Common Back Injuries After a Car Accident

Back injuries are one of the most common injuries that occur due to a car accident. The sudden stop of an impact can have a serious effect on your back.

However, it can take some time for the symptoms of a back injury to appear, so a victim may not even realize the car accident caused the pain. If you experience any back pain following a car accident, be sure to seek medical help. Your pain could be a symptom of something much more serious.

Signs That You Have a Back Injury

If you have suffered a back injury, pain is by far the most common symptom. Keep in mind that your spine runs the entire length of your body, so the pain could occur virtually anywhere.

In fact, other symptoms can occur that you may not realize are associated with a back injury, including:

  • Numbness in your hands, feet, or legs
  • Pain radiating down (or up) your legs
  • Weakening muscles
  • Back pain, even if it is sporadic

The back is a complex structure that houses vital nerves. Any displacement or injury can have very serious consequences.

Herniated Disc

A herniated disc, also known as a slipped or ruptured disc, is the most common type of back injury after a car accident. Your back contains small, soft cushions between the vertebrae.

They separate the vertebrae and protect them from one another. They also allow your spine to be flexible.

If a car accident displaces or damages a disc, it cannot perform this protective function. That means that the vertebrae could actually grind together. If the disc moves, it may also push up against nearby nerves.

If this happens, it can be extremely painful. Pressure on the nerves can also cause numbness or weakness in other parts of the body.

Spinal Cord Injuries

Another common injury relates to damage to the spinal cord. The spinal cord links your brain and the rest of your body, carrying messages back and forth to control movement and your senses.

If a spinal cord injury occurs, that means that the impact of the car accident has damaged the delicate nerves inside the vertebral column or spine.

Damages to the spinal cord can sometimes cause paralysis, but it can also cause a loss of sensation in any part of the body. A “complete” spinal cord injury means that there is total numbness and paralysis, whereas an “incomplete” spinal cord injury means that there are some movement problems or numbness in part of the body.

The higher the injury on the spinal cord, the more parts of the body it will affect.

Compression Fractures

Compression fractures are more common when older adults are involved in a car accident. They are tiny cracks in the spinal bones. They will eventually cause the vertebrae to collapse or deform, which could permanently change the shape of the spine.

If you have difficulty breathing, pain, and changes in posture, you may have suffered a compression fracture. These are not a normal sign of aging, so you should seek medical attention immediately.


If you were hurt in an auto accident, then you may have suffered either a soft tissue injury or a serious injury. Whiplash injuries and other soft tissue damage often heal within six weeks, but you might never recover from a traumatic brain injury.

After a car crash, seek medical attention as soon as possible even if you think you’re fine because this might help with early detection of a serious injury.

Is It Normal to Have Back Pain After a Car Accident?

A common car accident injury like whiplash can result in neck pain as well as back pain. Your injuries might be either mild or severe. Sometimes, too, a neck or back pain damage can appear a few hours or days after the accident and get worse over time.

How Long Does Back Pain Last After a Car Accident?

After a vehicle accident, you may have soft tissue injuries, such as sprains, strains, or whiplash, or you may have sustained more serious injuries. While soft tissue injuries heal within about six weeks, the pain can persist for months. Serious injuries, in comparison, can cause pain for years.

What to Do If Your Back Hurts After a Car Accident

You should seek medical care immediately after a car accident, even if you feel fine and that you escaped without a scratch. If you need to file an injury-related claim with your insurance company for a delayed injury or pursue a personal injury lawsuit, you’ll need medical documentation as evidence.

Medical treatment can range from receiving medication for soft tissue damage to requiring physical therapy to regain mobility or flexibility because of an injury to your spine, shoulders, arms, hips, or legs. Extreme cases may require surgery to permanently fix your back injury.

Can You Sue for Back Pain After a Car Accident?

It’s not unusual for accident victims to want to sue a negligent driver if they experience severe back pain weeks or months after a car accident. Some people experience neck and back pain after a car accident; some, middle back pain after a car accident; and, some lower back pain after being rear-ended in a car accident.

If you’re struggling with unpaid medical bills, get legal advice from a personal injury attorney to see if you are entitled to compensation for your injuries.

What If My Pain After a Car Accident Was Delayed?

Car accident victims may only experience mild pain after an accident, but this might become severe pain after a few weeks or months. Some people even experience back pain 2 years after a car accident.

If you experienced delayed pain after a car accident, don’t simply settle for the small amount an insurance company is willing to pay. Instead, speak to a personal injury attorney to get the maximum compensation you deserve to cover any overdue medical bills.

Average Neck or Back Injury Settlement in Missouri

“How much can you get for a back injury in a car accident?” There is no such thing as an average payout for a back injury.

If, say, you’re inquiring about average settlement amounts because you had a car accident and want to know more about lower back pain after car accident compensation rates, then the only person who can tell you how much your case is worth is your personal injury attorney after he or she reviews your medical records. With that said, severe spinal disc injury lawsuits often have high settlement figures.

How Our St. Louis Car Accident Lawyers Can Help

If you’re looking for a good St. Louis car accident attorney because you want to file an injury claim for your thoracic back pain after a car accident, you’ll be pleased to learn that the Dixon Injury Law Firm has some of the most experienced injury lawyers in Missouri and Illinois.

St. Louis Car Accident Claims — Call Us Today for a FREE Consultation

If you have been involved in a car accident that may have affected your back, you should seek medical attention immediately. Then, call The Dixon Injury Firm at 855-552-2337 for a free case evaluation. We can help you determine if bringing a personal injury lawsuit is the right option for you.

Get The Representation You Need Today!

Reach out to Chris Dixon for personal injury, workers compensation, product liability, and other legal services for experienced, reliable counsel and representation in St. Louis.

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