| Read Time: 6 minutes | Car Accident

Are you experiencing back pain after a recent car accident in Arizona? While you might be inclined to “walk it off”, some types of pain after a car accident should not be ignored, and back pain is among them. Back pain can indicate a deep or even permanent injury that may initially go undetected after a crash. Herniated discs, spinal fractures, facet joint injuries, spinal stenosis, and severe whiplash can all become lifelong injuries that start as simple back pain after an accident.

What Should I Do if I Experience Back Pain After a Car Accident?

You should see a doctor as soon as possible if you are experiencing any degree of back pain after a car accident. Back pain post-accident often signals hidden injuries like whiplash or spinal problems, not always visible initially. Prompt treatment can prevent them from becoming chronic and impacting your health significantly.

If you have a serious back injury after an Arizona car accident, the car accident lawyers of Hutzler Law can help you claim the insurance settlement you will need to pay your medical bills.

How Can an Arizona Car Accident Lawyer Help After a Back Injury?

Back pain after a car accident can be an indication that you have suffered a serious back injury, even if you were mobile immediately after the crash. However, if it takes some time for you to realize that the pain isn’t going away, this can cause complications both with your recovery and your rightful insurance claim from the accident.

Insurance companies like to deny medical claims if the injury is discovered some time after the crash, but an experienced lawyer can help. The car accident attorneys of Hutzler Law can help you build a strong case with medical documentation, timelines, and legal advocacy to ensure that you are not stuck with the medical bills from a serious or life-long back injury caused by another driver. Our team is dedicated to defending the rights of Arizona residents who have been injured in accidents, whether your injuries were immediately apparent or diagnosed in the weeks and months that follow.

For a legal consultation, call us at 602-730-4530 or reach out through our online form.

Back Pain After a Car Accident Can Be Severe Injury

The most important thing that people often overlook is that pain after a car accident can be a sign of severe injury, and injury that can get worse over time if untreated. Back pain, in particular, can lead to degenerative conditions that can become crippiling in the next few years and as you age. If you do not go to the doctor soon after noticing the pain and if you do not claim the injury in your car accident insurance settlement, you may find yourself struggling with both pain and endless medical bills for a lifetime.

This is not catastrophizing minor pain, it is taking your pain very seriously because it could be the first sign of a life-changing injury. If you notice particular types of back pain or back pain that does not heal after a car accident, go to the doctor immediately. Then take the results to your lawyer and/or insurance agent to ensure that your injury is properly documented and your medical bills can be covered.

Types of Back Injuries from Car Accidents

There are many types of back injury that can result from a car accident. Some will heal on their own, but many require surgery and physical therapy to ensure you live a normal life after the crash.

  • Herniated Discs
    • A herniated disc is when the soft interior part of your spinal disc is pushed past the outer ring. Other terms include slipped disc, bulging disc, or ruptured disc. A herniated disc can be extremely painful and is a severe condition that often must be resolved with surgery. 
    • Symptoms include burning back pain and widespread body weakness.
  • Spondylolisthesis
    • Spondylolisthesis occurs when one or more vertebrae are displaced due to a stress fracture. A vertebrae that moves will compress the nerves or the spinal canal. The total amount of movement will affect where you feel the pain, how painful it becomes, and the recommended treatment.
    • Symptoms include numbness, difficulty walking, pain, and weakness.
  • Vertebrae Fractures
    • A vertebrae fracture is when one of the small bones in your vertebrae is cracked or displaced from it’s place in the spine. It often occurs when there is a sudden change in pressure on the spine, as in a car accident.
    • Symptoms include pain in the lower back, tingling, numbness, weak limbs, and muscle spasms.
  • Discogenic Pain
    • Discogenic pain occurs when the spine experiences degeneration of the disks that results in spinal instability. It is a lasting type of pain from back injury and becomes worse over time.
    • Symptoms include sharp and shooting pains, sciatica with radiating pain from your buttocks to your feet, and pain in one or both legs.
  • Spinal Stenosis
    • Spinal stenosis occurs when the space inside the backbone narrows due to injury and becomes too small. This puts pressure on the spinal cord and nevers, causing extensive pain.
    • Symptoms include aching, cramping, tingling, back pain, and weakness in the legs.
  • Pinched Nerves
    • A pinched nerve is similar to spinal stenosis. It is caused when a displacement of the spinal disc or bone presses on one of the many nerve roots that is based in the spinal cord.
    • Symptoms include numbness, sharp burning and radiating pain, tingling, muscle weakness, and numbness or weakness in the limbs.
  • Degenerative Scoliosis
    • Scoliosis is a curve in the spine. Pre-existing scoliosis can be made much worse and become a painful, dengenerative condition in the force of a car accident. An accident can also cause scoliosis that is degenerative through curving pressure on the spine at the moment of impact.
    • Symptoms include lower back pain, increasing spinal curvature, the development of a hum, uneven hips, and painful walking or sitting.

Signs That You May Have a Car Accident Back Injury

When should you see a doctor for back pain after a car accident? This is an important question to ask yourself if you are experiencing pain in your neck, shoulders, back, or 

Back Pain that Doesn’t Heal

Any type of back pain that does not go away over time could be the result of a deep and long-term back injury. You should get any lasting back pain or pain in the hips and legs examined immediately in case prompt treatment can save you from a lifelong painful condition.

Muscle Spasms and Tenderness

Muscle spasms can indicate that your nerves have been damaged or are taking damage due to a displacement of the spine. Tenderness near the spasming muscle is a way to detect inflammation and ongoing damage.

Burning and Severe Pain Down Your Back

Burning, radiating, and shooting pains in your back are all signs of severe damage. Normal aches do not have the intensity or characteristics that are shared by severe back injury pain profiles.

Sharp Back Pain When Changing Positions

A sharp pain when standing, sitting, or bending can indicate that you have a back injury which becomes worse in certain positions or through certain movements. You will need to take this directly to a doctor and explain precisely which movements cause you pain.

Discomfort Walking, Standing, or Sitting

Many types of back pain translate pain down the legs and hips, which can be associated with pain when walking, standing, or sitting in the wrong chair for extended periods of time.

Tingling and Numbness

Many types of back injuries, especially those that affect the nerves and spinal column, are detected through tingling and numbness. Be very attentive to these symptoms, as they are often on the same spectrum as paralysis.

Pain that Travels Down Your Back

Shooting pain that travels down your back or appears in different locations in your back throughout the day can indicate a more pervasive type of back injury relating to your spine or damaged nerves that are not clearly transmitting the pain location.

Limited Mobility with Back Pain

If you find your mobility limited in any way after the car accident, seek medical attention. Whether the symptom is stiffness, pain, or weakness in your limbs, limited mobility can be a sign of a serious and lasting back injury that may become debilitating over time.

Existing Back Injuries and Conditions

Lastly, if you have an existing condition like scoliosis or a previous back injury, see a doctor after any car accident. There is always a chance that the sudden and forceful experience could have exacerbated your existing damage and a doctor

Why Go to the Doctor Right Away

There are three very important reasons to go to the doctor immediately if you notice back pain after a car accident.

  • Back Pain Can Indicate Severe Injury
  • Begin Your Road to Recovery
  • Create a Record For Insurance

Prompt medical treatment can help you detect potentially severe injuries and help you begin recovery, ideally before further damage is done. However, it is also important to create immediate records of your injury, as you have limited time to complete an injury claim after a car accident. You will need to create a thorough medical record of your injury and timeline of symptoms in order to include your injury in your insurance settlement claim.

Even then, the insurance company may try to minimize or deny your back injury as part of the accident. If this happens, you will want a skilled car accident attorney by your side to help you build a strong case and advocate on your behalf.

Don’t Get Undersold On Your Back Injury Settlement

If your back pain becomes a diagnosed back injury caused by a car accident, your insurance settlement should include coverage for your medical expenses. The insurance company may try to undersell your settlement or downplay your injury, but the skilled attorneys of Hutzler Law will defend your right to a full and complete settlement.

Hutzler Law is a Top-Rated Phoenix personal injury law firm that helps victims of accidents and injuries recover and get the compensation they deserve. Back pain is difficult enough to deal with, and can make fighting an insurance battle even harder. That is why our attorneys will fight for you, so your medical expenses are covered in accordance with Arizona law. Contact us for a consultation by calling 602-730-4530 or reach out through our online form.

Author Photo

Jason Hutzler

Phoenix personal injury attorney Jason Hutzler was an insurance adjustor for 6 years before graduating from Law School in 2010. For several years he did defense for large insurance companies before realizing his passion for helping the injured individuals outweighed the insurance companies. Now, Jason is a strong advocate for making sure his clients receive the highest compensation possible for their pain and suffering.

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