Neck and back pain caused from an accident can be excruciating and long-lasting. Each and every year in the United States, nearly a million people suffer from a neck- or back-related work injury, and that number accounts for nearly 20-percent of all workplace injuries. Injuries to the cervical spine (neck) or lumbar spine (low back) don’t just happen on the job; they are also very common as the result of an auto accident. If you’re experiencing neck or back pain after any type of accident on the road or on the job, there are some very important things you should know:
- Cervical and Lumbar Spine Injury Symptoms Can Get Worse Over Time
- Common Types of Neck and Back Injuries After an Accident
- What To Do When You Begin to Feel Neck or Back Pain
Cervical and Lumbar Spine Injury Symptoms Can Get Worse Over Time
If you have minor neck or back pain after an accident and write it off as muscle soreness, you could be setting yourself up for major financial hardships down the road. After an accident, adrenaline rushes to your brain, masking the feelings of pain and discomfort. It can take weeks, even months for a cervical or lumbar spine injury to manifest symptoms. Those symptoms can include:
- Pain in Your Limbs
- Neck Pain
- Persistent Discomfort
- Vision Problems
- Pain Between You Shoulder Blades
- Arm Heaviness
- Lower Back Pain
- Ringing in Your Ears
- Radiating Pain into Your Arms or Legs
When someone is in an accident, their neck and back often take the brunt of the impact. When damaged, the spine’s delicate network of soft tissues, discs, vertebrae, connective ligaments and nerves can leave victims with life-altering injuries and pain.
Common Types of Neck and Back Injuries after an Accident
Whiplash is one of the most common neck injuries, and it can take months to recover. Whiplash occurs when the head and the neck whip forward and back forcefully, causing damage to the soft tissues in the neck. Older people with a history of back or neck problems may never recover. If you’re experiencing any of these symptoms due to a work- or auto-related accident, or slip/trip and fall, you might be entitled to compensation.
Herniated Discs can result from the forces involved in a collision, causing the jelly-like inside of a disc (nucleus pulposus) to bulge or push through the annulus fibrosus (the tough circular exterior of the disc that surrounds the nucleus pulposus). This can cause a herniation, rupture or annular tear. When a rupture occurs, it can pinch nerves and put pressure on the spinal cord, causing a great deal of pain and numbness, often in the upper (arms) or lower (legs) extremities.
A back or neck sprain happens when the muscles, ligaments, and connective tissues stretch. A back or neck strain is the result of the tissue tearing. Both injuries can take a year or more to resolve.
The impact from a fall or accident can sometimes push your vertebrae out of alignment, and when that happens, you’re dealing with a slipped vertebra which leads to chronic pain and, often times, surgery.
Some auto accidents can be so severe that the impact leads to broken bones. Common fractures of the back include compression fractures, broken spinous processes and fracture-dislocations.
What to do When You Begin to Feel Back Pain
After an accident, even if you don’t believe you have serious injuries, it is critical to take the following steps:
- Go to the Doctor Immediately. Adrenaline kicks in during an accident. It is always best to get checked out so there is a medical record in the event your neck or back pain gets worse and you need to file a personal injury or workers’ compensation claim. Make sure to go from head to toe when describing for the doctor which body part or parts are symptomatic.
- Contact a Well-Qualified Attorney Who Focuses Their Practice on Motor Vehicle Accident and Work-Related Injury Claims. A personal injury attorney can evaluate your situation and help you seek the proper compensation. They can also make certain you aren’t being bullied into seeing doctors, therapists and others who are hired by the insurance company. Often, those service providers will try to downplay or discredit your injury and its significance on your life. At GEORGELIS INJURY LAW FIRM, P.C., we offer free claim consultations and evaluations, and there is never a fee unless we make a financial recovery for you.
- DO NOT AGREE TO SIGN ANYTHING! The insurance company of the at-fault driver or your employer will try to get you to sign a release or other document stating you are not injured or causing you to give up some or all of your legal rights. They are doing this quickly because they know how often symptoms show up weeks, or even months, later. They will do everything they can to minimize their financial exposure, so get to the right personal injury lawyer fast. Signing a release can prohibit you from receiving any compensation for your injuries.
- Keep Records of Everything. Be sure to keep records of the money you spend for treatment and doctor visits related to your back or neck pain. Receipts of these services will be instrumental to getting compensated for your economic losses (wage loss, out-of-pocket medical expenses, etc.) and non-economic losses (pain and suffering, loss of life’s enjoyment, scarring, etc.) from the insurance company.
Back and neck injuries are very common, and, unfortunately, a lot of people experiencing these types of injuries don’t realize how long they will be dealing with the pain and suffering. They often take missteps that allow insurance companies to get out of paying you what they should and lead to financial hardship. Our trial and court-tested attorneys at Georgelis Injury Law Firm, P.C. have helped secure more than $70,000,000 for accident victims. If you or someone you know is injured in the workplace or in a car, motorcycle or truck accident, Call Georgelis First at 1-800-HURT-NOW.
We’re available 24/7 and will come to you for a free consultation and evaluation of your case. We never collect a fee unless we get money for you. Contact us today and we will handle everything from there!