Motor vehicle accidents are an everyday occurrence. And oftentimes, they result in minor injuries and minimal vehicle damage. Some injuries are immediately noticeable; such as cuts, scrapes, bumps, bruises, and broken bones. Other injuries are not always noticed right away, however. This is especially common with neck and lower back pain that happens after a car crash.
There is a good reason why you don’t always feel the effects of an injury immediately after an auto accident; adrenaline. When you are involved in a vehicle collision, it creates any immediate change in your emotional state. Your heart beats faster and your mind starts racing as you try to figure out what all this means and how you should deal with the situation.
The adrenaline rush you experience often masks the pain of an injury, much like what happens to an athlete when they are injured in the middle of a game but continue playing and do not feel the injury until after the game is over. In the case of a car accident, it may take several hours or even a few days or longer to start to feel the effects of some injuries.
What causes Neck and Back Pain after an Auto Accident?
If you start to feel pain in your back and neck after being in a car crash, this could be a sign of a whiplash injury. Most vehicle accidents, regardless of the force or intensity of the collision, will involve a jerking motion. The force of the collision throws your body rapidly back and forth, similarly to the motion of a horse whip.
Minor cases of whiplash may last only a few days, while severe cases can go on for several months or even years. The severity of the injury depends largely on specific factors, such as the speed in which the vehicles were traveling at impact, the position of the injured occupant(s) when the vehicles collided, and many others.
Whiplash tends to produce general neck and back pain, which as we discussed earlier, can happen right away or the onset of the pain may be delayed for a while. There are other symptoms that are associated with this condition, including:
- Extreme headaches;
- Stiffness in the neck and back;
- Restricted range of motion in the neck;
- Increased pain with neck movement;
- Numbness or tingling in the arms;
- Tenderness or pain in the arms, shoulders, and upper back;
- Dizziness and blurred vision;
- Anxiety and problems sleeping;
- Difficulty with memory and focus;
- Lower back pain.
In addition to whiplash, neck and back pain can be a sign of other conditions as well, such as:
- Disc herniation
- Spinal cord injury (SCI)
- Lumbar spine injury
- Thoracic spine injury
What to Do if you are Experiencing Neck and Back Pain after a Car Accident
If you were involved in a vehicle collision and you start to feel pain in your neck and back, this is not something you should ignore. If you do nothing about it, the condition may worsen over time and the effects could even become permanent. Another reason you want to address this type of injury right away it is to help protect your legal right to recover compensation.
If the car crash you were involved in was the fault of another party, you deserve to be compensated for losses such as medical expenses, time missed from work, and pain and suffering. If you fail to seek immediate medical attention, however, the other side may argue that your neck and back pain is not related to the car accident at all. They may also argue that by not seeing a medical professional right away, you did not do enough to fulfill your legal obligation to mitigate your losses.
This could make it very difficult to recover damages, especially if the crash happened in a state like Alabama, where they apply the “contributory negligence” legal standard. Contributory negligence means that if an injured party is found to have “contributed” in any way to their injuries (even just 1%), they can be barred from recovering compensation. For this reason, it is absolutely essential not only to seek immediate medical attention, but also to obtain skilled legal counsel as early as possible in the process, so you can preserve your legal rights.
Call the Seasoned Auto Accident Injury Lawyers at Burge & Burge
If you or a loved one was involved in a car crash in Alabama and you are experiencing any type of pain, see a medical professional right away, then contact Burge & Burge for a free, no-obligation consultation and case assessment. We will speak with you about your case and advise you of your legal rights and options, so you can make the most informed decision on how you wish to proceed.
Call our office today at 205-251-9000 for a free consultation or send us a message through our web contact form.