Imagine yourself in your car, stopped at a light. You’re calmly waiting for the light to turn green so you can go on about your way. Then, you hear screeching brakes out of nowhere, and you’re aggressively thrust forward the next moment. You’re scared, shocked, confused, and your adrenaline is pumping.
You probably have a million thoughts running through your head at once. Although your car is totaled, you turn out to feel okay. And while you may initially feel grateful that it was not more catastrophic, it’s most likely due to the adrenaline masking your initial pain. However, as it wears off, you begin to feel pain in your back.
You take a few painkillers to manage the pain, but you can hardly get out of bed from the crippling pain the next day.
The illustration above is a common scenario we see with car accident victims. If you or a loved one has suffered a back injury in a car accident, this story may resonate with you.
Back injuries are amongst the most common medical issues experienced by car accident victims. They can be as mild as discomfort or as disabling as not being able to walk again. Whatever the case for your back injury, it’s in your best interest to seek legal counsel from an experienced Denver personal injury attorney if you’ve sustained injuries in a car accident.
What Types of Car Accidents Lead to Back Injuries?
Virtually any type of accident can lead to back injuries. The impact from the collision causes sudden jerking movements causing occupants to lurch side to side or back and forth. Such abrupt movements take a tremendous toll on the body and can have many injury outcomes. Some types of accidents are more prone to cause back injuries.
Rear-end collisions are associated with the highest incidence of back injuries. Incurring back and other bodily injuries is exponentially likely to result from the crash if the car that hit you from behind was larger than yours. The most deadly rear-end collision case would be if a commercial or semi-truck hit you. Even if your car is moving while the other car rear-ends you, injuries are possible.
Roll-overs can be among the most dangerous accidents, many times involving fatalities. They are especially dangerous for vehicles with soft or no roofing. The turbulent motion of the vehicle flipping and metal crumpling can do a serious number on your back. The more times a vehicle rolls over, the more severe the injury outcome.
T-bone, or side-impact, accidents can also cause back injuries. For example, your car’s sudden and forceful sideways wrenching can throw your spinal cord out of alignment. It’s possible for such jerking movements even to fracture your spine. In addition, t-bone collisions could potentially cause your car to flip, increasing your likelihood of sustaining a back injury.
What Are the Types of Back Injuries From a Car Accident?
There are so many different car accident injuries that can ultimately manifest as back pain. Even if your back does not hurt immediately after the accident, the damage could continue or worsen. Thus, it’s essential to seek medical care as soon as possible after a car accident. You should also consult with your Denver car accident attorney to ensure you are taking the correct steps to protect your rights.
Despite how minor your initial pain may feel after an accident, it can prove to be serious days or even weeks later. Here are a few examples of common back injuries that can occur as a result of a vehicle collision:
Back Strains & Sprains
Many of us have probably experienced a mild form of back strain while lifting a heavy object. But a strong impact or force can also lead to a back strain. For example, the pressure from the car jolting during a collision often does cause back strains. As a result of crash force, your tendons and muscles get damaged by exerting a force that stretches them beyond their natural range of movement.
Back sprains are similar to back strains (when ligaments get stretched beyond their capacity and become damaged).
Our spinal cord is part of a very sensitive system in our bodies. This system, known as our nervous system, does not respond well to damage. So after car accidents, the main culprits to look out for are thoracic vertebrae, lumbar, or compression fractures. Damage to any of these spinal cord parts can lead to breathing problems or even paralysis.
Sometimes, rather than the actual bones of our back becoming insured, the small discs between them can get damaged. For example, the small discs between our backbones can rupture or break from the pressure and force of a vehicle collision. Herniated discs can cause numbness, weakness, or intense pain.
What Should I Do if I Have a Back Injury After a Car Accident?
After being involved in a car crash, your two main priorities should be your safety and then gathering as much information as you can.
First and foremost, make sure you are not seriously injured and can move. While you may be tempted to maneuver while wounded to get information from the responsible party, refrain from doing so. Your health and safety should always be your top priority, so be sure that you are not seriously injured before making your next move.
Here are some tips to follow if you suspect you may have a back injury after a car accident:
1. Check for Injuries.
Check yourself and all of your passengers for any severe injuries. Remember, sometimes, the adrenaline and endorphins from the shock of the accident can mask pain or injury symptoms. Thus, it would help to be mindful of pain or injuries for a few days after the accident. Avoid the mistake of thinking you’re magnificent because you don’t feel any initial discomfort.
2. Contact Local Law Enforcement.
Always call the police after the accident so you can file an official accident report. It’s vital to do so if anyone is injured or if there is any property damage. In addition, you will need this report as part of your case documentation later down the line.
3. Exchange Contact Information with All Parties Involved and Gather Evidence.
Be sure to get contact and insurance information from the at-fault party. Also, take pictures of the accident scene, any injuries you have, your vehicle, and the other party’s vehicle. Photos will also be used as evidence later on for your case.
4. Contact A Denver Personal Injury Lawyer.
An experienced attorney will be able to advise you on the best course of action. You want to ensure you protect your rights and take the appropriate steps to get the full compensation you are entitled to.
5. Get the Appropriate Medical Care You Need.
Always get evaluated by a medical professional after a car accident, even if you feel okay. If you find out later that you have an injury, it will be essential to have early documentation of your medical care.
See It Through With an Experienced Denver Personal Injury Lawyer
If you or a loved one is suffering from back pain after a car accident, the last thing you probably want to do is deal with a legal battle. Instead of trying to go it alone, contact a competent, seasoned lawyer, as this can ultimately spell the difference between the success or failure of your case. Make sure you find the right attorney who has your best interests in mind. That way, you can focus on recovering and regaining good health.
Our skilled car accident attorneys will work with medical experts to establish the accurate cost of your current and future medical expenses. You deserve to obtain the full and fair financial compensation owed to you if you received injuries from a car accident.
Contact us today for a free initial consultation. We will happily discuss your legal rights and fight to win you the total compensation you deserve.