Car accidents can result in painful and sometimes debilitating lower back injuries. The impact of a crash, even a slow-speed one, can cause the body to be unnaturally jostled, twisted, and thrown around. The sharp and sudden movement from a car accident can cause whiplash, sprains, and strains, bruising and swelling, herniated discs, and even spinal fractures in the lower back. A serious lower back injury can impact your health and your emotional well-being for the rest of your life. It can also cause far-reaching negative financial consequences.
Why Does My Lower Back Hurt After a Car Accident?
The lower back, which is called the lumbar region, is made up of muscles, ligaments, vertebrae, joints, and discs. It contains the spine’s five largest vertebrae, which are cushioned by shock-absorbing discs. These discs contain nerves. So in a car accident, if a disc bulges or tears, it can be very painful as these nerves get pinched. The lumbar region also has large muscles to support the back. Strains and sprains of these muscles can result in swelling and pain, and the pain from a spinal fracture can be especially strong. If your lower back hurts after a car accident, especially if the pain is sharp and intense, don’t wait to get medical attention.
How Long Will My Lower Back Hurt After a Car Accident?
Unfortunately, there isn’t a one-size-fits-all answer to this question. How long your lower back will hurt depends on your specific injuries and their severity. Your pain could be short term or it could last a lifetime. With prompt medical treatment, the impacts of the pain and injuries may be reduced. It’s also important to point out that sometimes lower back pain doesn’t show up right away. The pain may begin days or even weeks later. For this reason, it’s wise to get checked out by a doctor after a car accident, even if it’s a seemingly minor one.
What Can I Do for My Lower Back Injury?
Following a serious car accident, you should always get immediate medical attention. The sooner your injury is discovered, the sooner it can be treated. If you don’t get treatment quickly, you could make the lower back injury even worse. Of course, for severe lower back injuries, medical costs can be very high. Surgery may be necessary, depending on your injuries. Physical therapy and other rehabilitative treatments might be needed. In the most debilitating back injury cases, especially if the spinal cord was damaged, people may need skilled nursing care or assistance with the daily tasks of living for the rest of their lives. According to the Mayo Clinic, which is one of the nation’s top-ranked hospital systems, motor vehicle accidents are the leading cause of spinal cord injuries.
If the car accident in which you were injured was caused by another party’s negligence, you could potentially get compensation for your injuries through a legal claim. This compensation can pay for your doctor bills and for other losses from the accident.
How Much Compensation Can I Get for a Lower Back Injury?
How much compensation you might get depends on the seriousness of your injury and other facts of your accident. Compensation is based on damages, which are the losses you’ve suffered. Damages in car accident cases for back injuries can include:
- Payment for doctor bills, hospital costs, prescription drugs, rehabilitation, and other medical care
- Compensation to pay for nursing and other daily care
- Reimbursement for lost income when you can’t work
- Pain and suffering for physical pain and emotional distress
- Punitive damages for gross negligence, which is when the actions of the at-fault driver were particularly bad.
Compensation in car accident cases can range from the thousands into the millions. No two cases are the same. It can be wise to speak with an attorney who is skilled in handling lower back injury cases to learn what your claim might be worth.
What Are Symptoms of a Lower Back Injury?
One of the most obvious symptoms is pain, including pain that is sudden and intense after a crash. But chronic pain that doesn’t show up until later can also be a symptom of a lower back injury. Additional signs and symptoms include:
- Muscle spasms
- Swelling and bruising
- Numbness or tingling in the legs
- Stinging sensation in back
- Inability to control trunk and legs
- Weakness or incoordination
- Difficulty with balance and walking
- Loss of bowel and bladder control
- Changes in sexual function and sensitivity.
While lumbar spinal damage isn’t usually life threatening, it can cause paralysis or reduced function in the hips and legs. When you’ve been in a crash and have any of these symptoms, you should see a doctor to determine what kind of lower back injury you may have.
Contact Our Experienced Houston Back Injury Lawyers
When you’re in pain from a back injury, the last thing you may want to think about is the stress of trying to get compensation from the at-fault party or their insurance company. But serious back injuries can cost you a lot of money, especially if your spinal cord has been damaged. Even if you have good health insurance, it isn’t going to pay you for time you’ve missed at work, the emotional trauma from a crash or in-home assistance you may need for the basic activities of daily living.
Our lawyers at the accident and injury law office of Terry Bryant in Houston can help you by taking on the complex work of filing your claim while you focus on recovery. We’ll gather the evidence to prove liability, complete and file all the paperwork, negotiate with insurance companies, and handle every aspect of your claim. If we can’t get a fair settlement from the insurance company, we will advise you about taking your case to trial. As attorneys who focus on getting victims of car accidents the compensation they deserve, we are happy to answer any legal questions you may have. Contact us today to schedule a free, no-obligation case evaluation by calling (713) 973-8888 or toll-free 1 (800) 444-5000.