Unfortunately, car accidents occur frequently, and back injuries are common.
If you suffer a back injury because of a car accident, the at-fault party should pay you for your pain, suffering, medical needs, and financial losses.
If you want the best results when claiming compensation after a car accident with back injuries, speak to an experienced lawyer.
At Gladstein Law Firm, PLLC, your pain is our pain, and our experienced team knows how to win stellar awards for our clients.
Car Accidents in Kentucky
In 2020, there were 119,449 reported car accidents in Kentucky. Of these reported accidents, 708 were fatal and 29,058 involved personal injury. A significant amount of car accident injuries are back injuries.
Driving is not without its risks, so it is important to take proper safety precautions each time you venture out and to understand your rights and options after a car accident.
Like any other part of your body, your back can be easily damaged by the direct impact or indirect force of a car accident.
There are many types of back injuries to be aware of after enduring a collision, some of the most common being:
- Herniated disks,
- Fractured vertebrae,
- Whiplash, and
- Spinal cord damage.
Any one of these injuries can immobilize you for an extended period of time, causing significant pain and financial loss.
Do not allow insurance companies to give you a low offer early in your case. There is a good chance you will need more injury-related care and financial assistance than the insurance company initially offers.
If you suffer a stretching or tearing of a spinal ligament, that is a spinal sprain. A sprain can occur from a twist or blow during a car accident, and this back injury can cause swelling, pain, and immobility.
Tearing or stretching of a muscle or tendon in your back is a strain. Strains can also cause immobility, as well as pain, swelling, and spasms.
The spine has dozens of vertebrae, and those vertebrae have soft disks between them for cushioning and stability. If one of your disks ruptures, it is a herniated disk.
This type of injury is also called a bulging, compressed, prolapsed, ruptured, or slipped disk. A herniated disk can irritate your nearby nerves and cause significant pain.
The most common type of vertebrae fracture is the vertebral body compression fracture. This type of fracture can come from sudden, downward force on the spine.
If the force causing the fracture is strong enough, it can propel bone fragments into the spinal canal, causing a burst fracture.
Car accident victims can also suffer from vertebral dislocations. These injuries can result from forward motion against a seatbelt during a collision (but please, continue to wear your seatbelt).
Lastly, car accident victims can suffer a combination of fracture and dislocation. Mayfield Clinic in Ohio notes that car accidents account for 45% of spinal fractures.
If you suffer a vertebral fracture, your symptoms could include:
- Back pain,
- Neck pain,
- Muscle spasm,
- Bowel and bladder issues,
- Numbness, and
Imaging is important to diagnose and properly treat a fracture, so it is important that you seek medical attention immediately after a collision.
Whiplash is a common injury you often hear associated with car crashes. Whiplash is a neck strain or sprain that results from your head suddenly snapping in one direction and then the other.
Front- and rear-impact car accidents are the most common causes of whiplash injuries. Also, you do not need to be driving faster than five miles per hour to suffer a whiplash injury.
You might not notice you have suffered whiplash until weeks after a car accident. This is why it is important to seek medical care immediately after an accident and remain vigilant over your symptoms for the weeks and months to come.
Spinal Cord Injuries
Car accidents cause more than 36% of spinal cord injuries. These injuries can cause significant pain, paralysis, and complications with many parts of the body. A spinal cord injury can also cause extreme mental anguish.
To recover from almost any back injury, you might have to have multiple medical interventions, including:
- Braces and orthotics,
- Physical therapy,
- Assistive devices, and
If you must have surgery, be warned that multiple surgeries could be necessary. Some spinal surgery patients develop painful scar tissue around their spinal nerve several months after surgery. These patients often have to undergo additional treatment or surgical intervention to fix the pain.
Claiming Compensation After a Car Accident with Back Injuries
If you suffer a back injury after a car accident, the at-fault party needs to pay you. You can receive compensation through an insurance settlement or trial award.
Compensation you receive from a settlement or jury award should cover your medical needs, financial needs, and pain and suffering.
You can also receive punitive damages if you can prove by clear and convincing evidence that the at-fault driver:
- Acted with fraud;
- Acted with malice; or
- Acted with oppression.
The needs of a car accident victim are unique to their specific injuries and circumstances, so there is not a set dollar amount for car accident settlements. You should be aware that there are some limits to the compensation you can receive.
First, you typically cannot receive compensation from another party in a car accident case if your medical or injury expenses do not exceed $1,000.
That’s because Kentucky’s no-fault rules require you to first make a claim with your own personal injury protection (PIP) insurance.
Second, Kentucky courts can reduce your award by the percentage of fault you had in the car accident.
Third, you have only two years to file a car accident lawsuit.
Hiring a skilled personal injury attorney can help you preserve your rights and maximize your compensation after a car injury.
We Can Fight for You
At Gladstein Law Firm, PLLC, we have almost 20 years of experience, and we have recover tens of millions of dollars in settlements for our personal injury clients.
Attorney Seth Gladstein has extensive experience handling complicated medical cases. He can help you receive the care and attention you need after a damaging car accident.
We serve the good people of Louisville, Kentucky, and we are ready to serve you. Please give us a call or contact us online if you need help.