Every year, serious car crashes seriously injure millions of Americans. These victims may be entitled to substantial compensation for their economic losses, such as medical bills, and their noneconomic losses, including pain and suffering.
However, the insurance company does not just give this money away. An experienced Yakima car crash lawyer must diligently build a claim for damages and then fight for the compensation and justice you deserve.
Furthermore, not all car crash injuries present themselves right away. That’s especially true of head, neck, and back injuries. These wounds are usually soft tissue injuries which do not appear on X-rays, MRIs, and other traditional diagnostic test results.
It takes a highly-skilled doctor to diagnose and treat these injuries. Without such care, car accident back pain gets progressively worse and may eventually become completely debilitating.
Types of Car Accident Back Injuries
Car accident back pain is very common. Even if the victim is wearing a seat belt, sudden vehicle collisions usually cause violent back and forth movement in the neck and back. The spine is somewhat flexible, so these injuries may be even worse.
Unfortunately, as outlined below, many doctors dismiss car accident back pain as soreness from the wreck. That could be the case. Or, the pain could be a sign of a much more serious condition, like:
- Spinal Cord Injuries: A bruise or excessive pressure could cause a spinal cord injury. Symptoms include loss of motion as well as loss of feeling. If the internal nerves are damaged, the victim could become partially or totally paralyzed. Spinal cord injuries also increase the risk of infection and secondary injuries. Under the eggshell skull rule, victims are usually entitled to full compensation in these secondary injury cases.
- Herniated Disc: Discs are the soft, cushiony material between the vertebrae. Discs protect the spine and also provide flexibility. If they are displaced, as is common after a violent car crash, they put pressure on the nerve. These pinched nerves are difficult to correct and cause excruciating car accident back pain.
- Thoracic Spine Injuries: Usually, injuries to the upper back are the most serious kind of car crash back wounds. High-speed car wrecks are more likely to injure the thoracic spine, which is connected to the rib cage and chest bone.
- Lumbar Spine Injuries: The five muscles in the lower back combine to stabilize the spine. If a car crash strains or sprains one of the ligaments, the spine becomes unstable and extremely painful. The swelling, tenderness, and bruising often makes routinely daily activities, like walking, impossible to perform.
Amount of car accident back pain is not necessarily consistent with the injury. Many of these spinal injuries are not particularly painful, but they can cause permanent paralysis.
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Diagnosing and Treating Car Accident Back Pain
Many car crash back injury victims do not get the treatment they need. Especially if the victim has a history of back pain, many doctors do not detect severe spine injuries. Additionally, adrenaline from the crash often masks back pain, at least for a little while.
Financial concerns sometimes come into play here as well. Many health insurance companies only provide limited coverage in these cases. So, the insurance company may not authorize a visit to a car accident back pain specialist, especially if a general practice doctor said there was no significant injury.
An attorney helps immensely in these areas. A lawyer does more than give victims a referral to a physician who focuses on car accident back pain. Typically, a lawyer can arrange for victims to get this care at no upfront cost. Most physicians agree to defer payment until the case is resolved.
Recent medical innovations have taken car accident back pain treatment to the next level. Doctors now have a number of minimally-invasive options to treat back pain. However, these techniques are expensive and risky. You need an attorney’s financial protection, and a good back doctor’s medical care, to benefit from these advanced treatments.
Establishing Liability for Car Accident Back Pain in Yakima
Generally, negligence, or a lack of ordinary care, causes car crashes in Washington. Some examples of negligence include:
- Behavioral: Some people know they should not drive, yet they do so anyway. That includes individuals who are drowsy, under the influence of alcohol or drugs, or who have epilepsy or another serious medical condition.
- Operational: Driver inattention and excessive speed cause many of the car accidents in Washington State. Other operational negligence incidents include tailgating and making an illegal lane change.
- Environmental: Here in Washington, the weather is often rather gloomy. Many people, especially new arrivals to the state, do not slow down in the rain. Other adverse environmental conditions include darkness and high winds.
In many cases, a third party, such as an employer or a commercial alcohol provider, may be vicariously liable for damages.
Count On a Savvy Lawyer
Car crashes often cause serious back injuries. For a free consultation with an experienced personal injury attorney in Yakima, contact Kapuza Lighty PLLC. Home and hospital visits are available.