Brian White | November 19, 2020 | Auto Accidents
According to the Texas Department of Transportation, in 2019, someone was injured in a car accident every two minutes and three seconds in Texas. That number translates to 256,338 people injured in motor vehicle accidents during 2019. Some of those car accidents likely involved neck and back injuries.
Neck and back injuries can be devastating after a car accident. While some individuals might recover fully from their injuries, other individuals sustain permanent impairments because of neck and back injuries. Their lives are changed forever because of the negligent acts of another person.
Texas personal injury laws permit car accident victims to recover compensation for damages caused by a car crash. The money does not ease the person’s pain or undo the consequences of a car accident. It does reimburse and compensate the person for the losses and damages sustained because of the accident.
Neck and Back Injuries Caused by Car Accidents
A car accident can cause one or more injuries to a person’s neck and back. The type and severity of the injury depend on the circumstances of the accident.
Common neck and back injuries caused by car crashes include, but are not limited to:
- Soft tissue damage
- Bruising and contusions
- Nerve damage
- Fractured and broken vertebrae
- Herniated and slipped discs
- Spinal cord injury
- Spinal stenosis
- Muscle sprains and strains
It is important to understand that any type of car accident can cause neck and back injuries. Do not assume that the pain, dizziness, stiffness, or other symptoms you feel are not from a neck or back injury simply because your car accident was not serious or was a low-impact collision.
See a doctor immediately for a diagnosis and treatment plan. Without treatment, your neck and back injury could become worse. Also, delays in medical treatment could cause problems with a personal injury claim.
What are the Treatments for Neck and Back Pain?
The treatment your doctor prescribes depends on the type of injury and the severity of the injury. Many of the neck and back injuries listed above can be treated with medications, rest, and physical therapy. Other injuries might require more aggressive treatment, such as steroid injections or anti-inflammatory medications.
If you continue to experience pain and other symptoms, your physician might order one or more imaging and diagnostic tests to identify the source of your symptoms. CT scans, MRIs, and x-rays are common diagnostic tools used when diagnosing back and neck pain.
Depending on the course of treatment, your doctor might prescribe massage therapy, traction, and immobilization. In severe cases, surgery might be required to repair the injury.
For individuals who develop permanent impairments, including paralysis, ongoing personal and medical care might be required.
Who is Responsible for Your Neck and Back Injuries?
Because Texas is an at-fault state for car accidents, the driver who caused your car crash is liable for your injuries and damages. Drivers are required to purchase minimum amounts of liability car insurance. The insurance compensates accident victims when a driver causes an accident.
However, it is not always that simple. The insurance company might deny your claim for a variety of reasons. It might claim that its insured was not responsible for causing the car accident.
Another reason the insurance company might use for denying a claim is that the accident was not the cause of your injuries. It might also claim that the statute of limitations has expired for filing personal injury claims.
If the insurance provider cannot find a way to deny your claim, it certainly will try to undervalue your claim. The company might allege that you are partially at fault for the accident. Therefore, you are not entitled to full compensation under the Texas comparative fault statutes.
The company could argue that your medical bills and other damages are not reasonable in light of your injuries. In cases of whiplash, insurance companies often accuse the victim of exaggerating the symptoms.
Before you agree to a settlement offer or accept what the insurance company tells you about your claim, talk with a car accident lawyer. A lawyer has your best interests in mind when he reviews the case and offers advice. Make sure that you are not being cheated out of the compensation you deserve for a neck or back injury.
You can recover compensation for your financial losses, including medical expenses and loss of income. You can also recover compensation for your non-economic damages, including permanent impairments, physical pain, loss of enjoyment of life, mental anguish, and emotional distress.
If the car accident caused a disability, you could also be entitled to future damages for ongoing medical and personal care, lost wages, and decreased earning capacity.
How Much is My Neck and Back Injury Claim Worth?
The amount you might receive for a neck and back injury after a car accident depends on several factors. Each personal injury case is unique. Some of the factors that could determine how much money you might receive for a neck or back injury claim include:
The Severity and Type of Neck or Back Injury
The severity of your injury has a direct impact on the value of your injury claim. Severe injuries increase the value of an injury claim. The highest value claims generally involve permanent impairments, disabling conditions, and catastrophic injuries.
Your Degree of Fault
As discussed above, if you contributed to the cause of the car accident, your compensation can be reduced. It is reduced by the percentage of fault assigned to you for the cause of the accident. However, if you are 51 percent or more at fault, you are barred from receiving any money for your claim.
Available Insurance Coverage
Minimum car insurance coverage may not pay your neck and back injury claim after a car accident. You can sue the at-fault driver, but you may never receive your money if the driver does not have assets to pay the judgment.
If you have underinsured motorist coverage, you could file a claim against your insurance coverage. Your insurance company pays the difference between what you received from the at-fault driver and the value of your claim up to your policy limits.
Whether You Hire a Personal Injury Lawyer
There are no guarantees that hiring a lawyer will result in more compensation for a neck and back injury claim. However, hiring a car accident lawyer ensures that you have someone on your side who understands the law and will fight to ensure you receive the most money possible for your injury claim.
Hiring an attorney also prevents the insurance company from taking advantage of you. If the company acts in bad faith, your lawyer may file an additional lawsuit seeking compensation for bad faith insurance practices.
Bottom Line – If you sustain a neck or back injury in a car accident, seek medical attention. Avoid talking to the insurance company until you consult with a car accident lawyer.
Attorney Brian White & Associates, PC
3120 Southwest Fwy Suite 350
Houston, TX 77098