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Understanding Neck & Back Pain After a Texas Car Accident

Offered by Weinstein Law

Whiplash, herniated disc and other types of neck and back injuries explained

Back pain and neck pain due to a car accident in Texas can be very painful. In an instant, you suddenly might not be able to move your neck or perform other routine tasks. It’s also important to realize that bad pain in the neck or back can be a warning sign of a serious car accident injury.

When this happens, it’s important to know what your pain means and how to respond. It’s also good to know what types of injuries cause such pain and the medical care available to treat them. That way, you can give yourself the best opportunity to recover from your painful back or neck injury.

And if another driver caused your car accident injury, make sure you fully understand your legal rights. That way, you can demand the money you rightfully deserve under Texas’ car accident compensation system.

Types of neck pain

Neck pain due to a car crash can take many forms. Some of the most common types of neck pain caused by car accidents include:

  • Joint pain – There are many bones located in the neck and upper spine. In the neck, the connective tissues between the bones are called facet joints. These joints allow you to move and flex your neck. If facet joints are injured in an accident, joint pain often occurs in the neck.
  • Frequent headaches – If you have chronic headaches after a serious car accident, that could be a warning sign that you sustained a serious neck injury. If these frequent headaches don’t go away, seek immediate medical treatment. You could have a life-threatening neck or spine injury.
  • Muscle spasms – Frequent, spontaneous muscle spasms in the neck can be a warning sign of a muscle sprain or tear.
  • Muscle pain – Whether it’s a dull pain, shooting pain, or another type of neck pain, don’t ignore muscle pain in the neck.
  • Nerve pain – Some neck injuries can damage the nerves that carry signals from the brain throughout the body.
  • Delayed neck pain – Many neck injuries sustained in car accidents aren’t evident right away. Many times, it takes days or sometimes even longer for neck injury victims to feel pain.
  • Chronic neck pain – Sometimes, the pain caused by a neck injury lasts long after an accident took place. When this occurs, it’s called chronic neck pain.

What causes neck pain after a car accident?

Neck pain due to a car accident may be a sign of:

  • Whiplash – One of the most common and most misunderstood neck injuries, whiplash occurs when the neck muscles are stretched and strained in a car accident. Often, whiplash occurs due to the neck being quickly thrust forward and backward in an accident, especially in rear-end accidents.
  • Neck fracture – There are many bones located in the neck and the upper part of the spine near the head. Severe neck pain can be a warning sign of a bone fracture in the neck.
  • Pinched nerve – The nerves in the neck sometimes get pinched or squeezed between bones, tendons, or other nerve tissues. If not properly diagnosed and treated right away, a pinched nerve can result in serious, chronic neck pain.
  • Facet joint injury – As explained above, the facet joint is the connective tissue that serves as a link between the bones in the spine. If a facet joint(s) was injured in your car accident, you might be in a lot of pain and unable to move or twist your neck.

Types of back pain

Back pain caused by a car accident can cover a wide range. Talk to a doctor right away if you feel pain in your back after a car crash:

  • Dull back pain, which might seem minor at first but can be a warning sign of a serious back injury.
  • Sharp back pain, especially shooting pain in your lower back.
  • Tingling pain in your back, which can vary over time.
  • Delayed back pain that occurs hours or days after your accident.
  • Chronic back pain that lasts days or weeks or even longer.

You know your body best. If your back hurts after a car accident in Texas, make sure you take such symptoms seriously right from the start. Talk to a doctor. Tell them what’s wrong. And ask them to run the necessary medical tests if necessary to properly diagnose your back injury. Your health should always come first after your car crash.

What causes back pain after a car accident?

Back pain often occurs due to certain types of serious back injuries. Such injuries may include:

  • Herniated disc – The rubber-like cushions located in between the bones in the spine (vertebrae) are called discs. When these discs are ruptured or injured, the soft, central portion can bulge out beyond the outer ring of the disc. This injury is also sometimes called a “slipped disc,” although that is not strictly accurate since the disc itself does not slip out of place.
  • Soft tissue injury – There are many muscles, tendons, and ligaments located in the back. Soft tissue injuries include strains, sprains, and other harm to those tissues.
  • Bone fracture – Bones in the back can be broken in a car accident, especially in high-speed, high-impact crashes. Depending on where the injury took place in the back and if the bone fracture was a complete break or partial break, serious back pain and long-term medical problems can occur.
  • Spinal cord injury – The spinal cord is protected by vertebrae bones in the spine. But all it takes is a serious accident to damage the spine, resulting in loss of mobility, nerve damage, and in severe cases, partial or total paralysis.

In each case, it’s critical that injury victims seek immediate medical attention. A back injury can have serious, long-term consequences. Make sure you have a doctor examine you right away and diagnose exactly what’s wrong.

How long does neck or back pain last?

Neck or back pain can last hours, days, weeks, or even months. In some cases, injury victims suffer from back pain caused by a car accident for the rest of their lives. This is why it’s critical that injury victims pay attention to their bodies and talk to a doctor right away after n accident.

When should I see a doctor?

If you feel pain in the back or neck after a car accident, go to the doctor right away. A delay in treatment could result in long-term medical problems due to a delay in diagnosis of your injury. Don’t take chances with your health. Take action. Talk to a doctor immediately.

What are common medical treatments?

There are many different types of medical treatments available depending on what type of back or neck injury you sustained in a car accident. Such treatments can include:

  • Emergency surgery.
  • Follow-up surgical procedures, sometimes months or years after an accident.
  • Physical therapy, especially if you have a reduced range of motion in your back or neck due to your car accident.
  • Injections in the back or neck to reduce pain or inflammation in the injured area.
  • Massage therapy, especially in cases involving chronic, long-term pain in the back or neck.
  • Acupuncture, which can reduce chronic pain.
  • Prescription medications or over-the-counter medications, especially if you’re suffering from serious neck pain or back pain.

Should I accept a settlement offer?

Don’t be surprised if the at-fault driver’s insurance company makes a settlement offer after your car accident. This is because Texas has an at-fault car insurance system. That means the at-fault party is responsible for paying for the injury victim’s accident-related expenses.

Such a settlement offer can be tempting. But it’s important to understand that if you agree to accept such an offer, that’s it. Your injury claim is settled. If you need more money in the future for unexpected injury-related expenses, you can’t go back for more.

That’s why it’s critical that you carefully consider any settlement offer you receive for your back or neck injury. An experienced attorney can help you decide whether you should accept their settlement offer or ask for more money.

How much is my claim worth?

There’s no set dollar amount when it comes to injury claims involving back or neck pain. Your accident claim might be worth thousands of dollars or significantly more. What matters is you should be financially compensated for all your expenses related to your car accident. Such expenses can include:

  • All medical care related to your injury, including future anticipated medical treatment.
  • Repairing or replacing your damaged vehicle, especially if your car is a total loss.
  • Replacement income if you cannot work due to severe pain in your back or neck.
  • Lost future income if you cannot return to work or need to work less in the future due to chronic back pain or neck pain.

Other expenses may need to be taken into account, including non-economic damages like “pain and suffering,” which don’t have a specific price tag but have a real financial impact nonetheless. Talk to an experienced attorney. They can give you an accurate estimate of how much your Texas car accident claim should be worth.

Should I file a lawsuit?

In certain cases, the best way to get the money you rightfully deserve is to file a lawsuit seeking damages, the legal term for financial compensation. Keep in mind that you only have a limited amount of time to take legal action in Texas. That deadline (known as the statute of limitations) is two (2) years from the date of your accident. If you miss that deadline, you could miss out on your only opportunity to get the money you rightfully deserve.

Why should I hire a lawyer?

There’s a lot at stake when it comes to injury claims involving serious back pain or neck pain caused by a car accident. Insurance companies know this. That’s why they work tirelessly to discredit such claims and have them denied or dismissed.

When you have an experienced Texas car accident attorney on your side, you can make sure your injury receives the attention it deserves. Lawyers who handle such injury claims also work on a contingency fee basis. That means you only have to pay if your lawyer recovers money for you, in the form of a car accident injury settlement or lawsuit.

Learn more about the legal options available to you in Texas. Talk to an attorney who knows how to deal with insurance companies and make sure your pain and injury get the respect they deserve.

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