Personal Injury

What to Do If a Car Accident Gives You Back Pain

As a personal injury lawyer, back pain is the most common injury I see in clients who have been injured in a car accident.  Yes, there are many head injuries, shoulder injuries, knee injuries, and the list goes on and on; but back pain is by far the most common.  What is frustrating for many people who experience back pain or neck pain following an accident is that often times their physicians and treatment providers are unable to pinpoint any specific mechanical damage.  In other words, the patient is clearly in pain, but their treatment providers cannot find anything specific within their body that needs fixing.  Physicians may be able to pinpoint the triggering event that caused a patient’s pain, such as a car crash or a fall, but for many of these cases, the pain is ultimately labeled as non-specific. 

As additional studies are performed, researchers continue to learn more and more about how pain works, and why people experience pain and experience pain differently.  Articles on back pain, as well as pain in general, are becoming more commonplace, including recent articles in major publications, such as:

The burden of back pain – Back pain is a massive problem that is poorly treated written by Stephen Cheetham, The Economist, January 18th 2020 Edition,; and

A World of Pain written by Yudhijit Bhattacharjee, National Geographic, January 2020 Edition,

When dealing with personal injury claims, insurance companies try to take advantage of non-specific findings by hinting that an injured party’s back pain does not truly exist, or that any pain the person might be experiencing is due to a condition that existed prior to the car accident, or other occurring traumatic event.  When handling injury claims in Nebraska, it’s important to remember that Nebraska Jury Instruction 4.09 clearly states that, “If you cannot separate damages caused by the pre-existing condition from those caused by the collision, then the defendant is liable for all of those damages.”

If you are suffering from back pain caused as the result of a car accident, make certain to discuss all possible treatment options with your physicians and keep an open dialogue with the local injury attorney handling your claim.  Hopefully, as research on pain progresses, scientists and physicians will develop more successful and less intrusive ways of treating spinal pain. 

Chandler | Conway

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