| Read Time: 5 minutes | Car Accident

Are you experiencing back pain after a 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.

so when should I see a doctor for back pain after a car accident?

If you are experiencing any degree of back pain after a car accident, you should see a doctor as soon as possible, even if the pain is mild. This is especially important if your back pain is severe, persistent, worsens, or you are experiencing numbness, tingling, leg weakness, or difficulty in movement.

What to Do If You Experience Back Pain After a Car Accident?

You should see a doctor immediately if you are experiencing 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.

Back Pain After a Car Accident Can Be a 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 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.

How do I know if my back pain is serious?

If you notice that your back pain does not improve after a few weeks, or if you experience discomfort, tingling, weakness or numbness, you should see a doctor as soon as possible to get the proper diagnosis and treatment. This will help you recover your health and obtain medical records of your injury.

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.

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.

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

Jason Hutzler is the founding partner of Phoenix personal injury law firm Hutzler Law, and represents individuals throughout Arizona. His practice is primarily dedicated to personal injury and car accident claims, leveraging his deep expertise as a former insurance adjustor to navigate the complexities of insurance negotiations.

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