches, migraines, or vertigo
- Restricted range of motion
- Inability to lift something or complete lack of mobility
- Redness, bruising, or inflammation
- Bump or deformity near the injury
After you’ve seen a doctor, keep an eye on your symptoms. If something seems to be worsening, make a follow-up appointment to be examined.
Common Automobile Crash-Related Back Injuries
If you’re experiencing any of the above symptoms after an accident, you may be suffering from one of these common back injuries:
Whiplash. This is one of the most common car accident injuries, especially in rear-end collisions. It happens when the head and neck are propelled forward while the body stays still. This causes the head and neck to come to a sudden stop. Muscles, ligaments, and tissues can sustain damage. Symptoms of this condition often take time to develop. While minor cases are likely to heal on their own over time, severe injuries often require physical therapy.
Back Sprains and Strains. When ligaments, muscles, or tendons in the lower back are strained, a person may experience muscle spasms and difficulty walking or standing up. Pain medication, heat therapy, cold packs, and muscle relaxants may be recommended by a doctor.
Herniated Discs. The discs that cushion the vertebrae in the spine can be subjected to a significant amount of force during a crash. The force of impact can cause the discs to shift. This can compress nerves and cause pain and numbness. Also referred to as a bulging, slipped, or ruptured disc, this injury can usually be treated non-invasively. Pain relief and physical therapy are often the focus. If the herniation is impacting other vital structures, however, surgery is likely.
Spinal Cord Injuries. When the spinal cord is bruised, cut, or severed from the force of a vehicle’s impact, the injuries are likely to be severe. While a bruised spinal cord may only result in pain and minor mobility issues, a cut or severed cord can result in paralysis. Some paralysis may be temporary and repaired with surgery or time. Unfortunately, some spinal cord injury victims are left permanently paralyzed.
Spinal Fractures. When the lower half of the body remains still while the torso and head are forced forward or backward, a spinal fracture can happen. Defective seat belts often cause this injury. There are a number of types of spinal fractures. One type, a compression fracture, can cause pain while breathing, bladder issues, numbness, and muscle weakness. These injuries are treated differently. Some require rest and immobilization, while others require surgery.
Spinal Stenosis. This injury generally affects individuals whose spinal cavity is narrow due to age or who experience vertebral height degeneration. The trauma can lead to back pain, weakness in the lower body, and a burning or numbness sensation in the legs. Severe cases can lead to temporary or permanent disability. Surgery is often required to regain mobility.
If you’ve suffered a back injury after a car crash, you may be able to take legal action against the other party involved. We can investigate your claim, determine the cause of your accident, and fight to get you the compensation you need to recover. For a free consultation, contact us today.