The back often suffers the brunt of damage caused in a personal injury accident because of its size and position. The back is responsible for many bodily functions, including standing, sitting, walking, and carrying things. If you have suffered a back injury, your ability to perform these tasks is compromised.
Here is what you need to know about back injuries if you were recently hurt in an accident.
Structure of the Back
The back is part of the musculoskeletal system and consists of the following structures:
- Bones: Bones help support your body. The spine rests in the back and is made up of 24 vertebrae.
- Muscles: Muscles strengthen and permit movement in your back. The body’s muscles support various tasks, such as bending, standing, lifting, and turning.
- Tendons: Tendons connect muscles to bones. They connect your spine, skull, and shoulder blades.
- Ligaments: Ligaments provide structure and flexibility to your back. Connective tissue keeps bones in place at joints. Ligaments connect the vertebrae in your back and prevent spinal cord injuries. They also allow the muscles in your back to bend and twist.
How Back Injuries Occur
Back injuries can occur in a few different ways, including:
- Hyperextension: Hyperextension refers to the act of stretching beyond the normal limits.
- Blunt Impact: Blunt impact refers to an external force striking the body without penetrating the skin.
- Penetrating Injury: A penetrating injury occurs when an external force pierces the pierces the skin.
Whether a back injury occurs in a car or accident or during a slip and fall, it lead to life-altering consequences.
Common Causes of Back Injuries
Back injuries can occur in a variety of ways. Some causes are more likely to occur than others.
Some of the most common causes of back injuries include:
- Motor vehicle accidents: Car accidents, truck accidents, and other motor vehicle accidents are a leading cause of back injuries. The back tends to take on most of the impact of a crash, resulting in painful injuries.
- Workplace accidents: Workplace accidents also cause many back injuries each year. Back injuries are the most common on-the-job injury and the top reason for missed workdays.
- Slips and falls: Slips and falls can result in ruptured discs and other serious back injuries.
If another party’s negligence caused your back injury, you may have the right to seek compensation.
What Are Common Types of Back Injuries and Their Symptoms?
There are many different types of back injuries, including the following:
- Strained or sprained back: This condition occurs when muscles, ligaments, or tendons in the back are stretched or torn
- Herniated disc: A herniated disc is a tear in the disc’s outer layer, which allows the inner layer to push out.
- Fractured vertebrae: This is a break in one or more of the bones in the back.
While the specific symptoms of back injuries may vary depending on the person, some common symptoms include:
- Numbness or tingling
- Limited range of motion
- Muscle spasms
- Protruding or dislocated body parts
If you have been injured in an accident, seek prompt medical attention to have your injury properly diagnosed.
Diagnosing Back Injuries
Since many back injuries have similar symptoms, it may be necessary to undergo diagnostic testing to determine the type of back injury you have. These tests may include one or more of the following:
- X-rays: X-rays take still photographs of your bones. These tests can show broken bones.
- MRI scans – MRI scans generate detailed images of bones and surrounding tissue. These scans can reveal herniated discs and problems with muscles, tendons, or ligaments.
- Nerve studies – Nerve studies analyze the electrical impulses produced by nerves and the muscles’ response to them. These tests can sometimes reveal herniated discs or spinal stenosis.
- Blood tests – Blood tests can help identify if an infection is contributing to back pain.
Your doctor will also ask you about your symptoms and may conduct a physical examination to diagnose you properly.
Treatment for Back Injuries
Doctors may treat back injuries differently depending on the patient’s age, health, and other factors.
Treatment for back injuries may include one or more of the following:
- Medications, including muscle relaxants, topical pain relievers, nonsteroidal pain relievers, anti-inflammatory medications, and antidepressants
- Physical therapy to increase flexibility and strength
- Surgery, including injections of cortisone, radiofrequency ablation, implantation of nerve stimulators, and surgery on the spine to relieve pressure
Your particular treatment regimen will depend on various factors. Work closely with your doctor to determine the best options for your situation.
What Compensation Can I Recover for a Back Injury?
If you suffered a back injury because of someone else’s negligence or intentional misconduct, you can seek compensation from the party who caused your accident. Through a personal injury claim, you might be able to recover compensation for damages you sustained, including your economic and non-economic losses.
Economic losses include those damages associated with a particular financial value, such as:
- Medical expenses, including costs for surgery, hospitalization, rehabilitation, medication, and therapy
- Lost income
- Reduced earning capacity
- Damage to your personal property
Bills, invoices, and records can help establish your economic damages.
Non-economic losses provide compensation to victims for losses they suffer that are not financial in nature, including:
- Long-term disability
- Pain and suffering
- Emotional distress
- Mental anguish
- Reduced quality of life
Back injuries can significantly affect various aspects of your life, and these damages validate the real losses you can incur. Damages can provide for those losses you have already suffered and those you are likely to experience in the future.
To learn about the potential value of your claim, contact an experienced personal injury lawyer.
Contact A Dedicated San Antonio Personal Injury Lawyer for Help with Your Back Injury Case
Back injuries can compromise your ability to work, result in significant medical expenses, and cause substantial pain and suffering. You should not have to pay for someone else’s mistake.
The back injury lawyers at Roderick C. Lopez Personal Injury Lawyers can guide you through filing a claim and seeking compensation for the damages you have sustained. We provide a free, no-obligation consultation, so you have nothing to lose by reaching out to us today at (956) 529-7336.