Car accident back injuries can be very serious, often requiring individuals to undergo treatment that is both extensive – and expensive – to return to good health. Sometimes auto accident victims never regain their full function. Either way, they’re stuck shouldering the burden of enormous medical bills, lost wages and ongoing physical pain and emotional suffering.
If your injuries were caused by the negligence of someone else, you may be entitled to collect compensation – from their insurer and possibly others. Atlanta car accident lawyer Stephen M. Ozcomert has decades of experience handling these cases. We can usually tell you the viability of your case during a free initial consultation. From there, we’ll carefully consider the individual facts of your case, nature and extent of your injuries and what would be the best way to maximize the compensation you receive. As injury lawyers, we accept cases on a contingency fee basis, meaning you don’t pay attorney fees unless we’re successful.
Back injuries especially have a way of upending your whole life. In addition to the acute and chronic pain that crash-related back injuries usually inflict, there is the potential need for surgery, which can have you out of work for weeks or months. Severe back injuries can render you unable to return to work at all, or at least not the same career you once enjoyed. Back injuries can affect your personal and intimate relationships, and leave you distraught about the activities in which you can no longer participate.
When all of it is due to a driver who was careless, drunk or totally reckless, you have the right to pursue damages.Types of Back Injuries
The type of back injury sustained in a car accident depends on a myriad of factors, including the angle of the collision, the point of impact and the speed.
As explained by WebMD, the spine can be divided into three basic areas: Lumbar vertebrae (lower back), thoracic vertebrae (upper back) and cervical vertebrae (neck). Each of these sections is encased by discs, tendons, ligaments, muscles and nerves. If there are injuries to any of these components, there is a potential for a range of pain or disability.
Herniated Discs. Herniated discs occur when one of the discs is displaced. In a car accident, the impact from the collision causes the disc to break or deform, which diminishes or destroys its ability to cushion the bones in the spine. This puts direct pressure on nerves and the spinal cord itself, which can be incredibly painful. It can also result in pain and numbness radiating down into both legs. Even worse, the condition may deteriorate over time.
Lumbar Spine Injuries. The lumbar spine has five large vertebrae, and strong muscles offer the body stability and balance. Any type of a strain or sprain can be very painful – and debilitating. Injuries can result in limitation of movement, bruising, swelling and tenderness. Those with lumbar spine injuries are often out-of-work for a time.
Thoracic Spine Injuries. These tend to be extremely serious, mostly occurring in high-velocity accidents. The danger with thoracic spinal injuries is that there may be permanent nerve damage, resulting in disability.
Spinal Injuries. Spinal cord injuries can be devastating. They range from mild bruising and pressure to total and permanent damage of the spinal cord and nerves. Those with spinal injuries are often at heightened risk for serious secondary medical problems, like blood clots, pneumonia, spinal fluid leaks or major infections after surgery.
Soft tissue injuries. We see this a lot in low-speed accidents, those occurring at less than 15 mph. Soft tissue injuries to the back and neck generally involve the nerves, muscles and connective tissue of the back. While almost one-third of those involved in low-speed crashes suffer a soft tissue injury, but they are often overlooked because people erroneously believe low-speed crashes can’t cause any real damage. Nothing could be farther from the truth.
Because of the long-term impact of these collisions, it’s important to discuss your case with an experienced injury lawyer serving Atlanta who can explain what sort of damages to which you may be entitled and how best to pursue it.Liability for Crash-Related Back Injuries
Georgia is an at-fault state when it comes to car insurance. That means the negligent driver is responsible to cover damages they caused. That’s the first place we turn when seeking compensation.
However, many drivers only carry the statutory minimum amount of bodily injury liability ($25,000 per person and $50,000 per crash). That only goes so far. And according to the Insurance Research Council (IRC), 16 percent of drivers don’t have any insurance at all. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) reports hit-and-run crashes are trending upward as well, which means even more people injured in crashes are finding themselves stranded financially. This is where uninsured/ underinsured motorist coverage comes into play. This is coverage you purchase to cover your own back injuries in the event the at-fault driver is underinsured, uninsured or unidentified.
We might also explore third-party liability in back injury cases, with potential defendants ranging from at-fault driver employers to municipalities to vehicle manufacturers.
Georgia car accident attorney Stephen M. Ozcomert in Atlanta is ready to take your call and help you determine the best course of action in your back injury claim.
If you have been injured in a Georgia car accident, contact Atlanta Car Accident Attorney Stephen M. Ozcomert at (404) 370-1000.