Upper Back Pain after an Accident | Staver
Injury Types

Upper Back Pain After an Accident

Catastrophic accidents can result in a variety of injuries. But some of the most painful and debilitating are those affecting the upper back. These injuries can have lifelong ramifications, but if someone else’s negligence caused your injuries, you should not be stuck covering the costs.

With help from an experienced personal injury attorney at Staver Accident Injury Lawyers, P.C., you can demand total compensation for your losses. Contact our office for a free consultation when you call us at (312) 236-2900 and learn more about how you can demand justice.

Common Types of Upper Back Injuries

Upper back injuries frequently occur when there is damage at the base of the neck, anywhere along the thoracic spine or bottom of the rib cage.

Upper back injuries can take multiple forms and have various symptoms. Some of the most common types of back injuries diagnosed after an accident include:

Thoracic spine injuries

The thoracic spine is in the upper and middle part of your back, vertebrae T1 through T12. Injuries to the first five vertebrae will affect your muscles in the upper chest, middle back, or abdomen. Injuries here can affect your breathing. Injuries to the last seven will affect your abdomen and back muscles, potentially impacting your posture.

Spinal Stenosis

When there isn’t enough space in your spine, there can be pressure on the spinal cord and nerves. This “spinal stenosis” might not have any symptoms, or might cause significant pain for those suffering.

Herniated Discs

The bones in the spinal column are cushioned by cartilaginous discs, allowing it to flex without injuring the spinal cord. After an accident, they might be compressed so they bulge past the spinal cord or affect the nerves there.

What are the Symptoms of Upper Back Injuries?

Although there are several kinds of upper back injuries, several share similar symptoms. Upper back injuries can affect more than just bones and muscles. Your spinal cord could become compressed, leading to symptoms like:

  • Sharp pains in a particular area of your upper back
  • Discomfort or throbbing in your neck or upper back
  • Reduced mobility and stiffness in your joints, muscles, or ligaments
  • Electric shock-like or radiating pain
  • Weakness, numbness, or tingling in the chest, arms, or stomach

What Accidents Cause Upper Back Injuries?

Various types of accidents can result in upper back injuries. Some of the most common of which include:

  • Car accidents – The force from car accidents can cause upper back injuries. Rear-end collisions can lead to whiplash, where the sudden back-and-forth movement of the neck and upper back can strain muscles, ligaments, and discs in the upper back region. The impact of a car accident can result in fractures, herniated discs, or spinal cord injuries in the upper back.
  • Workplace accidents – Workplace accidents can contribute to upper back injuries. Jobs that involve heavy lifting, repetitive motions, or poor ergonomics are likely culprits. Improper lifting techniques or overexertion can strain muscles and ligaments in the upper back. Poor ergonomics, such as prolonged sitting in a non-ergonomic chair, can contribute to upper back pain and discomfort.
  • Slip-and-fall accidents – Slip-and-fall accidents can cause upper back injuries when individuals land forcefully on their backs. Falling from a height or slipping on a slippery surface can result in fractures, sprains, or even spinal cord injuries in the upper back area.
  • Pedestrian accidents – Pedestrian accidents, like being struck by a vehicle, can cause upper back injuries. The impact of the collision can result in fractures, soft tissue injuries, or spinal cord injuries in the upper back, depending on the severity of the accident.
  • Motorcycle accidents – Motorcycle accidents pose a significant risk of upper back injuries due to the lack of protection for riders. In a motorcycle accident, riders can be thrown from their bikes and experience direct impact on the upper back. This can lead to fractures, spinal cord injuries, or other traumatic injuries in the upper back region.

What Kind of Treatments Do Upper Back Injuries Require?

Upper back injuries can require several types of treatments, depending on the location of your upper back injury, the severity of the trauma, your medical history, and other factors. You can expect your healthcare providers to use X-rays, bone scans, MRIs, myelograms, and CT scans to diagnose your upper back injuries and establish a treatment plan. Some potential treatment options include:

  • Physical therapy
  • Occupational therapy
  • Surgical intervention to alleviate pressure
  • Fusing vertebrae
  • Pain medications
  • Chiropractic care
  • Injections to reduce inflammation
  • Electrical stimulation

How Long Do Upper Back Injuries Last?

The amount of time your upper back injuries will last depends on the severity of your injuries and any pre-existing conditions. You may experience complications that could extend your recovery time.

If you wait to obtain a diagnosis or have suffered catastrophic upper back injuries, your recovery will take longer. In some cases, you may not be able to live the same life you lived prior to the accident. For this reason, it is important to consider the future implications of your injuries when calculating the value of your claim.

What Damages Can You Recover For An Upper Back Injury?

You have the right to compensation for your losses after an upper back injury caused by another party’s negligence. Both economic and non-economic damages may be recoverable. To ensure you receive maximum restitution, you can expect your personal injury lawyer to categorize your damages and account for every loss.

Some examples of economic and non-economic damages you could recoup in your insurance and civil claims include:

  • Loss of future earnings
  • Lost income and employee benefits
  • Current and future medical bills
  • Emotional distress
  • Loss of consortium
  • Reduced quality of life
  • Inconvenience and anticipation
  • Disfigurement and skin scarring

The liable party will determine how much compensation you can recover and which damages are recoverable. If the liable party had insurance coverage, you may be able to file a claim with their insurance company. However, insurance often limits the amount of compensation available to the policy limits and only covers specific types of damages.

This usually includes medical bills and property damages. Insurance may not cover non-economic damages that do not have a set financial value. With help from your personal injury attorney, you can get a better idea as to the value of your claim, and who is responsible, so you know what to expect as you navigate the claims process.

What Can Affect My Settlement Amount?

Several factors can impact how much compensation you receive for your upper back injuries. Some of the rules and regulations that could have the greatest impact on the outcome of your case include:

  • The statute of limitations – The statute of limitations determines the maximum amount of time you have to file your claim. Illinois has a two-year statute of limitations for personal injury lawsuits. Your claim must be filed before this deadline, or you will lose your right to have your case heard in court.
  • Comparative negligence laws – Illinois follows a modified comparative negligence system with a 51% threshold. This means you can share as much as 50% of the liability for the accident and still recover compensation for your damages. However, you will be held accountable for your portion of the fault. The court system will reduce your settlement proportionately. If you are 20% liable for your damages, you could only recover 80% of your settlement funds.
  • Having delayed medical care or treatment gaps – There may be delays between your accident and when you received medical treatment. These treatment gaps could have an impact on your settlement. Treatment gaps leave your claim open to further scrutiny, particularly by the insurance company. Following your healthcare provider’s treatment plan and maintaining a consistent record of your care will be crucial to protect yourself from unwarranted settlement reductions.

What Do I Need to Prove My Case?

Building a compelling case against the liable party is essential if you hope to get the most out of your claim. In personal injury lawsuits, liability must be proven based on a preponderance of the evidence. This means your personal injury lawyer must introduce evidence that convinces the jury the defendant is responsible for causing your injuries. Some examples of such evidence could include:

  • Police reports and crash data
  • Incident reports and safety logs
  • Witness statements
  • Video of the accident
  • Copies of your medical records
  • Copies of cell phone records
  • Photos of your injuries and the damage at the accident scene
  • Reports from accident reconstructionist experts

How Can a Personal Injury Lawyer Help Me After an Upper Back Injury?

When you are suffering from the ramifications of your upper back injuries, having a personal injury attorney on your side is valuable. While you heal from your injuries and focus on regaining as much functionality and mobility as possible, your lawyer can handle the legalities of your case.

They can help walk you through the claims process and outline what your legal options are. They will investigate the accident to determine liability and collect evidence to prove who was responsible.

Each case is unique, so having a personal injury lawyer to help you calculate the value of your claim is critical. They can ensure you have an accurate total to bring against the at-fault party.

Your attorney can communicate on your behalf, negotiating with the insurance company, and even work on your civil lawsuit to recover the damages you’re owed in court.

Call an Illinois Upper Back Injury Lawyer Now

When your upper back injuries are expected to have a significant impact on your life, getting your costs covered and accessing the compensation you are entitled to is crucial. Do not face financial ruin.

Make the at-fault party compensate you for your damages with help from a dedicated Illinois upper back injury lawyer at Staver Accident Injury Lawyers, P.C. Our firm offers 100% free consultations to injury victims across Illinois. Claim yours when you complete our quick contact form or call our office at (312) 236-2900.

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(312) 236-2900
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