Neck and back injuries are not an uncommon occurrence. Our bodies are incredibly frail and when they are placed under stress or endure the physical trauma of an accident, injuries are bound to happen. Depending on the severity of the injury, the days and weeks that follow can be incredibly stressful, not to mention unbearably painful.
The worst part about an injury like this is the potential it has to affect every aspect of your daily life. Not only can it put stress on your personal relationships, it can be taxing for your professional relationships as well.
A neck or back injury may prevent you from being able to complete some or all of your work duties, putting you out of work for an undetermined amount of time. The good news is that if your neck or back injury was the result of an accident, you may be in a position to seek reimbursement from the responsible or guilty party.
Types of Neck and Back Injuries and Accidents
The lawyers at Hagelgans & Veronis have worked with the victims of neck and back injuries for many years.
There are a few general varieties of neck and back injuries and they typically fall into one of the following categories:
- Fractured vertebra
- Herniated Disc (ruptured disc)
- Pinched nerves
- Chronic pain
- Whiplash (cervical strain/sprain)
- Lower back strains and sprains
Such injuries can be sustained a number of ways. One of the most common ways, by far, that people find themselves with a back or neck injury is after being in a motor vehicle accident. The immense force of the violent impact that is usually seen in an automobile accident jolts the body, and is more than enough to cause serious and lasting damage. What follows are some of the more common accidents that can cause a neck or back injury.
Car Accident: From a simple fender bender to the events that lead to a car rolling over, neck and back injuries are quite typical in car accidents. The most common injury sustained in these accidents is whiplash, which is caused when a sudden impact forces the head and neck to jerk violently forwards or backwards.
Motorcycle Accident: The lack of protection and small size of motorcycles make them potentially dangerous vehicles to ride, regardless of whether or not the driver is operating the bike safely. Broken vertebrae and spinal cord injuries are just two types of trauma the neck and back could withstand in a motorcycle accident.
Pedestrian Accident: Walkers, bicyclists, skateboarders, and rollerbladers alike are all considered pedestrians. If any one of these individuals steps into traffic or is hit by a car, they could suffer injuries as severe as a broken back or permanent or temporary paralysis. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, pedestrian accidents are responsible for roughly 4,000 wrongful deaths per year.
Truck Accident: Cars today may be safer than ever before, but they’re certainly no match for the force exerted by an 18-wheeler in an accident. When a passenger car is involved in a truck accident, it will almost definitely be totaled, if not completely destroyed. This could cause the necks and backs of the passengers inside to withstand serious bone, ligament, or disc injuries, among other things.
Construction Accident: If you’re a construction worker, chances are your job involves heavy lifting, the use of machinery, and exposure to an environment that could just be unsafe in general. Any back or neck injury could occur in this atmosphere. You could sprain or strain your back or neck while lifting a large item or be trapped by machinery and crushed or mauled. In many cases, construction accidents lead their victims to file workers’ compensation claims.
Nursing Home Accident: If a nursing home or assisted living facility is not adhering to the standards for patient safety that have been laid out for them, it’s entirely possible that one of the residents could sustain a painful or even life threatening neck or back injury. It could be that the residents are not checked on frequently enough, causing them to need to move or adjust themselves on their own which could easily result in a strain or sprain of the neck or back. Injuries of this nature can also be a result of nursing home abuse, a problem which is far too common.
Slip and Fall Accident: If the floor in a building is wet or cracked, it’s easy for someone to fall and hurt themselves. Businesses have a responsibility to keep their grounds safe and protect their patrons, but that doesn’t mean they don’t neglect this duty. A slip and fall accident could cause the victim to break vertebrae, rupture or tear a disc, or severely strain their neck.
Neck and Back Injury Symptoms
A devastating injury can occur in any of the muscles, ligaments, or 33 vertebrae that make up the neck and back. If you’ve sustained a back injury before, then you know how crippling the pain can be and how long it can linger.
Common neck and back injury symptoms include:
- Loss of feeling
- Paralysis of extremities
- Difficulty breathing
- Lessened range of motion
- Muscle spasms
- Muscle weakness
- Abnormal heart rate (slow or fast)
- Abnormal and sudden changes in blood pressure (spikes/drops)
- Sexual dysfunction
- Bladder control issues
Making Your Case
In many kinds of personal injury cases, you are responsible for demonstrating that your injury was the direct result of someone else’s negligence or wrongdoing. You’ll also have to prove to the court that you received medical treatment for the injury and be able to establish whether or not it has impacted your day to day life.
Proving that an injury has changed your life and/or ability to work can be quite hard, as there are several different criteria that must be met before your case is likely to be ruled as being caused by someone else’s lack of responsibility. An experienced Lancaster personal injury attorney can help you analyze the situation and prepare a case that shows that the following principles are true in your circumstances:
Duty: Your attorney will need to show that the defendant has legal responsibility for the plaintiff’s safety. This is as true of a supervisor being responsible for his employee’s safety, as it is for a store manager to be responsible for his patron’s.
Breach of Duty: This is proven to show that, despite the defendant’s duty, they have not upheld their responsibility to keep others safe. In this situation they either didn’t act as promised or neglected to maintain property as required.
Causation: This serves the purpose of showing, beyond a shadow of a doubt, that the defendant’s actions or lack of action was the main cause of the plaintiff’s injury.
Damages/Injuries: This final step should be proven to show that the actions mentioned above absolutely did result in the plaintiff being harmed.
Good evidence goes a long way in a case like this. Your attorney will help with gathering information that strengthens your case, but you can assist by providing:
- Photographs of the scene of the accident and your injuries
- Accounts from any witnesses, as well as their contact information
- Medical records and bills
- Paperwork documenting the time you’ve missed from work
- Any police reports or statements from the initial accident
What Your Neck or Back Injury Claim is Worth
No two situations are the same. We know that every back or neck injury case we receive is different, and that the compensation you may be entitled to depends a lot on your unique circumstances. Maybe you’ve suffered a sprain or strain, or perhaps you’ve endured an injury that caused you significant emotional pain as well as physical pain. Whatever the scenario, the attorneys at Hagelgans & Veronis want to hear your story.
Proving that your neck or back injury has had a profound and life-changing impact on you can be hard when you’re on your own. All of our local, personal injury attorneys have dedicated their careers to helping personal injury victims. We’re happy to come to your house or hospital room and are more than willing to schedule appointments for evenings or weekends. It’s just one of the many ways we demonstrate to our clients that their best interests are our first priority. Call us toll-free, at 1-877-454-8529 to schedule a free consultation or contact us now.