Suffering a neck or back injury can be painful and often disabling. Neck and back injuries can cause ongoing pain and stiffness, and in serious cases, a person may be completely incapacitated. Car accidents, slip and fall accidents, and many other preventable accidents can cause serious neck and back injuries.
Discuss Your Case with a Houston Attorney
If you or your loved one have suffered a neck or back injury due to an accident caused by someone else, you may be entitled to compensation. In Texas, injured victims can bring a personal injury lawsuit against the person or company whose action or inaction caused their injuries. Contact the skilled Houston personal injury attorneys at Ceja Law Firm PLLC today to schedule your free initial consultation.
What Causes a Neck and Back Injury?
Our necks and backs are particularly vulnerable to injury. In an accident, the force from a fall or motor vehicle collision can put significant pressure on a person’s back or neck, causing soft tissue damage or fractures. Many different types of accidents can cause neck and back injuries, but some of the most common types of preventable accidents that have led to these types of injuries include the following:
- Motor vehicle accidents
- Slip and fall accidents
- Motorcycle accidents
- Pedestrian accidents
- Bicycle accidents
- Workplace accidents
- Premises liability accidents
- Falls from heights
- Sports accidents
Facet Joint Pain
Many back and neck injuries that occur in accidents involve trauma to the facet joint. Facet joint pain can be mistaken for muscle pain, and it’s usually felt in the area to the right or left center of the back of the neck. Facet joint damage can cause pain that radiates through the neck and shoulders and becomes worse when looking upward or turning your head. Facet joint damage doesn’t always show on diagnostic tests and can only be diagnosed through a medial branch block, which is a strong local anesthetic.
Whiplash and Neck Strain Injuries
Car accidents, truck accidents, and any other accident that results in a significant force being put on a person’s neck can cause neck and back sprains and strains. Whiplash is one of the most common injuries from car accidents. Unfortunately, strain and sprain injuries can be difficult to prove because the damage to the neck doesn’t always show up on x-rays. It’s important that your medical records reflect all of the symptoms and pain you’ve experienced from these types of soft tissue injuries.
An injury to an intervertebral spinal disc can cause severe back or neck pain. A spinal disc is made of a gelatinous material that forms a cushion between the vertebrae of the spinal column. Anytime the back of the neck rapidly snaps forward and backward, the force can cause a painful tear in the disc’s outer wall. In other cases, the disc becomes herniated or bulges out, putting pressure on surrounding nerves. Disc damage can cause radiating, shooting pain down a person’s leg, or arm. The disc damage can also cause tingling, numbness, and weakness in the extremities.
Spinal Cord Injuries
Of all of the different types of neck and back injuries, spinal cord injuries are usually the most serious. A person’s spinal cord is the bundle of nerves that connects the brain to the rest of the body through a tunnel made up of the hard vertebrae of the spinal column. When the spinal cord becomes severed or bruised, the victim can become paralyzed below the point of the injury.
For example, when a person’s neck or cervical spine becomes injured, they may experience tetraplegia, also called quadriplegia. Tetraplegia involves paralysis of all four of the victim’s limbs. In most cases, the diaphragm also becomes paralyzed, requiring the individual to use a ventilator to breathe. Spinal cord injuries can result in millions of dollars of medical expenses over a person’s lifetime.
Spinal Cord Fractures
Slip and fall accidents, workplace accidents, and motor vehicle accidents can all cause fractures to a person’s neck or back vertebrae. Fractures can threaten the integrity of the spinal cord which is formed by the vertebrae. Many patients will require surgery and ongoing treatment. For older adults, compression fractures are more likely to occur. The small cracks in the spinal column can cause the vertebrae to collapse over time, damaging the alignment and structure of the spine. Compression fractures are often overlooked and undiagnosed, but they can cause respiratory problems, pain, and mobility issues.
When You Need an Attorney For Your Neck and Back Injury
Unless you suffered a neck or back injury that required a minimal amount of treatment, discussing your case with an attorney is in your best interest. Whether you’re pursuing compensation through an insurance policy or a personal injury lawsuit, an attorney can help you negotiate the best possible outcome in your case. Insurance companies are notorious for making low settlement offers. A skilled neck and back injury attorney knows how to hold insurance companies accountable if they act in bad faith or fail to provide you with the compensation you deserve.
Determining Liability in Neck and Back Injury Cases
To recover compensation, you will need to prove that the other party is liable for your injuries. Most neck and back injury cases involved negligence. Negligence occurs when someone fails to use reasonable care under the circumstances, causing another person to suffer a neck or back injury. In other words, you will need to show that your injuries wouldn’t have occurred but for another party’s negligence. Depending on the facts of your case, there may be multiple defendants who are liable for your injuries.
Fighting to Help You Recover Your Compensation Award
In Texas, victims of personal injuries who’ve suffered neck or back injuries are entitled to economic and non-economic damages. Economic damages include easily quantifiable damages related to your injuries, such as your medical expenses, property damage costs, lost wages, and loss of future income. You can also pursue non-economic damages for loss of consortium, disfigurement, disability, and pain and suffering.
Discuss Your Neck and Back Injury Attorney
If you or your loved one have experienced a neck or back injury caused by another person’s negligence, you need an experienced attorney on your side. Contact Ceja Law Firm PLLC today to schedule your free initial consultation and learn more about your legal rights.