Expertly Reviewed By: Serah Waweru, Esq., on April 13, 2023
Car accidents can affect your body, including your mental and emotional well-being. Back injuries are among the most common types of injuries that occur due to car accidents. While not all back injuries will be life-threatening, they can still cause immense pain and suffering to you or your beloved—and result in expensive medical bills. If you’ve suffered a back injury car accident, it is important to know the dos and don’ts of getting through such a difficult time.
Here are some helpful tips on handling a car accident resulting in a back injury, as well as what you should avoid doing at all costs.
Immediately After the Accident
Right after the car accident, there are certain things you should do immediately to ensure your safety and the safety of others. First, if you can, check to see if anyone is injured and needs medical attention. If so, call 911 right away.
Move your vehicle out of the way of traffic, if possible.
Then, exchange important information with the other driver, including your name, contact information, insurance company, and policy number.
Here comes the most important part: do not accept liability for the accident even if you feel you somehow played a role. Whatever you say to the other party could be used against you when you file a claim or lawsuit later.
Always remember that you may be entitled to compensation even if you are partly at fault for the accident. In addition, car accident laws vary from state to state, and you may not be liable as you think.
Remember to take photos of the scene of the accident, including any property damage. This includes damages to your own vehicle and the other drivers.
At the Hospital or Doctor’s Office
It’s important to seek medical attention as soon as possible. Even if you have not suffered a catastrophic injury, it’s always best to get checked out by a doctor.
One thing you need to know is that if you do not seek medical attention immediately, the other party will question your claim’s legitimacy later. To put things into perspective, they could easily claim that you were not seriously injured, despite the fact that some injuries require time to show their symptoms.
Here’s what to do when you go to the hospital or doctor’s office:
Give the staff all of your insurance information. This includes your car insurance, health insurance, and any other insurance you have.
Tell the staff everything that happened leading up to the accident and what happened during the accident. It’s important to be as detailed as possible so the doctors can properly assess your injuries.
Be honest about your pain levels and any other symptoms you’re experiencing. Again, this will help the doctors properly diagnose and treat your injuries.
Follow all of the doctors’ orders. If they tell you to stay home from work or school for a few days, do it! Ignoring their advice could make your injuries worse.
And that’s not all – when you ignore your doctor’s instructions, you risk jeopardizing your claim.
Your attorney will have a rough time proving that you were seriously injured. On the other hand, the other party will question your decision not to follow the doctor’s instructions if your injuries were that serious.
In addition, failure to follow the doctor’s instructions could prolong the recovery process. The other party’s insurer will likely not be willing to settle such a claim.
Once you have been checked by a doctor and have a diagnosis, follow their instructions for treatment. Depending on the severity of your injury, this may include rest, ice, heat, physical therapy, exercises, or even surgery.
Be patient during recovery. Don’t push yourself too hard or fast, as this can worsen your injury. Instead, follow your doctor’s orders and listen to your body.
If something hurts, don’t do it. Instead, let your doctor know immediately.
It is also important to keep up with your medical appointments. These will help you heal properly and prevent further injuries.
It is also equally important to take care of yourself emotionally during this time. Recovery can be difficult and frustrating, so give yourself some grace and compassion.
Document everything during the recovery process. Examples of the kind of information you may need to document include the following:
- Your emotions before, during, and after the accident
- Your financial expenses deriving from the accident
- Your doctor’s appointments
- Your pain levels
- Any dark thoughts you may have
- Your concerns and fears
Remember to contact an experienced car accident attorney as soon as you can. The attorney can help evaluate the unique circumstances of your case and determine whether you may be able to file a claim or lawsuit against the other party.
An experienced car accident lawyer can also help you get the treatment you need and deserve to recover from your injuries. Some lawyers can even help you get treatment if you do not have insurance or if your injuries exceed your coverage limit.
Other possible ways such a lawyer can help include:
- Assessing your damages to determine the amount of compensation you may be entitled to
- Providing crucial legal advice to help maximize your claim
- Dealing with insurance companies directly on your behalf, allowing you to focus on recovering from your back injury after a car accident
- Representing you in court if the at-fault party refuses to settle your claim
When You Are Fully Recovered
When you are fully recovered, you should still avoid activities that put unnecessary strain on your back. These activities include lifting heavy objects, twisting your back, or reaching overhead. If you do any of these things, you could reinjure your back and set yourself back in the healing process.
Ensure you follow your doctor’s instructions even after recovery. If the doctor still recommends routine checkups, it is important that you attend all of them.
Who Can I Sue for a Back Injury Car Accident?
The correct answer to this question depends on the circumstances of your accident. That said, the issue of liability will depend on the unique circumstances of your case.
For example, you may be able to sue the other driver, the manufacturer of your vehicle, or the government entity responsible for maintaining the road.
The other driver might be liable if they caused the accident due to negligence. For instance, driving under the influence of alcohol is a form of negligence. In that case, you may need to contact an experienced DUI injury attorney to fight for you or your beloved.
On the other hand, suppose the accident occurred due to the vehicle’s defective condition or a defective part in the car in question. In that case, the manufacturer may be liable. This could be anyone from the brake manufacturer to the airbag designer.
Lastly, you may sue a contractor or government agency if the vehicle occurred due to negligence. Some examples of negligent conduct in such a situation include a lack of proper road signage, uncleared debris from a construction project, or a poorly designed road.
However, it is much more difficult to sue a government agency over such accidents. For this reason, it is always advisable to hire an experienced attorney to help you navigate the complex process.
Once you’ve determined who is at fault, you’ll need to gather evidence to support your claim. This will include medical records documenting your injuries, police reports, eyewitness accounts, and anything else that can help show that the other party is liable for your damages. With such evidence, you can file a personal injury lawsuit against the responsible party and seek compensation for your medical bills, lost wages, and pain and suffering, and more.
What Is the Average Settlement for Car Accident Back and Neck Injury?
The average settlement for a car accident back and neck injury depends on the severity of the injury. In most cases, the more severe the injuries, the higher the settlement you may be entitled to.
Other than the severity of your injuries, the following additional factors could influence the settlement for the back injury from a car accident:
- The medical bills incurred
- The lost wages you have suffered
- The extent of any permanent or partial damage or disability
- The pain and suffering you have endured due to the injury
- Whether the injury prevents you from earning a living for a short period or the long-term
An experienced personal injury attorney will be able to evaluate all of these factors and give you a good idea of what your case is worth.
How to Fake Back Injury From Car Accident?
Faking a back injury from a car accident is never advisable, especially to receive insurance benefits. Doing so could land you in trouble for insurance fraud.
What Is the Statute of Limitations for a Back Injury Car Accident?
The statute of limitations varies depending on the state in which the accident happened. In most states, however, the statute of limitations for personal injury claims is two years from the date of the accident. This means that if you were injured in a car accident on January 1, 2023, you would have until January 1, 2025, to file a claim.
If you fail to file a claim within this window, you will lose your right to do so. And when that happens, it won’t matter whether the other party was responsible for your injuries – you cannot sue them in court if the statute of limitations has expired.
There are some exceptions to this rule, however. For example, if the injuries caused by the car accident do not manifest immediately, then the statute of limitations may be extended.
But this will also depend on the state in which the accident occurred. An experienced car accident attorney can review your case and help determine whether or not you have a valid claim, even if the statute of limitations has expired.
Back injury car accidents can be painful, scary experiences. For this reason, it is important to know what to do if you are ever involved in one of these accidents.
Here’s a summary of what to do:
- Call 911 and seek urgent medical attention
- Gather crucial information about the accident scene
- Exchange information with the other party
- Follow your doctor’s instructions
- Document the treatment and recovery process as much as you can
- Talk to an experienced car accident lawyer
Here’s what not to do:
- Do not admit liability
- Do not ignore the importance of seeking medical attention even if you feel you’re not seriously injured
- Do not ignore your doctor’s instructions