Tampa Back Injury Attorney
You may be entitled to compensation for your back & lumbar injuries
Back injuries can vary greatly in terms of severity. Nevertheless, even a minor back injury may impact a person’s ability to complete day-to-day tasks. In instances in which a back injury is caused by someone else’s negligence, the injured party may file a claim to receive compensation for the injury.
Accidents that cause back injuries
Back injuries occur as a result of the force of a fall or traffic collision. Examples of personal injury accidents that cause back injuries include:
- car accidents
- motorcycle accidents
- commercial truck accidents
- pedestrian accidents
Types of back injuries caused by personal injury accidents
The back is composed of multiple muscles, bones, and connective tissue that strengthen the torso and allow mobility. Common back injuries that occur in personal injury accidents are:
- muscle tear
- herniated disc
- spine injury
Receiving treatment for a strain after an accident
A strain is an injury that may occur in the muscle or tendon, which connects muscle to bone. A relatively minor accident may result in muscle strain. The lumbar or lower back is one of the more common sites of muscle strain. The force of a collision may cause the body to be propelled in any direction. Muscles and tendons may twist or overextend beyond their normal range of motion, causing a strain.
Treatment for muscle strain is usually doctor-ordered rest, ice, and compression. In some cases, a strain may require surgical repair if the strain creates a tear in the muscle. Accident victims who are required to take time off from work to recover may receive compensation. In addition to being compensated for any related medical expenses, the injured party may also receive compensation for lost wages.
Sprains could bring lingering pain
A sprain is very similar to a strain; however, the injury takes place in the ligament, which is a type of connective tissue that joins two bones together at the joint. Sprains usually occur as a result of a sudden fall, twist, or blow to the body. In a less severe motorcycle, bicycle, or pedestrian accident, the injured party may suffer a back sprain as a result of diving to avoid an oncoming vehicle or falling as a result of the impact of a collision. A back sprain may occur in an accident involving a car or truck if the back suddenly twists to one side or the other.
Herniated discs in Tampa traffic accidents
A disc herniates when the jelly-like interior nucleus bulges through the disc’s tough, rubbery outer casing. The discs are soft cushions that separate the vertebrae, allowing the bones of the spine to stack comfortably. Herniated discs are also referred to as bulging or ruptured discs. Disc herniation typically occurs in the lumbar, or lower back, region. The force of a traffic accident can displace a vertebra, causing the bone to put pressure on a disc. The compounded pressure may cause the disc to herniate.
Symptoms of a herniated disc
Herniated discs can cause different symptoms based on the location of the injury. An injured disc in the lumbar spine will commonly cause:
- pain while sitting
- radiating pain down the legs
- low back pain
- foot pain
- back pain
- numbness in the leg or foot
People who are involved in an accident should immediately be examined by a medical professional. In some cases, it may be easy to mistake a herniated disc for general soreness or back pain that will subside on its own. However, only a medical professional can accurately diagnose the condition. Medical professionals use any of the following diagnostic imaging tools to identify herniated discs:
- CT Scan
Treating a herniated disc after an accident
A herniated disc can take quite some time to heal. Doctors generally treat disc herniation with simple measures like bed rest and directing the accident victim to take painkillers or muscle relaxers. The injured party may also be required to wear a back brace or other support device and receive ongoing physical therapy. More severe cases may require surgery to remove the herniated portion of the disc followed by several weeks of recovery.
Accident-induced sciatica pain
Sciatica is pain that travels down the sciatic nerve. The sciatic nerve is located in the lower back and branches down through the buttocks and hips and into each leg. Herniated discs and bone spurs are most often the cause of sciatica. Disc herniation may trigger sciatica if the bulging disc causes the nerve to become pinched. The pain may occur anywhere along the nerve pathway. Pain intensity may vary from a mild ache to sharp pain, burning sensation, or extreme pain that feels like electricity at times. Prolonged sitting may aggravate the pain; therefore, accident victims who experience sciatica may require time away from work.
Although mild sciatica may resolve on its own, accident victims should request medical imaging if they experience symptoms of the condition. If the pain does not resolve with rest and medication, a doctor may recommend a steroid injection or surgery. Steroid injects reduce sciatica by reducing the inflammation around the pinched nerve. Each shot remains effective for a few months; however, patients can only receive a limited amount of shots over time due to an increased risk of side effects with prolonged use. In more extreme cases, sciatica may cause bladder or bowel incontinence, worsening pain, or significant muscle weakness. Doctors recommend surgery in cases in which a patient experiences these more severe symptoms. After the individual begins to heal and the inflammation has begun to subside, a doctor will usually recommend physical therapy.
The treatment process for sciatica can be long. Tampa accident victims who require extensive treatment for sciatica may file a claim to receive compensation to cover their medical expenses and lost wages. In very extreme cases, the individual may also receive compensation for emotional damages if the accident victim experiences a major change in overall quality of life.
Filing a claim for a back injury after an accident
Accident victims usually become aware of back injuries when they receive a medical examination after the incident. The injured party receives a diagnosis and treatment plan from one or more medical professionals and undergoes treatment. In addition to receiving medical diagnosis and treatment, it is at this point that accident victims also begin the process of contacting the appropriate parties to file a claim for compensation.
Contacting a Tampa personal injury lawyer for a back injury
Most people may think minor back injuries are relatively straightforward medical issues that simply resolve in a few days. However, if someone else causes the injury, that party is responsible for compensating the injured party for his or her losses. Whether an accident injury will resolve quickly and requires a short-term absence from work or if the injury is very severe and causes long-term disability, the accident victim should contact a personal injury attorney in Tampa.
Our personal injury attorneys are available to provide a free case evaluation. Let us help you get the compensation you deserve. We will defend your rights while you focus on your recovery.