Personal Injury

Causes & Types of Back Injuries From Car Accidents

As a personal injury attorney, probably the most common injury I see in handling car accident injury cases is injury to the back.  Often times these injuries are caused completely by the car accident, whereas at other times the injury existed prior to the accident, but was aggravated upon impact.  There are many types of back injuries; some of the most common are back strains, torn annulus, bulging disc, ruptured disc, and osteoarthritis.  Probably the most common back injuries caused, or aggravated by, car accidents are back strains, and bulging or ruptured discs.

Back sprains or strains occur when the back’s muscles or ligaments are stretched or torn.  These injuries typically occur when moving the wrong way during an activity, which is why they are common injuries suffered by persons involved in motor vehicle accidents.  Sometimes these injuries will heal with time; however, for more serious strains treatment is often necessary and can include, but is not limited to, physical therapy, chiropractic adjustments, massage therapy, and medication.

Bulging vs. Ruptured Discs

A bulging disc is when one of the discs in your spine slips or slides out of place.  When the disc is out of place, it may put pressure on nearby nerves resulting in pain in your back, as well as other places in your body.  Because the nerves in your spine run all throughout your body, an injury in your back will often cause pain elsewhere, such as your legs.  Where you feel the pain depends on where the injury is within your spine and which nerves are being irritated.

A ruptured disc is similar to a bulging disc; however, when you have a ruptured disc, the outside portion of the disc (the annulus) has torn and the disc has slipped though its outer layer.  Similar to the symptoms suffered from a bulging disc, a ruptured disc will not only cause pain in your back, but will usually result in pain in other places, most commonly your legs and rear end (sciatica).  Treatment for a bulging or ruptured disc can include physical therapy, pain management injections and often times surgery.

Injuries from Car, Truck or Motorcycle

If you have suffered any injuries resulting from a car, truck or motorcycle accident; it is extremely important to speak to your personal injury lawyer prior to negotiating any insurance settlements.  You want to make sure that you know the extent of your injuries prior to signing any releases and that you have either completed treatment or are fully aware of any future treatment that may be anticipated.  Many serious back injuries are initially diagnosed as “soft tissue” injuries or minor back strains and then later determined to be much more serious after an MRI scan has been performed.

Insurance companies are notorious for basing denial of coverage on pre-existing injuries, as well as encouraging premature settlement.  You are entitled to compensation not only for new injuries sustained, but also for any previous conditions that were aggravated by the accident.  Discuss your options with your personal injury lawyer before making any major decisions concerning settlement of your injury claim


Related Pages

Sprains, Strains and Automobiles – A Story of Car Accidents, Soft Tissue Injuries & Insurance Claims

9 Steps in a Car Accident Personal Injury Timeline

What to Do If a Car Accident Gives You Back Pain

Injured Neck or Injured Back From Car Accident – Soft Tissue? What Does That

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