Seguin Back and Neck Injuries Caused by Car Accident
Neck and back injuries are some of the most common injuries suffered in car accidents. These injuries can lead to chronic pain and even physical disability. If your injuries are serious, you may have hefty medical bills and be unable to work for a period of time. Unfortunately, many injured people face difficulty recovering just compensation for their injuries caused by other drivers.
Our knowledgeable injury lawyers at Herrman & Herrman can help you pursue a full financial recovery if you have sustained back or neck injuries in a car crash in Seguin We understand how these injuries can turn your life upside down. With more than 100 years of combined legal experience, our attorneys have the knowledge, skills, and resources needed to protect your rights and interests.
When you contact us following a car accident, we can dispatch our Accident Investigative Team to begin securing and preserving evidence from the accident scene. Our track record of obtaining successful results on behalf of clients is reflected in the numerous reviews former clients have left for us on Google, Facebook, and other social media platforms.
If you have sustained neck and back injuries in a car crash in Seguin, Texas, contact Herrman & Herrman, PLLC today for a free consultation. Our law firm has extensive experience in personal injury law, having handled more than 20,000 cases. We have office locations in Ft. Worth, Brownsville, McAllen, Corpus Christi, Corpus Christi South Side, San Antonio, and Houston. Herrman & Herrman has Spanish-speaking and English-speaking staff so you can discuss your legal matter in the language that you feel most comfortable speaking.
How Car Accidents Cause Neck and Back Pain
The roads and highways of Seguin are busy with cars and trucks, including many traveling at high speed. Collisions are common. Even when vehicles are traveling at lower speeds, a car crash can cause neck and back injuries due to the violent forces involved in a collision.
In a head-on collision, the forces generated by two vehicles traveling in opposite directions can magnify the force of impact. A car accident can cause damage to the spinal column and to the muscles, tendons, and ligaments surrounding the spinal column in the neck and back.
Symptoms of Back and Neck Injuries After a Car Accident
The symptoms that may indicate you have suffered serious back and/or neck injuries include:
- Tingling or burning sensations or numbness in any part of your body, especially your extremities
- Sudden, severe headache
- Extreme pain in the head, beck, or back
- Difficulty moving your fingers or toes
- Balance or coordination issues
- Difficulty controlling your bowel or bladder
- Difficulty breathing or coughing
- Unnatural twisting or positioning of your head, neck, or back.
If you experience any of these symptoms, you should seek immediate medical attention.
In the days and weeks following a car accident, you may experience other delayed symptoms. They may indicate a possible neck and back injury include:
- Persistent headache
- Abdominal pain, swelling, bruising, or tenderness
- Feeling pain or pinching in your neck, shoulders, or back
- Persistent tingling sensation or numbness in your extremities
- Hearing or vision problems
- Muscle weakness and loss of range of motion or motor coordination
- The onset of feelings of anxiety, panic, or stress
Types of Back and Neck Injuries Caused by Car Accidents
Some examples of neck and back injuries that car accident victims can commonly suffer include:
- Whiplash, an injury caused by the neck bending beyond its normal range of motion due to the car accident victim’s head being thrown back and forth forcefully. Whiplash is one of the most common forms of injury caused by car accidents. It can injure the soft tissues and nerves in the neck, which can cause tingling, pain, and weakness that radiates down into the shoulders, arms, and upper back.
- Lumbar sprains and strains, which affect ligaments and tendons/muscles, respectively, in the lower back. Sprains and strains are caused when these soft tissues are violently stretched beyond their normal range in a car accident.
- Lumbar spinal injury, which typically involves fractures of the lumbar vertebrae.
- Thoracic spinal injury, which can cause pain throughout the mid and upper back, or in more serious cases, may even lead to paralysis.
- Spinal stenosis, a progressive condition characterized by the narrowing of the channel in the spinal column that houses the spinal cord. Spinal stenosis causes numbness and tingling, leading to pain, stiffness, and even mild paralysis or reduced bowel/bladder control as the condition progresses.
- Spinal disc bulging/herniation, in which the spongy tissue that provides cushioning in between vertebrate begins to poke out from between the vertebrate. In many cases, the disc can begin to press on the nerve bundles exiting the spinal cord, causing numbness, weakness, and/or severe pain to the affected parts of the body.
- Facet joint injuries, in which the nerves and tissues in between the vertebrae in the spinal column become injured.
- Spinal cord injury, including a partial or total severing of the cord. A spinal cord injury can result in some degree of permanent paralysis below the location of the injury on the spinal column.
Evaluating Your Back and Neck Pain
In diagnosing the specific type of neck or back injury you have suffered and the severity of your injury, your doctors and other treating medical providers will begin with a clinical evaluation that includes taking a full medical history and documenting your complaints of pain, weakness, numbness, and other symptoms you may be experiencing. Your doctor will then conduct a physical exam to objectively measure your physical condition, including strength, range of motion, and sensitivity to sensations.
If your doctor suspects damage or injury to the structures of the neck or back, they may order imaging tests such as X-rays, CT scans, or MRIs.
Neck and Back Injury Damages
If you suffered a back and/or neck injury, you may be entitled to compensation for the expenses and losses resulting from your injury, including:
- Medical expenses, including hospital bills, surgeries, or other medical procedures, such as steroidal injections, physical therapy, prescription medication, and medical equipment purchases
- Costs of long-term care for disabilities caused by your neck or back injury
- Lost income if you miss time from work while treating a neck or back injury
- Loss of future earnings and employment benefits if you cannot go back to work because of the injuries you have suffered
- Loss of quality of life due to physical disabilities interfering with your daily living or due to permanent scarring or disfigurement
- Physical pain and emotional trauma and distress resulting from your injuries
A Look at Whiplash and its Short and Long-Term Effects
Automobile accidents continue to be one of society’s main driver safety concerns, and with good reason. Many thousands of vehicular accidents occur each day across the United States, resulting in everything from minor injury to death. Whiplash is one of the most common types of injuries suffered in these collisions, and has been the focus of ongoing debate and research over the last few decades. Despite the rate at which these injuries occur, however, whiplash continues to be a misunderstood condition that can have both short-term and ongoing negative effects on the lives of those who experience it.
What is Whiplash?
The neck injury most commonly referred to as whiplash occurs as the result of a forceful movement of the neck as it is whipped back and forth. The injury itself results from the rapid flexion and hyperextension of the muscles and soft tissue as energy is transferred to the neck, whipping the head backward, forward, or in both directions in quick succession. Whiplash is most commonly associated with car accidents, particularly those in which one vehicle is struck from behind. It should be noted, however, that there are also incidents in which this condition occurs due to sports trauma or even physical abuse.
How Can You Recognize Whiplash Symptoms?
Patients who have suffered any degree of whiplash will typically start experiencing symptoms within the first twenty-four hours after the incident. Often times, patients can have difficulty identifying the nature of their discomfort, since these symptoms can vary depending upon the exact nature of the injury. As a general rule, however, you may be suffering from whiplash if you are experiencing any of the following:
- Headaches, dizziness, memory issues, or blurred vision
- Pain, stiffness, and impaired movement in the neck
- Shoulder pain or tenderness, including pain that radiates to the upper extremities
- Numbness in the extremities
- Otherwise unexplained fatigue or sleep disruptions
The Short-Term Impact
It is important to note that the bulk of these injuries consist of simple neck strains that have no real lasting impact. In most instances, this less-severe type of injury heals of its own accord in as little as three weeks, provided no further strain is placed upon the muscle tissue. Those who take longer to heal may suffer from headaches and other symptoms for several months before full recovery is attained.
The Long-Term Impact
For the roughly 43% of patients who continue to experience symptoms for many months and even years after the incident, the prognosis is not as kind. Some of those patients never recover, and may even suffer a permanent disability that can impede normal daily activities and substantially impact their quality of life. Some are injured so badly that they end up suffering chronic pain for the rest of their lives, particularly those victims who have some previous neck injury in their past or whose perception of heir injury leads to a heightened awareness of pain sensations.
Because these complications can be so impactful on patients’ lives, it is important for any accident victim who experiences whiplash symptoms to seek prompt medical treatment. That is the best way to ensure that your doctor is alerted to the possibility of a neck injury, and prevent as many additional complications as possible.
Safety Steps You Can Take
Whiplash is not always avoidable, but safety experts do have some simple advice that can help to reduce the risk you face on the road. Obviously, they recommend that drivers always be cautious and maintain a safe operating distance between themselves and other vehicles – a minimum of two seconds distance at all times.
Even more important, however, is that you take the steps necessary to provide your head and neck with as much protection as possible. Many whiplash victims have been harmed due to a failure to properly align their driver-side head restraint. Your head and neck are best protected when the top of that headrest is at the same height as the top of your head. That allows your head to be cushioned by the body of the restraint, providing some level of security in the event that you are rear-ended in an accident.
How to Prove Your Neck and Back Injury Damages
Depending on the type and severity of a neck or back injury, it can become difficult to prove that your injuries were caused by the car accident you were involved in. Some types of neck and back injuries, especially whiplash, cannot be identified on an X-ray, MRI, or CT scan.
In addition, neck and back injuries often prove difficult to treat, requiring long-term care, such as physical therapy and pain management. As a result, insurance companies often try to avoid liability for such treatment by arguing:
- A car accident victim is exaggerating the symptoms
- The symptoms the accident victim is experiencing were caused by degenerative or age-related medical conditions rather than the crash.
To prove that you are entitled to compensation for your neck and back injuries from the driver responsible for the car accident, you will need to prove that your neck and back injuries resulted from the accident.
Proving the other driver’s fault for the accident involves relying on evidence such as police accident reports, accident scene photos, video footage, eyewitness statements, and expert accident reconstruction reports.
Proving that your neck or back injury was caused in the car accident and establishing the severity of your injuries means presenting evidence, such as:
- Medical records and treatment notes from the procedures and treatment you have received for your injury. Your doctors and other treating providers should have documented how your injuries were caused.
- Testimony of medical experts, who can provide an opinion to a reasonable degree of medical certainty that your injuries resulted from the accident, as well as the nature and severity of your injuries. The doctors we consult to help develop your case may include your treating medical providers or other medical professionals who have examined you and reviewed your medical records.
- Your testimony and testimony from family, friends, and coworkers regarding the impact that your neck and back injuries have had on your ability to perform daily tasks, or how your injuries have interfered with your enjoyment of life.
Talk to a Back and Neck Injury Car Accident Lawyer
If you or your loved one has suffered debilitating back or neck injuries in a car accident in Seguin, call Herrman & Herrman at (361) 882-4357 or contact us online today for free, no-obligation case review with a compassionate car accident lawyer.
Learn more about your legal rights and options for recovering financial compensation from the party at fault for the crash and the physical harm you have endured.
Our firm has offices in the following locations: Corpus Christi, Corpus Christi South Side, Brownsville, McAllen, San Antonio, Houston, and Ft. Worth , TX.