Filing a Claim for a Back Injury After a Car Accident
Back injuries are the most common types of injuries associated with car accidents. Even a low-impact crash could result in a number of back injuries due to the complex anatomy of the spine and the muscles and nerves surrounding it.
Accident victims who suffer a back injury may be left with significant medical bills and have a right to pursue compensation for their damages. If you were involved in an accident caused by someone else’s negligent actions, you should call our trusted law firm. Our New Jersey-area car crash lawyers are available to discuss your legal options during a free consultation. There are no upfront fees.
COMMON BACK INJURIES CAUSED BY CAR ACCIDENTS
The force of impact in a car accident is absorbed mostly by the accident victim’s back, resulting in anything from minor to catastrophic injuries. Your spinal cord supports your back, yet it is one of the most delicate and vulnerable parts of the human body. Even a minor injury can cause significant pain and discomfort. Some of the most common types of back injuries include:
- Whiplash – occurs when the head and neck are jerked back and forth quickly (like the cracking of a whip). The muscles and tendons in the area become strained, resulting in back and neck pain.
- Herniated disc – occurs when extreme force compresses the spinal discs, causing the jelly-like substance in the middle to leak out and press up against the nerves causing pain and discomfort.
- Soft tissue damage – occurs when there are sprains, strains or tears in any of the muscles, tendons or ligaments in the back.
- Compression fracture – occurs when significant stress or pressure is placed on the spine, causing small cracks or fissures in the bones.
- Spinal stenosis – occurs when there is a narrowing of the spaces within your spine, putting pressure on the nerves.
- Spinal cord injuries – occur when the spinal cord is damaged in any way, whether a laceration, bruising or something else. This is the most dangerous type of back injury, as it often results in paralysis.
These injuries may all result in more than just back pain. Your neck, shoulder, arms and legs could be affected as well. Seeking immediate medical attention can help to determine the extent of your injuries so you may get the necessary treatment.
WHO COVERS THE COSTS OF MY MEDICAL BILLS?
In New Jersey, drivers must file a first party claim through their Personal Injury Protection (PIP) insurance to cover most medical bills, including:
- Ambulatory services
- Diagnostic services
- Chiropractic care
- Physical therapy
- Steroid injections
- Hospital stays
- Medical equipment
- Home modifications
Injured victims may sometimes not have enough PIP insurance to cover the full costs of their damages. If this happens, you may be able to file a claim through the at-fault party’s bodily injury liability insurance. This type of coverage may also cover non-economic damages like pain and suffering. This type of insurance, while not required by law, is good coverage to consider. Most people carry it to avoid having to pay out of pocket if they cause a crash.
If the at-fault driver does not have bodily injury liability insurance, your economic damages may be covered under your policy if you have Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist coverage.
WHAT ABOUT COMPENSATION FOR LONG-TERM DAMAGE?
Back injuries may result in long-term or permanent damage, especially if you suffered a spinal cord injury. Compensation for these types of damages may also be recovered, but it may be more complex to calculate their value.
You can discuss your legal options for recovering compensation for past, present and future damages during a free consultation with our licensed attorneys.
HOW CAN I PROVE MY INJURIES?
Your medical records usually play a key role in proving you suffered a back injury after an accident. Other supportive evidence, such as an X-Ray, MRI, or other diagnostic imaging, is also useful.
Notes and testimony from your doctor are often important to helping prove the extent of your injuries and how they are affecting you. Many doctors’ offices also track a patient’s pain level during each visit to note their progression.
Keeping your own injury journal may also be useful. You can use this journal to document your daily pain level and what activities exacerbate or alleviate your back pain.
The insurance company will try to gain access to your medical history to see whether you have an old injury they can blame on your newfound pain. This may work in your favor if you do not have a history of back pain or old injuries. However, most people have experienced back pain at least once in their life and may have previously sought out treatment. Even if you have an extensive history of visiting doctors for back pain, you may still be able to recover full compensation if you can prove the accident aggravated your existing injuries.
NEED HELP FILING A CLAIM? CALL US TODAY
If you suffered a back injury as a result of an accident caused by someone else’s negligent actions, you should consider speaking to our knowledgeable attorneys right away. We can discuss your legal options during a free consultation to help you recover maximum compensation.
We do not charge you anything up front, and we only get paid if you do.
Call (800) 518-0508 for a risk-free consultation.