When you are in a car accident, the moments afterward may be so chaotic that you don’t realize you’re injured. You may feel off-kilter and simply chalk it up to the stressful nature of the crash.
Sometimes, back injuries are obvious immediately, while other times, they may take hours or days to present themselves. If you have a back injury from an accident, you need to know what to do next because time is a huge factor in your recovery and your personal injury claim.
When Should You See a Doctor for a Back Injury After an Accident?
According to Tucker Law, the sooner you get checked out by a doctor, the better off you’ll be. It’s very common for back pain to appear later, and if you have a herniated disc, soft tissue injury, or spinal injury, you will need to get treated immediately.
Many accident victims feel a little shaken up but otherwise fine due to the adrenaline rush from a crash. You may not think you’re injured, but it’s a smart move to get yourself checked out. At best, you may get a clean bill of health. At worst, you may have a serious injury, but getting early treatment is the key to preventing it from becoming far worse.
Additionally, if you’re filing a personal injury claim, having your medical treatment documented shows proof the injury exists. Insurance companies may deny your claim, arguing that your symptoms are due to activities unrelated to the accident. The same will be true if you file a lawsuit against the at-fault party.
Common Types of Back Injuries That Occur in Car Accidents
Back injuries can be minor, requiring some rest to help you heal, or they can be major and require you to undergo surgery. Whiplash is one of the most common back injuries since your head and neck are vulnerable during the impact of an auto accident. This injury can even occur when you’re in a low-speed collision.
Mild cases will go away in time, but moderate and severe cases can leave you with chronic pain and disability. Getting treated right away will help you discover the extent of the injury and help you begin your recovery.
You may also have muscle strains and sprains in your back, herniated discs, sciatica, and even spinal cord injuries that can take months to heal. Spinal cord injuries are often the most debilitating, as they can result in total or partial paralysis. Your life could be forever changed because of someone else’s careless driving.
What to Do If You Have a Serious Back Injury from a Car Crash
The first step to take after you have suffered an injury in a car accident, especially a back injury, is to get medical treatment. Your second step should be contacting a personal injury attorney. You will want someone who advocates for you while you heal.
Most people don’t realize how much paperwork is involved when filing an injury claim. A lawyer can help ensure you file everything on time and seek the right level of compensation to cover the costs involved with your injuries.