Back injuries - lower back injuries in particular – are among the most common consequences of car accidents. The Vaziri Law Group, APC Personal Injury Attorneys handles serious injury car accident cases in Los Angeles and California. We have handled a number of car accident cases where clients have suffered lower back injuries and have been left with chronic pain and long-term disabilities.
If you have suffered these serious injuries, you are entitled to receive compensation for all your injuries, damages and losses. However, the process of seeking and obtaining a fair car accident settlement for your lower back pain may not be straightforward. This is why you need an experienced Los Angeles car accident lawyer who can help you better understand your legal rights and options.
Key Points - Table of Contents
- How Much Can I Expect From a Lower Back Pain Car Accident Settlement?
- What Causes Back Injuries?
- Back Injury Car Accident Cases
- Common Back Injuries from a Car Accident
- Symptoms of Back and Neck Injuries After a Car Accident
- What Impacts the Value of a Lower Back Pain Car Accident Settlement?
- Are Back Injuries More Difficult to Prove?
- Getting Help After An Accident
How Much Can I Expect From a Lower Back Pain Car Accident Settlement?
In California, the average settlement for a minor lower back injury tends to fall between $2,000 and $9,000. This is for situations in which very little medical attention is required to address the issue. If PT, injections, or other more expensive forms of treatment are required the back injury settlement will usually be much higher and range from $20,000 to $50,000. If additional trauma occurred that seriously impacted the victim's health in other areas, the settlement value can exceed $100,000. However, most lower back injuries caused by car accidents do not exceed $100,000 without any other significant injuries, and each case is different and the result of each case depends upon the specific details of each case.
What Causes Back Injuries?
Nearly any type of car accident, even a minor crash or a fender bender, could result in back injuries. But, beck and back injuries are more commonly seen in rear-end crashes because of the way in which the body moves after impact. When the vehicle is abruptly struck from behind, your back ends up absorbing the impact, which is what could result in back injuries.
Here are some of the common types of car accidents that result in back injuries:
Front impact accidents: In such collisions, because the back is thrown forward, you may end up suffering a torn or herniated disc.
Rear-end accidents: Whiplash, ligament damage and spinal cord damage commonly occur in rear-end collisions as you experience pressure from behind.
Side-impact collisions: Such accidents could result in severe back injuries because the seatbelt holds the lower part of the body in place while the torso, neck and head rotate to the side.
Regardless of how these car accidents occur, all these types of crashes have the potential to cause a serious back injury. It is also important to remember that these types of accidents are typically caused by acts of driver negligence such as impaired, distracted or fatigued driving. If you have suffered back injuries as the result of negligence or wrongdoing on someone else's part, contact an experienced Los Angeles car accident lawyer to obtain more information about pursuing your legal rights.
Back Injury Car Accident Cases
A back injury in a car crash could occur as a result of damage to any part of the spinal cord or nerves at the end of the spinal canal. This type of injury could cause permanent changes in strength, sensation and other bodily functions below the injury site. If you have recently suffered a lower back injury in a car accident, it may seem like every aspect of your life has been impacted. You might feel that impact physically and emotionally, not to mention financially.
The spinal cord contains vertebrae (bones) and nerves that connect to the brain, making up the central nervous system. These spinal nerves receive and transmit signals that control movement, sensory perception and bodily functions. Your spinal cord doesn't have to break or be severed for you to feel pain or other effects. In many cases, the spinal cord may be intact. However, damage to other parts of the spinal column such as the nerves or soft tissues, could leave the victim with chronic pain, weakness and numbness.
Car accidents are among the leading causes of lower back injuries in California. Some types of car accidents that could cause these types of injuries include rollover accidents, head-on collisions, rear-end crashes, sideswipe accidents, and broadside or side-impact crashes. Common injuries to the back include strains, herniated discs and pinched nerves.
Common Back Injuries from a Car Accident
Here are some of the most common injuries that result from a car accident:
Lumbar or thoracic vertebrae fractures: The lumbar spine includes the five largest vertebrae. Fractures of these bones could result in severe back pain, numbness in the limbs, problems walking or even paralysis. The thoracic spine is connected to the chest and ribs. Fractures in this area are common in a car crash, and could result in severe back pain, numbness and limb weakness.
Facet joint injuries: Your entire spine consists of facet joints, which are located between each vertebra, and help with support and movement control. These joints can become broken or inflamed after an accident or they could become dislocated. All of these could result in severe back pain and other complications.
Back sprains and strains: The impact from a car accident could potential tear or stretch back muscles and ligaments. These types of soft tissue injuries could result in back pain, stiffness, spasms or limited range of motion.
Herniated discs: The cushioning discs between spinal vertebrae, when moved out of position because of the force of a collision, can cause nerve pain and numbness.
Spondylolisthesis: When a vertebra or bone slips into the one below it, it is known as Spondylolisthesis, which causes lower back pain. Surgery may be required in severe cases.
Discogenic pain: This type of sharp and shooting pain is caused by damage to the spinal discs. Discogenic might cause many types of discomfort. For example, while some may feel better when they are lying down, others may experience more pain when they lie down. Also, doing anything for an extended period of time could make the pain worse.
Degenerative spinal disorders: A traumatic back injury could result in a degenerative disc disorder. It could also trigger health issues that you were not aware of prior to your car accident. Such complications may include bulging discs, scoliosis, bone spurs, sciatica, spinal stenosis, pinched nerves and spinal osteoarthritis.
Factors That Affect the Severity of Car Accident Back Injuries
There are a number of factors that could affect the severity of a lower back injury after a car accident including the speed of the vehicle and the type of crashes that occur:
Speed: Typically, the speed at which a crash occurs is an important factor when it comes to back injuries. The faster a vehicle is traveling when the collision occurs, there is a higher risk of a severe spinal or back injury.
Rollover crashes: Rollover crashes occur when a vehicle overturns or rolls over to its side. The likelihood of back injuries is much higher in rollover crashes. Occupants of a vehicle may also be ejected from the vehicle during a rollover crash, which could result in catastrophic damage.
Head-on collision: While head-on collisions are not all that common, they are responsible for a number of catastrophic or fatal injuries because they tend to involve violent force. Serious back injuries commonly occur in head-on collisions.
Side-impact crashes: These types of accidents are much more common, particularly at street intersections where motorists fail to yield the right of way. These are also known as T-bone crashes. These accidents could also result in severe lower back injuries and lower back pain.
Symptoms of Back and Neck Injuries After a Car Accident
If you have been in a car accident, it is important to look out for the red flags and symptoms especially of neck and back injuries, which are common. Some symptoms don't manifest for hours or even days after the crash. For example, you may suffer severe headaches after the crash, which may actually be a cervical spinal injury. But you may think that it is due to stress from the accident. Failing to treat a serious injury could lead to more severe complications. Therefore, it is crucial that you are able to identify the symptoms of a back or neck injury in the aftermath of a crash.
Here are some of the immediate symptoms:
- Extreme pain in the neck and back
- Tingling, numbness or burning sensations
- Headaches, sometimes severe
- Difficulty walking or balancing
- Lack of bladder or bowel control
- Trouble breathing
Some delayed symptoms of beck and back injuries include:
- Continuing headaches for days after the crash
- Weakness or inability to lift or carry light items
- Pain in the neck, shoulders or back
- Decreased hearing or vision
- Tenderness, bruising or swelling
If you have been injured in a car accident, it is critical that you receive prompt medical attention. If you are experiencing any back or neck injury symptoms, to the emergency department right away so you can receive prompt diagnosis, treatment and care.
What Impacts the Value of a Lower Back Pain Car Accident Settlement?
The main factor that drives up the potential settlement value of a back injury car accident case is the extent or severity of your back injury. Car accident back injuries could range from sprains and strains to more serious injuries, including those that could result in lifelong disabilities.
If your injury is more severe and requires ongoing treatment and care, your settlement value could be much higher. Your age may also have an impact on the settlement value. Typically, younger plaintiffs whose lives have been adversely impacted by a car crash could get a larger settlement than, for example, someone who is older and/or has a prior history of back injury.
The typical amount received in a car accident settlement depends upon the damages sustained.
That said you might still be able to receive compensation even if you had a prior back injury. This is why it is important to get an experienced injury lawyer early on in the process. A knowledgeable lawyer can help you gather the evidence and procure access to experts who can help corroborate and strengthen your claim.
Are Back Injuries More Difficult to Prove?
Some types of back injuries may be relatively challenging to prove. Examples of such injuries are soft tissue injuries that may not be identifiable on diagnostic imaging tests. These injuries are diagnosed with physical examinations. There are some injuries that may be diagnosed using scans such as an MRI. Our lawyers will work diligently to make sure we have all the medical evidence in your case so you are able to receive maximum compensation for your losses.
Getting Help After An Accident
If you or a loved one has suffered a lower back injury in a car accident and are experiencing lower back pain as a result, please contact the Vaziri Law Group, APC Personal Injury Attorneys to obtain more information about pursuing your legal rights. Call us at (310) 777-7540 for a free consultation and comprehensive case evaluation.