Can I Be Compensated for Neck and Back Pain after a Car Accident?

neck and back pain

Neck and back injuries can be unbearable. Injuries to the neck and back can affect every aspect of a person’s life. They may take a considerable amount of time to heal, or they may cause permanent damage and disability. Therefore, the law allows those injured in a car accident to seek damages for the suffering and debilitation caused by someone else’s negligence that results in a serious accident. 

When a person is harmed in this way by the carelessness of another person, the injured party may petition for appropriate damages from the at-fault party.  The law allows the aggrieved person to recover compensation for the financial costs associated with their accident-related personal injury as well as the possibility of additional damages that may allow them to recover compensation for non-economic losses, such as pain and suffering. 

What Compensation Is Possible for Neck and Back Injuries Caused by Car Accidents?

The types of damages available in car accident personal injury cases can be broken into two different types: economic damages and non-economic damages. 

Economic damages are fairly straightforward. These consist of charges for post-accident medical care, including bills for doctor visits, diagnostic testing, physical therapy, medications, assistive devices, or other costs that can be easily accounted for and fully repaid by simply adding up the total costs. As long as the documentation can be produced to prove that these costs can be linked to the injuries from the accident, these damages can be easily remedied. 

Non-economic damages, on the other hand, are more subjective and may require additional steps to support the claim for reparations. Non-economic damages include many hard-to-prove claims, such as those for pain and suffering, loss of consortium, or diminished of quality of life. 

What Types of Neck and Back Injuries Are Common in Car Accidents?

Some of the most common neck and back injuries include: 

  • Whiplash
  • Vertebrae fractures or breaks
  • Muscle or tissue strains
  • Herniated disks
  • Spinal cord damage
  • Paralysis
  • Death

What Is Whiplash?

Whiplash injuries are the most common type of car accident-related neck and back injuries. These injuries involve the head being whipped forward and then backward causing damage to the tissues and nerves in the neck. Whiplash is a term used to describe the motion that causes these injuries, a motion in which the head and neck of a car’s occupant is violently snapped forward and whipped back on impact. 

Often whiplash is involved in rear-end crashes, although it is also common in head-on collisions. However, being whipped around in a car collision coming from any angle or direction can cause damage as the head and neck are jostled and jolted out of position. 

The sudden jolt can be intense and severe, yet the damage may not be apparent right away. Inflammation and swelling may cause symptoms to develop in a matter of hours or even days. Such delayed onset can make it difficult to link the damage to the accident, so it is important to be evaluated by a doctor soon after your accident, both for your health and to support a future claim. 

How Can I Recognize a Whiplash Injury?

The delayed onset of whiplash symptoms can make the injury difficult to recognize. When pain or discomfort appears after a car accident, you should have them assessed by a medical professional. 

Symptoms of whiplash include: 

  • Pain or soreness
  • Stiffness
  • Muscle weakness
  • Pinching sensation 
  • Burning, tingling, or numbness in extremities
  • Headache
  • Vision or hearing issues
  • Breathing trouble
  • Pain, bruising, or swelling in the neck, shoulders, or upper back

What Is a Herniated Disk?

The vertebrae of the spine are cushioned by soft disks that absorb pressure and friction to protect the bones and keep them from rubbing together. In a car accident, these disks can become damaged. When one of these disks becomes pinched or slips out of place, the injury can be incredibly painful. 

The pain and immobility associated with a herniated disk can be debilitating. These can be addressed with rest, pain medicine, cortisone injections, muscle relaxers, physical therapy, or other interventions. In some cases, surgery may be required. 

Some of the symptoms of a herniated disk include:

  • Pain
  • Numbness 
  • Weakness
  • Inability to stand or walk
  • Reduced control of bladder or bowels

What Are Spinal Cord Injuries?

The spinal cord is the collection of nerves and tissues that runs the length of the spine and provide carries messages from the brain to the rest of the body. The spinal cord is essential for communication between the brain and the body for nerve functions that allow movement and sensation. 

Injuries to the spinal cord can make movements painful or impossible. 

A spinal cord injury may result in the following symptoms: 

  • Muscle weakness
  • Muscle stiffness
  • Muscle spasms
  • Numbness or tingling
  • Difficulty with coordination
  • Fainting or sweating
  • Difficulty breathing 
  • Urinary or bowel issues
  • Loss of strength
  • Loss of sensation
  • Loss of function

What Can I Do to Build a Strong Case for Damages for a Neck or Back Injury?

Protect your right to make a claim for damages by seeking medical help and keeping diligent records. Creating a collection of documentation of your experiences and attempts to resolve the issues will go a long way to proving that your symptoms are real and that they are the result of your accident. 

Some of the steps you should take include:

  • See a doctor right away. 
  • Keep up with appointments and medical advice.
  • Keep track of symptoms, using a journal to note both physical and emotional effects.
  • Do not discuss the accident or injuries on social media, as it may be used against you.
  • Enlist the help of a qualified lawyer

Mount Laurel Car Accident Lawyers at the Law Office of David S. Rochman Help Clients Recover from Crash-Related Damages

If you suffered serious neck or back injuries in a car accident, you may be entitled to substantial compensation to cover the costs of your injuries, and possibly to address pain and suffering or other non-economic losses. The Mount Laurel car accident lawyers at the Law Office of David S. Rochman can help you assess your injuries and determine what constitutes a fair settlement for the damages caused by the at-fault party in your accident. Call us at 856-751-2345 or contact us online today to schedule a free consultation. Located in Mount Laurel, New Jersey, we serve clients throughout Mount Laurel and surrounding areas.