What to Know About Back and Neck Pain After a Car Accident

Posted On November 10, 2023 Car Accidents,Personal Injury by John Allen Phebus

One of the most common complaints made by victims of car accidents is pain or tenderness in the neck and back. These symptoms could be a sign of a serious injury. Back injuries can significantly impact a victim’s daily life by causing long-term disability, pain and suffering, and lost wages. Learn how to pursue a financial recovery from these injuries in Arizona.

Injuries That Cause Back and Neck Pain

Vehicle collisions come with a high risk of causing serious injuries to the neck, back and spine. The neck and head are often whipped back and forth in a car accident, causing a soft-tissue injury in the neck known as whiplash. This injury can cause pain in the neck, back, shoulders and arms. The pain caused by whiplash can be severe and debilitating. Whiplash can also cause mobility limitations in the neck and upper (cervical) spine.

The spinal cord itself can also sustain damage due to the forces of an impact, such as a spinal concussion or contusion. If too much pressure is exerted against the vertebrae of the spine, the bones can crack or fracture. Penetrating back injuries can pierce through the spine and cause severe damage, including severed nerves. In the most catastrophic cases, spinal fractures or a severed spine can lead to complete paralysis.

Injuries to the spinal disks are also common, including ruptured and slipped disks. The disks are the round, rubbery cushions found between each vertebra. Disk injuries are highly painful and can irritate the surrounding nerves. Finally, the facet joints that connect the vertebral bones are vulnerable to injury from a car accident because they are responsible for bearing the weight of the back. Facet joint injuries can result in chronic back pain.

Delayed Back and Neck Pain After a Car Accident

It is common for a car accident victim to experience delayed back and neck pain after a crash. In the initial hours after a collision, the victim may have adrenaline acting as a pain reliever and masking the symptoms of an injury. It could be later that night or the next day before the victim realizes he or she was injured in the crash. This is why it is important to always seek medical care immediately after a car accident.

A doctor can conduct tests to detect an injury even before symptoms arise. Seeing a doctor after a car accident is important for diagnosing a neck, back or spinal cord injury as soon as possible. Prompt diagnosis and treatment are critical for spine injuries, as waiting too long could exacerbate the injury and turn a minor back problem into irreversible spine damage. Immediate medical care is also important for the insurance claims process.

Filing a Claim for Back and Neck Injuries

In Arizona, a fault-based car accident law requires the driver or party responsible for causing a crash to pay for related damage, including the victim’s medical bills. If you suffer a back or neck injury in a car accident, you have the right to file an insurance claim with the at-fault driver’s policy to pursue monetary damages. All drivers in Arizona are legally required to carry minimum amounts of liability insurance.

Support your injury claim with evidence and documentation, such as medical records, x-rays, doctor’s notes, prescriptions, an accident report, photographs, witness testimony and opinions from experts. If an insurance company rejects your claim or refuses to offer fair compensation for a spinal cord injury, contact a Glendale car accident attorney for assistance. A lawyer can help you gather evidence, establish liability and seek the compensation that you deserve.