Chicago Back Injury Lawyer
The back is a complicated and vital structure made up of bones, muscles, ligaments, nerves, and joints. Depending on the severity of the damage, back injuries can result in extreme pain that makes it difficult to move and enjoy normal activities. There can be multiple causes of back injuries, including but not limited to:
- Car accidents
- Truck accidents
- Motorcycle accidents
- Medical malpractice
- Accidents in nursing homes
- Workplace accidents (i.e. heavy lifting, overexertion, repetitive lifting or bending motions)
If your back injury was caused by another party’s negligent or reckless conduct, you may be entitled to compensation. It is important that you consult with an experienced Chicago back injury lawyer as early as possible to discuss your case and pursue any potential claim before it’s too late under Illinois law.
The talented team of Chicago personal injury lawyers at Staver Accident Injury Lawyers, P.C. have helped many accident victims recover the compensation they deserve. In the past, we have helped our clients recover compensation for accident-related medical expenses, lost wages, physical therapy, pain and suffering, and other damages.
Common Types of Back Injuries
Some of the most common accident-related back injuries include spinal cord damage, sprains or strains, herniated disks, fractured vertebrae, and whiplash. When you’ve been involved in an accident, it can be difficult to tell the difference between a muscle strain and a more severe injury.
If you experience any back pain following an accident, even if it was minor, you should check-in with a medical professional. It is important to undergo diagnostic testing, x-rays, CT scans to diagnose the source of your back pain and receive any necessary treatment.
Spinal Cord Injuries
Spinal cord injuries are characterized by damage to the vertebrae, ligaments, or discs, or to the spinal cord itself.
The impact from a crash can cause vertebrae to be broken, crushed, or dislocated, or your spinal cord can be severed in very serious cases. Damage also may be caused by bleeding or swelling around the spinal cord. Consequences of spinal cord damage may include:
- Loss of sensation
- Loss of the ability to move all or part of your body below the spinal cord injury
- Loss of control over bladder or bowel functions
- Changes to or loss of sexual function
- Pain, tingling, or numbness
- Difficulty breathing or coughing
Common sense would seem to say that a spinal cord injury causing the kinds of symptoms listed above would be immediately felt when you’re involved in an accident, but that isn’t always true. As with other types of back injuries, delaying treatment once symptoms surface may only make the damage worse.
The phrase “herniated disc” in some ways is a medical term of art. Different doctors use different words, including “bulging disc,” “slipped disc,” “ruptured disc,” or “pinched nerve,” to describe what is essentially the same thing — something wrong in your back that is causing you pain.
A disc is the rubbery cushion that separates the vertebrae in your spine. Discs have a tough outer shell and a gelatinous center, and their purpose is to act as shock absorbers and to give your spine flexibility. A disc is herniated when the exterior becomes cracked and some of the gel in the center leaks out.
Symptoms of a herniated disc include:
- Arm or leg pain
- Numbness or tingling
- Weakness in the muscles served by the nerves affected by the herniated disc
This can be a painful condition that may require physical therapy or surgery to correct. Herniated discs can irritate and damage nearby nerves. A herniated disc may degenerate and cause more pain and problems if not properly treated. You may not immediately feel the symptoms of a herniated disc, but as soon as you do, you should see a doctor and make sure to document your injury and medical bills so that a personal injury attorney can help you make a claim for compensation.
Sprains and Strains
Back and neck sprains and strains are among the most common types of injuries seen in car accidents.
A sprain happens when ligaments are stretched or torn. A strain happens when muscles or tendons are stretched or torn.
Sprains and strains can be very painful and restrict your range of motion. You may find yourself unable to work or to perform routine daily tasks. It may take weeks or longer to recover.
Spinal fractures can range in severity and most commonly occur in the thoracic (mid-back) or lumbar spinal (lower back). Fractures of the vertebrae can be caused by a high-energy trauma or external force such as a car accident or fall from a higher level. There are three categories of spinal fractures¬–flexion (compression), extension, and rotation. Symptoms of spinal fractures include:
- Pain throughout the middle and lower portion of the back (thoracic and lumbar spine).
- Pain that worsens with movement.
- Sudden onset of back pain.
- Limited mobility.
- Numbness, tingling, or weakness in limbs.
- May also experience loss of bladder and bowel control.
A physical exam in combination with imaging tests can determine whether or not you have a spinal fracture. While some fractures may heal with the use of back bracing, surgery may be necessary for more severe cases.
Whiplash is a type of injury commonly suffered when you’re involved in a motor vehicle accident such as a rear-end collision. The impact can cause your head to snap back and forth, which in turn causes the muscles and ligaments in your neck to extend beyond their normal range of motion.
Though most symptoms of whiplash appear within 24 hours of the accident causing the injury, sometimes it can take longer to develop. Symptoms may subside after a few days, but can last for several weeks. In rare cases, people can experience chronic symptoms.
Symptoms of whiplash include:
- Neck soreness and stiffness
- Pain in the neck or upper back
- Blurry vision
- Feeling tired
In cases of severe whiplash, there can also be injuries to the joints, discs, ligaments, cervical muscles and nerves of the neck or upper back. You should seek medical attention immediately if you are experiencing any of the previously mentioned symptoms. Your physician can use an X-ray, CT scan, or MRI to evaluate any potential damage to the soft tissue, spinal cord, or nerves.
Contact a Skilled Chicago Back Injury Lawyer
When you suffer a serious back injury through no fault of your own, it can leave you feeling devastated and hopeless. You may have to take unpaid time off work, and undergo expensive medical treatments. Managing back pain often requires extensive physical therapy, chiropractic care, and prescription medication.
Luckily, you can get the help you need with support from our experienced Chicago personal injury lawyer. At Staver Accident Injury Lawyers, P.C., we provide our clients with peace of mind and the ability to focus on healing, while we handle the legal paperwork, insurance adjusters, and claim negotiations. Our attorneys are experienced negotiators and litigators who will fight for the maximum compensation available in your case.
Contact us today at (312) 236-2900 to schedule a free case evaluation.