Back injuries are some of the most common injuries that arise in car accidents. Depending on the severity of the accident, these types of injuries can range from mild to debilitating. In some cases, back pain may last just a few weeks. However, depending upon the force of the impact, car accident-related back injuries may prevent a victim from working and engaging in their daily activities for an extended period of time — they can also cause permanent disability. If you hurt your back in a car crash, you may be entitled to pursue a personal injury action to recover your damages.
Common Types of Back Injuries Suffered in Car Crashes
It’s normal to feel some back pain after a car crash. But some types of back injuries may not develop until weeks later. Notably, the spine is divided into three parts — the cervical vertebrae (the neck), the thoracic spine (the upper back), and the lumbar vertebrae (lower back). Each section is made up of discs, muscles, tendons, nerves, and ligaments. It’s not uncommon for injuries to occur after a car accident affecting any of these parts.
Common back injuries suffered in car crashes can include the following:
- Back sprains and strains
- Spinal disc damage
- Nerve damage
- Soft tissue injuries
- Lumbar or thoracic vertebrae fractures
- Spinal stenosis
It’s crucial to seek medical attention immediately following an accident. If you have sustained back injuries, your doctor may prescribe a treatment plan that includes anti-inflammatory medications, ice and heat packs, physical therapy, and corticosteroid injections. Surgery may also be required in certain cases.
Can You File a Lawsuit for Back Injuries Sustained in a Car Accident?
New York’s no-fault system will cover up to $50,000 of your medical costs and 80% of your lost wages up to $2,000 a month after a car accident. However, this may not be enough to cover the full extent of your damages. If you suffered a back injury that qualifies as a “serious injury,” you might be eligible to file a personal injury action. By doing so, you may be able to recover your unreimbursed medical expenses, lost earnings, and out-of-pocket costs — in addition to compensation for your pain and suffering.
To meet the “serious injury” threshold, a victim must have suffered one of the following: (1) death; (2) dismemberment; (3) significant disfigurement; (4) fracture; (5) loss of a fetus; (6) permanent loss of use of a body organ, member, function, or system; (7) permanent consequential limitation of a body organ or member; or (8) significant limitation of use of a body function or system. A car accident victim may also satisfy the criteria for a serious injury if they could not perform their usual and daily activities for 90 days out of the 180 days following the accident.
While certain back injuries may lead to paralysis which can cause permanent and irreversible loss of function, other back injuries — such as bulging or herniated discs — can also constitute a serious injury if they limit the range of motion. These types of injuries are generally established through objective tests. Many types of back injuries may also qualify under the 90/180 day rule.
Contact an Experienced New York Personal Injury Attorney
If you have suffered a back injury in a car accident caused by someone else’s negligence, you may be entitled to monetary recovery. The personal injury attorneys at The Edelsteins, Faegenburg & Brown LLP are dedicated to assisting clients with recovering the maximum amount of compensation to which they’re entitled for their injuries.
The Edelsteins, Faegenburg & Brown LLP is a personal injury law firm dedicated to fighting for the rights of accident victims to ensure they get the monetary recovery they deserve for their injuries. Located in Manhattan, our firm has been handling personal injury cases throughout New York City since 1937. Call to schedule a free consultation at (212) 425-1999 today.