What Are Some of the Challenges of Connecting a Car Accident to a Back Injury?

If you got hurt in a car accident, you are eligible to seek compensation for your damages. Unfortunately, insurance companies often make it harder to recover compensation for certain injuries.

For example, the insurance company may deny a connection between a back injury and an accident. They may say you had a preexisting injury, or you were hurt after the accident occurred.

The good news is there are steps you can take to help establish a strong connection between your injury and the collision. This includes contacting a licensed Fort Worth car accident lawyer who can manage your claim on your behalf, with the goal of securing maximum compensation for damages.

How a Car Crash Can Injury Your Back

When your car hits another car or a fixed object, your body is likely to be thrown forward. If you wore your seatbelt and have an airbag, they will stop your forward motion.

Unfortunately, a sudden stop in motion can cause a variety of injuries. The tissues and bones that make up your back and spinal cord are particularly susceptible to damage. Drivers and other vehicle occupants also tend to tense up before and during impact, which could also make them more susceptible to injury.

Back injuries can happen in a variety of collisions. The area of the back that suffers damage may depend on the type of impact that occurred. For example, a side-impact crash may be more likely to injure the lower back.

injuries car crashes

What are Some Common Car Crash Back Injuries?

The back and spinal cord consist of 33 bones, 32 muscles and 31 nerve roots. This is why a back or spinal cord injury can be debilitating and affect you for a long time. The nerves send signals throughout your body, which is why nerve damage in the back can be so catastrophic.

These are some of the common types of back injuries that may occur in auto collisions:

• Herniated discs – During the collision, a disc could shift and put pressure on nerves. More specifically, the inner part of a spinal disc could go through the outer ring.
• Spondylolisthesis – This is the term used to describe a stress fracture that causes vertebra to move out of place. Movement of vertebrae can cause compression of the spinal cord or the nerves. The greater the displacement, the more painful the injury.
• Strains and sprains – A strain refers to overstretching of soft tissues. A sprain refers to the stretching of the ligaments that connect bones to joints or bones to other bones.
• Fractured vertebrae – There are different types of fractures that may occur, such as burst fractures, which occur when the vertebrae is crushed. Flexion fractures happen in the middle or posterior columns.
• Spinal stenosis – If the channel that surrounds the spinal cord narrows, there can be pinched nerves. This can result in neck stiffness and pain. Victims may not be able to lift objects, including objects that are not heavy.

Degenerative Spinal Problems

One of the major concerns with a spinal cord injury, besides permanent paralysis, is the development of a degenerative spinal condition. These diseases can affect you for years to come and can be particularly debilitating. If you have a preexisting back problem, a degenerativedisorder can make that existing problem much worse.

Some examples of degenerative diseases that can be caused by back damage include:

• Degenerative disc disease
• Spinal osteoarthritis
• Bulging discs
• Degenerative scoliosis
• Bone spurs
• Sciatica
• Pinching of nerves


What Is A Personal Injury And What Can You Expect After An Accident

Symptoms That May Indicate Damage to Your Back

Often, symptoms of a back injury are obvious, such as if you cannot walk or feel pain in your back or neck. Other symptoms to watch for include:

• Limited mobility
• Numbness
• Burning sensation in your back and down your legs
• Weakness throughout the body
• Struggling to walk
• Trouble standing up
• Tingling sensation
• Stiff neck
• Headaches
• Sharp pain, especially after a change in positions, such as sitting up after laying down
• Spasming muscles


What if You Have a Preexisting Injury?

This can make a claim for a back injury much more challenging. The insurance company is going to blame your symptoms on the existing injury.

The only way to counter these claims is with detailed medical evidence comparing pre- to post-accident symptoms. If you can show the crash made your symptoms worse, such as by causing more pain or creating a need for more invasive treatment, you may have a strong case.

Some victims had ongoing back pain that was being well-managed with prescription medication. That may mean there is not that much documentation about the preexisting injury. However, the need for a lot more medical treatment after the crash could be strong evidence that your injury got worse.

Fatal Car Accident

The Importance of Immediate Treatment of an Injury

One of the most important steps you can take after a car accident is getting to the hospital as soon as possible. You need doctors to diagnose your injuries as quickly as they can to stabilize them and try to prevent further damage.

You should not take chances with a potential back injury. Waiting to seek treatment could make things much worse and increase the odds of long-term medical problems.

While quick treatment is vital to your immediate and future health, it also helps establish a strong connection between the car accident and your injuries. It will be harder for the insurance company to dispute the source of your injury.

Make sure to explain all your symptoms to the doctor and make sure they are noted in your medical records. If you do not report a symptom right after the crash but report it later the insurance company is going to dispute that the symptom is from the collision.

Even if you take these steps, the insurance company may deny the link between your back injury and the car crash. This may be particularly likely if you suffered a soft-tissue injury that cannot be confirmed with an X-ray or MRI. The insurance company may claim the doctor misdiagnosed you or that you are exaggerating how bad the injury is.