If you sustained a lower back injury after a car accident, read on for information on treatment and some tips for your personal injury claim. The Bishop Law Firm represents personal injury clients in North Carolina and we do not get paid unless we win.
Car accidents can range from a mere bump to a devastating encounter. Some types of car accidents (car vs. 18-wheeler, car vs. pedestrian and car vs. motorcyclist) often result in catastrophic injuries to the victim. Depending on the severity of the accident you were involved in you could have sustained different types of lower back injury after a car accident:
- Bruises – When the skin is hit hard enough damaged blood rises to the top of the skin and creates a dark blue – black mark on the skin. Eventually bruises are reabsorbed by the body and the skin discoloration goes away. Also, with bruises there is usually no chance of infection because the skin was not punctured. However, in some severe cases, hematomas (clotted blood) may need to be evacuated (drained). For your personal injury case, you should take photos of your bruise as soon as possible and again as it starts to change color with dates. These pictures can help your case.
- Muscle Strain – A muscle strain can affect the low back and leave you with pain, swelling, and muscle spasms. If the strain is severe enough you can tear a muscle. Physical therapy is usually recommended for muscle strains and in certain cases, chiropractic care as well. Many chiropractors tailor their practices to helping victims of car accidents.
- Herniated Disks – can be caused by traumatic events such as a car accident if pressure is put on that area. In very simple terms, your back has two kinds of shock absorbers (one is soft and one is hard) between your vertebrae. If a disk herniates the soft shock absorber pushes on the hard shock absorber until it bulges. The bulge irritates the spinal cord and nearby nerve roots. The pain may also radiate into your hips or legs (also see our post on radiculopathy). An MRI or CT is needed to diagnose a herniated disk. Treatment can range from physical therapy to diskectomy. For your personal injury case, please note that X-rays will not typically demonstrate these type of injuries as they only show bone. Most hospitals only offer x-rays to accident victims.
- Disk Fracture or Dislocation– Lumbar fracture or dislocation can be a very serious injury. There are three types of spinal fracture patterns: flexion, extension, and rotation. Treatment for fractures are bracing, a laminectomy or stabilization with screws, rods, pins, etc. Often, these types of injuries take substantial time to heal and you will need extensive physical rehabilitation. Keeping track of your missed time from work and every place that you have received medical treatment will help you later when it’s time to settle your personal injury case.
- Spinal Cord Injury– depending on where you injure your spine, you can have paralysis. While any lower back injury after a car accident should be examined as soon as possible, spinal cord injury should be ruled out immediately. If you continue to have pain and weakness in your spine/legs or develop problems controlling urine or your bowels despite following your doctor’s advice, it is time to get a 2nd opinion.
A lower back injury after a car accident can range from mild to debilitating. Immediately after the accident, you should seek medical treatment and continue to receive treatment if needed as well as follow all medical advice. The more severe your back injury, the more time you will need to heal. Unfortunately, even after receiving the appropriate medical care you may continue to have symptoms that affect your daily life and ability to work. Having a injury attorney on your side can help you recover your current and future wage losses, medical expenses, and pain & suffering while allowing you the time to focus on recovery. The Bishop Law Firm represents personal injury clients in Raleigh, Durham, Rocky Mount, Wilson, Smithfield, Louisburg, Chapel Hill, Roanoke Rapids, and surrounding areas in North Carolina. We do not get paid unless we win your case! Call us today for a free case evaluation, (919) 615-3095.