Serious back injuries need medical care right away. But sometimes people who severely injure their back in a car crash, fall, or other accident don’t even know it. How do you know if your back injury in an accident is serious?
Besides the bad pain you may feel, there are many other symptoms of a serious back injury. It’s important to know what these symptoms are so that you don’t make the injury even worse. Sometimes symptoms of a serious back injury, including numbness and paralysis, can come on gradually, according to one of the country’s top hospitals, the Mayo Clinic.
Severe back injuries that affect your spine can be debilitating. Some people who experience them may never be able to walk again. Others can suffer chronic pain and other negative effects for the rest of their lives.
You can also suffer serious financial consequences of your injury. While your physical health comes first, the financial impacts of an injury can harm your mental well-being. You might feel stressed and anxious as you worry about how you will pay your doctor bills.
When you have been hurt in an accident, it’s to your benefit to let an experienced attorney review your case. An attorney will determine whether negligence contributed to the accident. If so, you may be able to get compensation for your injuries.
How Do You Know if You Have a Serious Back Injury?
How do you know if you have a serious back injury? Here are common signs and symptoms that you shouldn’t ignore:
- Radiating pain or pressure in your back
- Stinging pain from nerve damage
- Weak or stiff muscles
- Numbness or tingling in your hands or feet
- Problems breathing
- Lack of coordination or balance
- Back twisted in a strange position
Depending on your symptoms, you could have whiplash, soft tissue damage, a herniated disc, a spinal fracture, or another injury. If you have any of these signs and symptoms, it’s very important that you see your doctor right away. You may even need to go to the emergency room, depending on the degree of your symptoms.
By getting medical treatment, you will also have a record of your injuries. These doctor’s records will be key evidence should you decide to file a legal claim over the accident that caused you harm.
What Can I Get for a Serious Back Injury from an Accident?
Serious back injuries can require extensive and ongoing treatment. Treatments for back injuries include surgery, physical therapy, chiropractic care, prescription pain medications, and more.
Depending on the severity of yours, including whether you have been paralyzed or significantly disabled, you might need medical equipment to help you in your day-to-day life. Wheelchairs, walkers, lifts, hospital beds, and canes are all examples of equipment people with back and spinal injuries sometimes need.
How much compensation you might get for your back injury depends on its severity and the losses you have undergone. Typical damages in accident cases include:
- Medical expenses, for both current treatment and future care.
- Lost income when you lose time at work recuperating from your injuries.
- Lost earning capacity if your injuries won’t allow you to work anymore, or if your work capability is diminished.
- Pain and suffering, which includes chronic pain caused by your injury. It also includes mental effects from your injuries such as emotional anguish, depression, shock, and other things.
- Exemplary damages, which are sometimes awarded in cases of extreme negligence. These are intended to punish the negligent party.
The more serious your injuries and damages, the more you might get. But first it must be proven that the party who caused your accident was negligent.
How Texas Comparative Negligence Rules Will Affect Your Claim
To get compensation for your back or spinal injury, it must be proved that the other party was responsible for your accident. Texas is a modified comparative negligence state. What this means is that, if it’s shown that you helped cause the accident that injured you, your potential damage award will be reduced by your percentage of responsibility.
For example, if your jury award for your back injury is $20,000 and you are 20% at fault, you would receive only $16,000. If a jury decides you are over 50% responsible, you would get nothing.
Even if your case is settled outside of court, the negligent party may push back and say that you share fault for the accident. This can result in their insurance company’s not wanting to fairly pay you for what your injury is worth.
When you have experienced a serious back injury and know the other party caused it through their negligence, you need a skilled attorney on your side who will fight for you. A personal injury attorney who is experienced in handling back injury cases will work to get you the best result, whether through negotiations with insurance companies or in court.
Deadline for Filing Accidental Back Injury Claims
In general, you have two years from the date you found out you were injured to file a personal injury claim. Always speak directly to an attorney about the exact deadlines that apply to your specific claim(s). Some claims require specific action much sooner than the statute of limitations that applies.
Contact Our Houston Attorney for Your Back Injury Case
Our Houston attorneys have handled many cases for clients who experienced devastating back injuries in accidents. We know that these injuries are potentially life changing, especially when they affect the spine. Don’t delay in seeking compensation when you have been harmed in a negligent accident. The money you could receive can help you pay doctor bills and regain lost income. It can help you get ongoing care, if needed. You should not pay the financial price when someone else caused your injury.
Call the accident and injury law office of Terry Bryant today to learn how we can help. We provide free consultations and can be reached at (713) 973-8888, or toll-free 1 (800) 444-5000.