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Car accidents can be devastating, and one of the most common results is lower back injury among drivers and passengers.  Whether it’s a major muscle strain, severed spinal cord, or paralysis, these injuries can be life-altering for years to come.  You may not be able to return to work or take care of your children due to your back injury.

You can sue for lower back injuries in a car accident and be awarded damages for medical bills, lost wages, pain and suffering, and other expenses.  With a successful settlement agreement or jury award, you can achieve financial compensation.  This is especially true if the accident was caused by someone else’s negligence – whether a drunk driver, distracted driver, or manufacturer who produced a defective vehicle.

There were 33,244 fatal motor vehicle crashes in the United States in 2019 in which 36,096 deaths and countless additional injuries occurred, according to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS).  The best way to find out about your legal rights after a car accident is to talk to a skilled and experienced back injury lawyer in Mobile, Alabama.  An attorney can assess your situation and advise you about your legal options.

Common lower back injuries in a car accident

Car crashes can result in several types of lower back injuries.  Some of these include:

  • Strains and sprains
  • Herniated/slipped discs
  • Bruised vertebras
  • Spinal cord trauma
  • Broken back or neck
  • Sacrum dislocation
  • Severed spinal cord
  • Paralysis

In addition to lower back injuries, a person can sustain spinal cord injuries in car accidents. According to the Mayo Clinic, spinal cord injuries can cause one or more of the following signs and symptoms:

  • Loss of movement
  • Loss of bowel or bladder control
  • Loss of or altered sensation, including the ability to feel heat, cold and touch
  • Difficulty breathing, coughing, or clearing secretions from your lungs
  • Exaggerated reflex activities or spasms
  • Pain or an intense stinging sensation caused by damage to the nerve fibers in your spinal cord
  • Changes in sexual function, sexual sensitivity and fertility

The Mayo Clinic goes on to say that the lowest part of a spinal cord that remains undamaged after injuries or crashes is considered the neurological level of an injury. The severity, or the “completeness,” is classified as one of the following:

  • Complete. If all feeling (sensory) and all ability to control movement (motor function) are lost below the spinal cord injury, the injury is called complete.
  • Incomplete. If a person has some motor or sensory function below the affected area, the injury is called incomplete. There are varying degrees of incomplete injury.

Why does my lower back hurt after a car accident?

What factors affect how long my lower back will hurt after a car accident?

Your lower back hurts after a car accident because the violent jolt or jerking upon impact can strain muscles and whip your spine unnaturally.  It often results in severe bruising, bulging discs and damaged nerves – all of which are painful.  People with nerve pain can feel it in different ways, whether it’s stabbing pain in the middle of the night, chronic prickling and tingling, or an unexplained burning sensation.  Uncontrolled nerve pain is hard for a person to bear.  How long your lower back will hurt after a car accident usually depends on …

  • the severity of the initial injury,
  • the effectiveness of treatment, and
  • whether there are complicating factors.

What damages can I get for a lower back injury?

A car accident victim who suffers a lower back injury can collect damages from insurance companies.  Some of these damages are:

  • Medical care, including doctor visits, hospitalization, ongoing care, therapy, rehabilitation, medications and medical devices and equipment
  • Damage to your vehicle and other property resulting from the accident
  • Income you’ve lost while you recuperate from your injuries
  • Income you may lose in the future if you can’t work or can’t work in the same capacity
  • Mental anguish and physical pain and suffering you’re experiencing

A car accident victim can also demand payment for what are referred to as “non-economic” damages, such as emotional distress and trauma resulting in depression, anxiety, PTSD, and other mental states that diminish your quality of life.  The other driver can be liable for these because if you hadn’t had the bad luck of being on the same roadway as that careless driver, you wouldn’t be undergoing physical and emotional trauma.   

How does an attorney establish negligence in a car accident case?

Laws are very specific about how to prove negligence in an injury case.  To prove negligence, you must prove four elements:

  1. Duty
  2. Breach
  3. Causation
  4. Damages

A plaintiff will need to prove these to have a successful claim.  In a personal injury case, “negligence” refers to one party’s careless or reckless behavior that resulted in harm to another party.  That means the careless person is legally liable for the injuries suffered by the other person.  Most legal disputes use this method in personal injury cases for assessing and determining fault.

Contact a back injury lawyer today

If you or a loved one has suffered a lower back injury in a car accident, you may be entitled to financial compensation, especially if the other driver was negligent.  You don’t have to pay all those medical bills by yourself.  You can sue insurance companies to cover the cost of doctors, hospitals, lost wages, and pain and suffering.  In the terrible event that there was loss of life in a car accident, you can file a wrongful death claim. A skilled attorney at Caldwell Wenzel & Asthana can review your case and explain your legal options if you’ve sustained injuries in car accidents.  We are aggressive negotiators and fearless litigators.  We fight relentlessly for our clients to ensure that they get the justice they deserve.  To find out more about how we can help you, call us for a free initial consultation at (251) 444-7000.