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What to Do If You Experience Back Pain After a Car Accident

Updated February 23, 2023 | By Wilson Kehoe Winingham staff

Back pain is one of the most common injuries sustained in vehicle collisions. Minor back pain can make it difficult to go about your everyday life, and severe spinal injuries can cause long-term disability or paralysis.

If you experience pain in your upper or lower back after a car accident caused by negligence, you may be able to receive compensation for your injuries. Don’t delay in seeking medical treatment or finding an attorney who will advocate for you and your family.

Types of Car Accident Back Injuries

Back injuries can be categorized into two spinal areas: the thoracic vertebrae (upper back) and the lumbar vertebrae (lower back). The spinal cord and discs that separate the vertebrate are also at risk of injury during car accidents.

Damage to the muscles, ligaments, nerves, tendons, or any other parts of the spinal cord or back can cause pain and lead to injury. While some back injuries can be mild and temporary, others can be severe and long-lasting—or even permanent.

Upper Back Injuries

Upper back injuries, or those affecting the thoracic spine, are usually serious. Sprains, strains, or other injuries in this area can result in permanent damage to the nerves.

Lower Back Injuries

Lower back injuries involve damage to the lumbar spine. Sprains, strains, or other injuries can be painful and significantly impact your daily life. This damage often takes the form of swelling, bruising, or tenderness that leads to limited movement.

Spinal Cord Damage

Injuries to the spinal cord are the most dangerous type of back injury. Mild spinal cord damage can result in a temporary loss of feeling or loss of reflux function. Excessive damage to the spinal cord can lead to long-term disability or even paralysis, either partial or total.

Herniated Discs

Spinal discs act as cushions or shock absorbers and are located between each vertebra. A herniated disc refers to a disc that has been displaced and is pinching a nerve. Common symptoms of herniated discs include sudden and intense back pain that radiates from the lower back and down one or both legs.

Treatment for Back Injuries

The first step in recovering from back injuries is diagnosis. Doctors use many tools to diagnose back injuries after car accidents, including X-rays, CT scans, MRIs, EMG tests, and bone scans.

After diagnosis, your doctor will create a treatment plan. Back injury treatment varies widely depending on severity. Mild back injuries may require short term treatment like pain medication or physical therapy. Severe back injuries may require surgery.

What to Do After Car Accident Back Pain

Back injuries are one of many types of car accident injuries that may not show up right away. In fact, symptoms could take days, weeks, or months to manifest.

If you have been in a crash and your back starts hurting, don’t ignore the pain. Instead, follow these steps.

Go to the Doctor

Whether your back pain is mild or severe, you need to see a qualified medical professional. Your doctors can diagnose your injury and create a treatment plan.

Follow Care Instructions

After getting a medical exam, do what your doctors say. They may recommend you go to physical therapy, take pain medication, or get a massage. Follow all care instructions in your treatment plan.

Seek Legal Counsel

An experienced car accident attorney can help you calculate your damages and determine the compensation you need to pay for medical bills, vehicle repairs, lost wages, and other expenses.

Document Pain and Expenses

Keep the receipts associated with your diagnosis and recovery and also document your pain and suffering. By having detailed records of your pain and medical bills, you can help your legal team establish a strong car accident case.

Contact an Automobile Accident Attorney Today

If you or a loved one have been injured in a car accident, contact the Indianapolis Car Accident Attorneys of Wilson Kehoe Winingham. The lawyers at WKW can help you and your family fight for the compensation you deserve. Call 317.920.6400 or fill out an online contact form for a free, no-obligation case evaluation.

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Let WKW put our experience to work for you. Contact us for your free case evaluation.


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