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What to Do if You Have Back Pain After a Car Accident

back pain after car accident

It shouldn’t be a surprise if you’re experiencing back pain after a car accident: Motorcycle and car accidents are the leading cause of spinal cord injuries every year. The big question is what you should do once the pain starts.  

Regardless if it’s a dull ache or intense pain, the damage from a car accident can be serious. Quick action can be essential to recovery. Consulting a doctor is an important step, along with speaking to an experienced personal injury lawyer to make sure you’re fully compensated after a car accident. 

Back Pain Can Appear in Different Ways After a Car Accident 

back pain after car accident

The term back pain could lead to thoughts of sleeping in the wrong position or lifting a heavy object. But when it comes to car accidents, back pain can be a sign that something is seriously wrong. Drivers experiencing back pain after a car accident should be on the lookout for common symptoms: 

  • Aching or burning 
  • Sharp and pinching pains 
  • Muscle spasms 
  • Numbness 
  • Any level of paralysis 

While a doctor might use more scientific terms like damage to the lumbar spine or cervical spine, what back pain means is problems that can stretch from lower back to upper neck injuries, with pain reaching out in any direction. Shoulder pain, headaches, and limb numbness can all stem from back injuries. 

Even minor back pain after a car accident could be a sign of greater troubles, as every symptom doesn’t show up right away and some problems continue to worsen. And it’s not just growing discomfort, as paralysis can develop over time.  

Putting off a visit to the doctor can lead to complications and make recovering from the accident more difficult. Whiplash, herniated discs, and fractures can lead to serious long-term problems that require ongoing physical therapy and pain management. 

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What Do Personal Injury Claims for Car Accidents Cover? 

car accident back injuries

The term “damages” can refer to property loss or mental anguish, but it specifically covers any losses from a car accident, including back pain. This type of compensation for physical injury can cover immediate medical bills and surgeries, medications, physical therapy, and even lost wages if the injury impacts your ability to work. 

These tangible costs are usually the first piece of the equation for compensation after a car accident. The second is pain and suffering, which can be harder to define. Chronic pain, bouts of depression, and lost enjoyment in life that stem from back pain are just some of the things that might not show up on a medical bill but can still count as damages. 

How Does a Back Injury Translate Into a Personal Injury Claim? 

Recovering costs associated with back pain starts with making a paper trail right after the car accident and relies on professional recommendations to forecast continuing challenges. It isn’t enough to explain in court that you’ve got facet joint injuries or a herniated disc. You’re going to want records and written reports to help you tell the story of your injuries. 

Records from your first trip to the hospital, prescribed pain management programs, and physical therapy assignments are only the beginning. Specialists can also detail chronic back pain and other hardships you’ll face in the future. 

RELATED: How Do I Know if the Insurance Company’s Settlement Offer Is Fair? 

The Insurance Company Isn’t in the Business of Helping You 

Showing your costs strengthens the case for financial recovery, but you’ll also need to show the injuries from the car accident aren’t your fault because North Carolina is a contributory negligence state. That means if a court finds the defendant 99% responsible for the collision, compensation for accident injuries isn’t an option because you made a 1% contribution. 

To assign responsibility, a judge or jury will decide if: 

  • The injured driver behaved like a reasonable person acting in a safe manner 
  • The defendant failed to act in a safe manner 

These standards will help determine the share of blame, or contributory negligence. 

Insurance companies are all too aware of this rule and will jump to use it to their advantage. It could only take one piece of evidence to show a fraction of contribution, thereby ending your ability to get compensation. 

Experienced Legal Aid Can Help You Recover From Back Pain After a Car Accident 

car accident back injuries

That’s why finding legal help early in the process can be so important. Before any allegations arise, it can be beneficial to enlist experienced counsel that knows where to look for evidence in your favor and can deflate any allegations the insurance company might bring. 

Accident evidence doesn’t stick around forever, and undocumented treatment doesn’t support your case. It’s best to act quickly to preserve important information that can be used when dealing with the insurance company in negotiations or in court. 

Myers Law Firm Is Ready to Make Your Personal Injury Concerns Our Own 

Myers Law Firm is ready to meet with you to discuss your car accident case and review important documents. We can take this information to do our own investigation and then reach out to the insurance company on your behalf. We’ll work through the negotiation process, followed by filing a lawsuit if the insurance company doesn’t offer a reasonable settlement. 

Our initial consultation is free, and from there, we’ll work with you to build a case for the compensation you’re entitled to under North Carolina law. Our experienced, compassionate team is ready to stand up for you. 

Contact us today by calling (888) 376-2889 or complete our simple online contact form to schedule your free consultation. 


Mayo Clinic. Spinal Cord Injury. Patient Care & Health Information. Retrieved from https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/spinal-cord-injury/symptoms-causes/syc-20377890 

American Association of Neurological Surgeons. Spinal Cord Injury. Neurosurgical Conditions and Treatments. Retrieved from https://www.aans.org/en/Patients/Neurosurgical-Conditions-and-Treatments/Spinal-Cord-Injury 


The content provided here is for informational purposes only and should not be construed as legal advice on any subject. 

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