Salisbury Back Injury Lawyer
Oftentimes, a car accident contributes to serious back and spine injuries. In fact, car accidents are the leading cause of spine injuries, and cause over 40% of all spinal injuries each year. In 2012, there were over 5.6 million car accidents in the United States, 1.6 million of which resulted in serious injuries.
Back injuries from car accidents can be expensive, costing anywhere from $2,000 to $100,000. Yearly, car accidents end up costing a total of $277 billion, which translates to about $897 for each person currently living in the U.S.
Lower Back Injury
Back injuries put many people out of commission for a long time. A herniated disk or a deteriorated lumbar disk can keep a person in so much pain that he or she cannot return to work. Doctors may first try to treat a back injury with mandated rest and relaxation, painkiller medications, physical therapy and alternative health care methods.
If a person with a lower back injury tries these methods but does not improve, then doctors may recommend surgery. Surgery may offer hope of improvement, but it also brings expenses and new problems of its own.
Here are some common injuries resulting from car accidents:
Whiplash occurs when the force of a car accident jolts your head backward and then forward. This usually happens in rear-end collisions. If you have whiplash, you will probably notice symptoms within 24 hours after the accident. These symptoms might include stiffness and pain in the neck, headaches at the base of the skull, blurry vision, dizziness, and fatigue. Memory problems, trouble sleeping, irritability, a ringing in the ears, and difficulty concentrating may also occur with whiplash.
An accident may cause the soft tissue around the vertebra – including tendons, ligaments, and muscles – to bruise, stretch, or tear. This affects nerve endings in the body and can result in mild, moderate, or severe pain.
Fractures in the spine can occur when the force of a car accident throws your upper body forward while the lower body remains in place because of a seatbelt. When this happens, the vertebrae may break apart, causing a spinal fracture. A spinal fracture usually causes moderate or severe back pain that gets worse with movement. But other symptoms include tingling and numbness, weakness, and loss of bowel or bladder control. A person with a spinal fracture should not be moved except by paramedics, usually using a neck collar and backboard.
Like a spinal fracture, spondylolisthesis occurs when an impact shifts the vertebra. Stress or fracture in the vertebra displaces the bone, which then presses on the nerves of the spinal canal and results in pain and numbness, weakness in the leg or buttock, and difficulty walking. Extreme cases of spondylolisthesis may lead to loss of bowel or bladder control; or it may cause no symptoms whatsoever or delayed symptoms that only manifest years later.
When a car accident causes a sudden impact to the spine, the discs in the spine may become herniated. This happens when the soft center of the disc irritates the nerves around it by pushing through a crack in the exterior of the disc. A herniated disc may occur with no symptoms, or it may bring leg or arm pain, tingling and numbness, and weakness in the area of the body affected by the herniated disc.
Salisbury Spinal Cord Injury Lawyers
A spinal cord injury near the neck or lower back may leave a sufferer paralyzed. Recovery from a spinal cord injury (SCI) usually means adapting to disability for a lifetime. Otway Russo, P.C., works with life-care planners, economists, vocational specialists and other experts to help bring claims for compensation of clients who now live as paraplegics and quadriplegics because of car accidents and other accidental injuries.
If you experience any pain or injuries after a car accident, you should see a doctor for medical advice. A doctor may prescribe an x-ray, MRI, or CT scan to identify the problem.
To relieve pain from a car accident injury, your doctor may prescribe medication like ibuprofen, Ketoprofen, or Naproxen, along with ice packs and cold or hot compresses.
Most soft tissue injuries require physical therapy and rest for healing. A chiropractor or physical therapist may treat your injury with massages or other forms of therapy, and you should recover in about a month.
For more serious injuries, you may need injections or surgery to remove or repair the damaged section of your back. Depending on the type of surgery and the severity of your injury, the cost can be anywhere from $6,000 to $100,000.
After suffering an injury from a car accident, you may be able to recover damages from the at-fault driver’s insurance. This might include money to cover the cost of medication, therapy, and surgery, as well as money for lost wages; but it can also include financial compensation for pain and suffering. As you might expect, proving pain and suffering is more difficult than proving you underwent surgery or lost money due to an inability to work. Proof of pain and suffering might include photographs, journal entries, or documentation and statements from friends and family members.
Attorneys may calculate the amount for pain and suffering by multiplying your concrete damages (such as lost wages and medical bills) by a number that reflects the severity of your injury, usually from one to five. Another method involves assigning a specific amount of money for each day you experienced pain and suffering, starting with the date of the accident and ending on the date when you recovered.
Some factors contribute to a higher settlement amount: such as severe injuries, lasting physical scars, or disability. If you feel the amount offered by the insurance company is too low, you should consult a lawyer.