Motor vehicle collisions that involve two or more vehicles can lead to severe injuries involving a driver or passenger’s neck or back. The scary thing about these injuries is that symptoms are not always present right away. It might take days or even weeks for neck or back injury symptoms to manifest.
In addition, neck and back injuries can range from relatively minor to extremely severe, and every individual experiences the effects of these injuries differently. Even a so-called minor neck or back injury can lead to permanent impacts and can significantly affect your life. Moreover, a neck or back injury that an individual suffers in a car accident can cause problems with other body parts and impact their daily living.
If you have suffered a neck or back injury in a car accident, you must have a knowledgeable car accident lawyer on your side advocating for you at every stage of your case. This is especially true during settlement negotiations since initial settlement offers from insurance companies are routinely low and are usually far less than the actual value of your back and neck injury case.
Moreover, if an insurance company sees that a car accident victim represents themselves, it will do everything to undercut the compensation that it offers the accident victim.
Generally speaking, insurance companies and adjusters will assume that unrepresented individuals do not have the necessary knowledge and skills to negotiate a favorable settlement offer effectively. Moreover, in the minds of insurance company adjusters, unrepresented individuals do not have the skills needed to litigate the case effectively if the matter has to go to trial.
However, having a knowledgeable car accident lawyer on board in your case can be one of the best moves that you can make. In addition to investigating the circumstances of your car accident, your lawyer can file a claim with the insurance company for you and work to aggressively negotiate a favorable settlement offer.
Moreover, if the insurance company refuses to offer you total and fair compensation for your accident-related injuries, your lawyer can file a lawsuit in the Alberta court system on your behalf and litigate your case to a conclusion there.
Common Examples of Car Accident Neck and Back Injuries
Neck and back injuries that car accident victims suffer can lead to a significant amount of medical treatment, not to mention pain, suffering, inconvenience, and mental distress. These neck and back injuries can vary significantly from soft tissue muscular contusions and whiplash injuries to severe spinal cord injuries, such as full or partial paralysis.
If you suffered a neck or back injury in your car accident, a qualified medical provider can undertake the necessary CT scans, MRIs, and X-rays to diagnose your injury. Moreover, at a hospital emergency room or urgent care center, the healthcare provider on duty can render the necessary emergency treatment that you might need, such as surgery or another procedure.
Some of the most common neck and back injuries that car accident victims suffer include:
Whiplash is relatively common in rear-end motor vehicle collisions. A soft tissue injury, whiplash afflicts the upper back and neck muscles. It does not involve a fracture or a broken bone. In a rear-end accident, the front of the at-fault driver’s vehicle collides with the rear of another car. These accidents can happen when drivers are distracted and fail to notice other cars slowing down or stopping, among other scenarios.
When an accident victim suffers a whiplash injury in a car collision, they might suffer various painful and debilitating symptoms. Those symptoms can include fatigue, short-term memory losses, dizziness, headaches, a burning sensation in the neck or shoulder, upper back stiffness, difficulty concentrating, and difficulty sleeping.
Accident victims who sustain whiplash injuries might also need to treat at a hospital emergency room or urgent care center—and undergo physical therapy and rehabilitation—to recover from their injuries.
Severe Trauma to an Accident Victim’s Neck or Back
Car accidents may cause individuals to suffer serious trauma to their neck or back. For example, depending upon the force of the impact and the exact circumstances of the accident, an individual can suffer an injury to their spinal cord. In a spinal cord injury, one or more nerves might become severed, disrupting the communication between the accident victim’s body and brain.
A spinal cord injury can also lead to full or partial paralysis. As a result of the paralysis injury, the accident victim might not move their arms, hands, legs, feet, and other body parts. Since many paralysis injuries are permanent, an accident victim can suffer pain and symptoms for the remainder of their life.
Serious motor vehicle collisions with forceful impacts can also lead to severe neck and back injuries. These injuries often include pinched nerves, soft tissue injuries, slipped or herniated discs, and broken vertebrae in the accident victim’s back. Moreover, if the accident victim had a pre-existing neck or back injury, a car accident can aggravate that pre-existing injury or degenerative change, making the symptoms more painful.
If you have suffered any of these traumas in a motor vehicle crash that someone else caused, you should speak with a knowledgeable car accident lawyer right away. Your lawyer can help you request the necessary documentation and file a claim with the appropriate insurance company, seeking the monetary damages that you need.
Causes of Car Accidents that Lead to Neck and Back Injuries
Car accidents that lead to neck and back injuries happen for many different reasons. However, in most instances, driver error and negligence cause car crashes. First, the at-fault driver might violate traffic laws just before the collision.
For example, the driver may have broken the speed limit for the traffic or weather. The responsible driver might have failed to yield the right of way at a traffic intersection by running a red light or a stop sign. Finally, the driver might have failed to use a turn signal or tailgated the vehicle in front of them, causing a rear-end impact.
In addition to traffic violations, car accidents leading to neck and back injuries can happen when drivers operate their vehicles while intoxicated by alcohol or drugs. Alcohol intoxication, in particular, is troublesome because it can severely impact a driver’s ability to operate their vehicle safely. Alcohol slows down a driver’s central nervous system and can significantly delay their reaction time when driving and responding to emergencies.
Consequently, an intoxicated driver might not stop in time to avoid an impact with another vehicle or a pedestrian. Even when a motor vehicle driver has a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) below 0.08 percent, which is the legal limit, the driver might still not operate their vehicle safely.
Some accidents happen because drivers are distracted. Small children in the car and loud music playing can distract some drivers. Moreover, many drivers try to text and drive—or make calls on cell phones and other electronic devices without Bluetooth. Distracted drivers cannot focus their full attention on the road, and the chances that they will cause a serious accident go up significantly.
If you suffered a back or neck injury in one of these car accidents, a knowledgeable car accident lawyer can help you explore your legal options and help you recover the compensation that you deserve, either through settlement or litigation.
Proving You Suffered a Neck or Back Injury in Your Car Accident
In a car accident personal injury claim, the accident victim—or the driver/passenger who suffered injuries in the crash—has the legal burden of proof. Specifically, the accident victim must prove that another driver behaved unreasonably under the circumstances and that this negligence resulted in the accident. The accident victim also must show that they suffered a neck or back injury and that their injury directly resulted from the accident.
When proving this causal relationship, an accident victim may need to retain a medical expert, such as a treating doctor. An expert healthcare provider can point to various diagnostic tests and imaging studies that show abnormalities in the neck or back following the collision.
A knowledgeable car accident lawyer in your area can help you satisfy the legal elements of your claim and can retain the necessary experts to testify for you at trial.
How Much Can I Recover to Settle a Car Accident Case That Involves a Neck or Back Injury?
Every car accident case is different, and so are the injuries that the accident produces. Since there is a tremendous amount of variation between car accidents and the resulting injuries, settlement amounts that accident victims may recover are different. Consequently, there is no average settlement for a neck or back injury in a car accident case. Instead, the settlement amount that an accident victim will recover depends on various circumstances.
Those factors include the severity of your injury, the specific type of injury you suffered, whether or not you suffered a permanent injury in the accident, and even the venue that hears your car accident case. Moreover, the insurance company handling your case can influence the settlement you recover. This is because some insurance companies are more generous than others.
If you need a few weeks of physical therapy and your injury did not disrupt your work, your settlement should cover your medical bills and any other out-of-pocket costs. On the other hand, if your neck or back injury causes chronic pain – even with treatment – and keeps you from working or engaging in your usual activities for months or years, your settlement can be substantially higher.
Keep in mind that your evaluation of the case may significantly differ from how the insurance company evaluates it. Insurance companies and their adjusters will not do you any favors and will try to pay you as little compensation as possible to satisfy your claim. After all, the insurance company does not make money by paying out large personal injury settlements.
Therefore, at the end of the day, they want to keep as much of their money in-house as possible. That is why you need a knowledgeable car accident lawyer advocating for you every step of the way. A skilled lawyer will know how to negotiate with the insurance company adjuster handling your case and will do everything possible to maximize your compensation.
Talk with a Knowledgeable Car Accident Lawyer Today
If you suffered a neck or back injury in a car accident, you can recover monetary compensation.
First of all, you can receive lost income compensation if you had to miss time from work after your accident due to your neck and back injuries. In addition, you can pursue non-economic damages for your mental distress, emotional anguish, pain, suffering, and inconvenience. You can also file a claim for loss of the ability to use a body part or for loss of enjoyment of life.
An experienced car accident lawyer can help you determine which damages you might recover and can pursue the favorable monetary compensation you deserve for your back and neck injuries.
Many people underestimate the costs of a neck or back injury, and without the right legal help, they risk accepting much less than they need to cover their injury-related losses. Never risk falling victim to insurance companies after you were already a car accident and injury victim. Get a free case evaluation with a car accident lawyer right away.