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We Can Help You Get The Justice You Deserve For Your Back Injury

low back pain from injury

When a person in Texas has an injury to their back, they could have significant changes in their life. The back is supported by the backbone and it is made up of vertebrae. Should someone experience a strong jolting force during a vehicle accident, accident on the job, or an accident caused by faulty equipment, they could experience the pain of a pinched nerve, herniated disk, fractured back, injured spine and more.

Most people aren't experienced in dealing with insurance companies. They will need the help of an experienced personal injury attorney. These legal professionals are able to gather the facts of a case and determine fair compensation. Personal injury attorneys know how to handle insurance companies and get their clients everything the law says they're entitled to receive.

Back Pain From Accidents

When someone is in an accident, they should carefully document their pain and medical treatment. It is possible to feel pain and stiffness immediately after an accident. It's also possible a person won't experience any pain until the adrenaline in their body begins to diminish. This is when most individuals experience pain from their hips up to their neck. They may struggle to stand or sit properly and experience chronic aches or muscle spasms and more. It's also possible a person could have tingling or numbness in their extremities. Pain could be experienced starting in the back and travel down one or both legs. Some people even experience pain lying in bed.

Tests By Physicians for Back Pain

When back pain symptoms occur, a physician will often try various tests. This will enable them to determine the location and cause of the pain. An X-ray can be used to locate fractures. An MRI or CT scan can reveal if a person has had any soft tissue damage. Should a physician suspect a person has experienced nerve damage in their back, an EMG could be performed.

Insurance Claims for Back Injuries

Should a person hurt their back because of a vehicle accident or on the job accident and more, an insurance company adjuster will contact them with a settlement offer. It is the job of the insurance adjuster to settle a claim for the lowest amount possible. They are experienced at using anything from a statement given by an accident victim to past medical issues and more as reasons to reduce a settlement amount. Personal injury attorneys can help back injury victims negotiate with insurance companies.

Back Injury Compensation

Should someone have an injury to their back, they could be entitled to different types of compensation.

  • Medical Treatment. This compensation should cover a person's past, current and future medical needs for injuries caused by an accident.
  • Pain And Suffering. An accident victim could be entitled to compensation for their back pain and discomfort experienced during the accident and following it. This could also cover continuing pain.
  • Income. An accident victim could receive compensation because their back injury harmed their ability to earn an income. It could cover money lost as well as money that could have been earned in the future and more.
  • Loss Of Consortium. This is compensation for the negative impact a back injury causes between an accident victim and the relationship with their partner. It could be a physical loss as well as the ability to provide companionship and more.
  • Emotional Distress. This is compensation for the psychological impact a back injury has on an accident victim's life. It could involve sleep loss, fear, anxiety and more.

Types of Back Injuries

In an accident—such as a car accident or on-the-job accident—there are many different ways to hurt your back. Below are a few of the most common forms of back injuries caused by accidents.


Whiplash is an injury that occurs to a person's neck following a sudden acceleration-deceleration force that causes unrestrained, rapid forward and backward movement of the head and neck, most commonly from motor vehicle accidents. Whiplash can occur at speeds of fifteen miles per hour or less.

Low back pain is quite common after whiplash and may be caused by injury to the discs, facet joints of the low back or sacroiliac joints.

While most people with whiplash get better after several months of treatment, about one out of three patients do not totally recover. This can range from mild pain with little interference with daily activities to constant and severe pain with some level of disability. The treatment of whiplash in the first few weeks and months can usually make the biggest difference to the patient’s long-term health.

Ligament Injuries

Ligaments hold bones in place so that they do not move inappropriately. If ligaments are torn or stretched (laxed), the bones that are supposed to be held in place shift in ways they’re not supposed to and the body perceives this as pain that lets us know there’s a problem. Ligaments that are laxed are a source of significant skeletomuscular pain.

Unfortunately, once ligaments are torn or stretched they cannot usually be healed naturally. Because ligaments are static structures (meaning they aren’t designed to move – their job is to hold bones in place by just being there) they have very little blood supply. We need blood supply and irritation or inflammation to alert the body to heal an injury. Because ligaments don’t have much blood supply, the torn or stretched ligament isn’t able to send out a signal to the body that it needs to be healed.

Since this doesn’t happen with ligaments, once they’re torn or stretched out they tend to stay that way. It’s similar to stretching out a six-pack ring – once it’s stretched out it never goes back to it’s original shape.

Because the ligament is stretched it is unable to effectively hold the bones in place, the muscles and tendons are forced to try to compensate. Because of this decreased stability, it can cause chronic pain and may lead to spinal disorders such as early degeneration of the discs in the spine. Further, these injuries are often overlooked because they are not visible using conventional radiography (such as X-Ray or MRI).

People who experience ligament injuries often feel sharp neck pain with motion or position, upper back pain, and an acute, on-going unstable sensation within the region.

Herniated Discs

The spinal column extends from the base of the skull to the pelvis. It protects and houses the spinal cord — the long bundle of nervous tissue that transmits neural signals to the brain and rest of body. The spinal column contains about two dozen inter connected, bony segments called vertebrae.

The bones (vertebrae) of the spinal column protect nerves that come out of the brain and travel down your back to form the spinal cord. Nerve roots are large nerves that branch out from the spinal cord and leave your spinal column between each vertebra. The spinal bones are separated by discs. These discs cushion the spinal column and put space between your vertebrae. The discs allow movement between the vertebrae, which lets you bend and reach.

A spinal disc is often described as being like a jelly donut – a softer center (nucleus pulposus) is encased within a tougher exterior (annulus fibrosus). A herniated disc occurs when the disc is injured causing it to bulge or break open, allowing the softer "jelly" to push out through a crack in the tougher exterior. A herniated disc can push on or irritate nearby nerves that can result in pain and radiculopathy (pain, numbness or weakness that radiates into the arms or legs).

Herniated discs can result in several different conditions:

  • Radiculopathy is a condition caused by compression, inflammation and/or injury to a spinal nerve root. Pressure on the nerve root results in pain, numbness, or a tingling sensation that travels or radiates to other areas of the body that are served by that nerve, including the arms and legs. Radiculopathy may occur when spinal stenosis or a herniated or ruptured disc compresses the nerve root.
  • Sciatica is a form of radiculopathy caused by compression of the sciatic nerve, the large nerve that travels through the buttocks and extends down the back of the leg. This compression causes shock-like or burning low back pain combined with pain through the buttocks and down one leg, occasionally reaching the foot. In the most extreme cases, when the nerve is pinched between the disc and the adjacent bone, the symptoms may involve not only pain but numbness and muscle weakness in the leg because of interrupted nerve signaling.
  • Spondylolisthesis is a condition in which a vertebra of the lower spine slips out of place, pinching the nerves exiting the spinal column.
  • Spinal stenosis is a narrowing of the spinal column that puts pressure on the spinal cord and nerves that can cause pain or numbness with walking and over time leads to leg weakness and sensory loss.

If you have suffered a herniated disc in an accident, it may not be readily apparent that you have been injured. As the interior of the disc oozes out over time it presses on nerves causing different symptoms over time – sometimes weeks or months later.

Also, depending upon the size of the herniation, it can sporadically press on nerves, depending upon body position, physical activity and a number of other factors. As a result, the symptoms can often “come and go” often leading the injured person to mistakenly believe that it is “going away” when in fact the injury may be getting worse over time. Thinking they are improving, the injured person may delay treatment, making a diagnosis of the injury as it relates to the accident difficult.

Depending upon whether the herniated disc is pressing on nerves, it may cause extreme pain and functional limitation or no pain or functional limitation at all. Regardless, a herniated disc is a permanent disability. The injured disc will never fully recover increasing the likelihood of additional injury or further degeneration as a person ages.

As a result, a person may suffer a herniated disc in an accident and not know it at the time. However, several years later, either due to degeneration over time or a subsequent injury to the disc due to its weakened condition, the person is suffering from chronic pain or disability that may require injections or surgery. This is one reason it is important to seek treatment as soon as possible following an accident so that all of your injuries can be adequately identified and diagnosed.

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