If you have suffered a spinal injury as the result of an accident, you are encouraged to speak with a New Jersey injury lawyer about your case. Spinal injuries are one of the most common injuries to occur in an accident.
According to the Center for Disease Control (CDC), over one million people suffer back injuries each year. Injuries to the spine, the spinal cord or the neck can cause severe and life-changing conditions. Many of these injuries can lead to secondary conditions.
Workplace injuries are the leading cause of back injuries, followed closely by vehicular accidents. However, the spine, spinal cord or neck can be injured in an accident that involves a rapid movement of the spine or neck or blunt force trauma.
All back and neck injuries require extensive medical care, and even then, some injuries may not make a full recovery.
Any injury to your back should be considered dangerous and should be evaluated by a medical professional. Your spine and spinal cord regulate nearly all functions of your body and failing to get medical care can lead to severe and sometimes irreversible side effects.
If you have injured your back, spinal cord or neck as the result of an accident, you should seek legal advice about your case. Contact our firm for a FREE CASE EVALUATION today to see if you are entitled to receive compensation for your back injury.
A Basic Look At The Spine
The spine consists of 33 vertebrae, known as the spinal column, that is held in place by muscles, ligaments and soft tissue. The spinal column protects the bundle of nerves that connects the brain with the rest of the body. This bundle of nerves is known as the spinal cord. Although the spinal column is one of the sturdiest bone structures in the body, it is also one of the most common areas to receive an injury.
The spine is divided into three sections: cervical vertebrae or upper back and neck, the thoracic vertebrae or middle back and the lumbar vertebrae or lower back. Each area has its own set of muscles and ligaments to help the vertebrae move and stay in place.
Damage to any of the spinal cord, vertebrae, muscles, ligaments or soft tissue can lead to significant pain for the injury victim. Back injuries often require substantial medical care and therapy and an extended time to heal. If you have injured your back in an accident, seek quality legal advice from a New Jersey back injury attorney so that you can make sure you have the care you need to recover from your injuries.
Types Of Back Injuries
Back injuries can be a single injury or a combination of several issues. High impact accidents often lead to extensive injuries to the spine because the muscles and ligaments are often injured as much, if not more, than the vertebrae. The most common back injuries include:
Strains and Sprains
Strains and sprains affect the muscles and ligaments in the back. Strained ligaments and muscles are very painful and can take an extended period to heal because you can never give them complete rest and time to recuperate. Additionally, once a muscle or ligament has been strained; it is more prone to being strained or sprained again in the future.
Lower Back Injury – Work Related
Injuries to the lower back that are work-related often include sprains, strains, and herniated discs. These injuries are from lifting something too heavy, twisting, bending or pulling an object that leads to back injury. This type of injury also leads to inflammation of the back which can make it very tender to touch.
Upper Back Injury – Work Related
Injuries to the upper back or neck area of the spine can occur at work for a variety of reasons. These injuries affect the spine, the neck and often the shoulder area of the body. Common causes for this type of injury include repetitive motion injuries, shoulder impingement syndrome, tension-neck syndrome and thoracic swelling.
Many people consider whiplash a head injury because it involves the neck area. Whiplash, however, is a back injury because it affects the spine area of the neck. Whiplash affects both the vertebrae and the surrounding soft tissue area. Whiplash occurs when the neck is moved unnaturally fast in a jerking motion, such as what is experienced in an impact car accident or a slip and fall injury. Whiplash can also be brought on by sudden and excessive forward acceleration.
Fractured vertebrae can occur from impact injuries. These types of fractures are considered more severe than a fracture found in an arm or leg. They are considered more severe because fractures can interact with the nerves in the spinal cord leading to additional pain. A fractured vertebra takes an extended period to heal.
Between each vertebra are soft discs that cushion the bones. When a disc is injured, the jelly-like substance contained in the disc bulges out a side or ruptures. This can lead to significant pain and may require surgery to correct. Herniated discs can lead to severe nerve pain because nerves get caught in the bulging area or are not protected when the disc ruptures.
Spinal Cord Injuries
Injuries to the spinal cord are always serious. Severe injuries to the spinal cord can lead to temporary or permanent paralysis. Minor injuries can lead to loss of physical sensations although movement is still possible, nerve pain without loss of movement or feeling, or loss of different motor skills.
Additional injuries can occur to the spine and spinal cord. This is a list of the most common injuries seen by New Jersey back injury attorneys.
A Look At Workplace Related Back Injuries
It is common knowledge that those who work in fields like welding and construction are prone to back injuries. Heavy lifting and bending are part of the everyday duties in these professions. Any profession that involves lifting, moving, overreaching, and bending as part of their duties are at risk for back injuries. Lower back injuries, stress fractures, and herniated discs are most common in these areas of work.
Restaurant staff members are also prone to back injuries. Carrying heavy trays in one hand makes you hold your spine in an irregular position. This can lead to swelling and disc herniation. Additionally, wait staff and cooks are around floors that can be wet and slippery. Slip and fall accidents are the leading cause of injuries in a restaurant setting.
Office personnel also can suffer from back injuries. Office workers are often seated for more extended periods than other professions. Using a chair that is not ergonomically correct can lead to spine curvature and pain. Many office workers experience neck and shoulder problems in association with their duties.
Regardless of profession, back injuries are the most common type of trauma experienced by employees. If you have injured your back while you are on the job, speak with a New Jersey back injury lawyer about your injury to determine if you can claim compensation.
Common Accidents That Lead To Back Injuries
Back injuries can occur in any type of accident. However, they are more common in the following types of events:
- Car Accidents
- Pedestrian Accidents
- Slip and Fall Injuries
- Stairs and Stairwell Accidents
- Construction Accident
- Sporting Accidents
- Nursing Home Care Failures
Any event that leads to an impact on the back, falling or slipping or sudden jerking motions can have severe effects on the spine and neck region.
When Your Back Is Injured
If you are experiencing back pain due to an accident or from a repetitive work duty, it is critical that you get the medical treatment you need. Back problems do not become better on their own and delaying treatment can lead to severe problems.
When a back injury occurs, you should use the following steps as a guideline to protect your rights as an injury victim:
- Document the Injury. If you are involved in an accident, make sure that you tell the medical professionals that you are experiencing back pain. You want to be evaluated quickly. If this is a slip and fall event, make sure that you file an accident report and document what is injured.
- Notify Management. If the injury is a result of an accident at work, or you are experiencing this pain from your job duties, you must notify the appropriate management at work. You may need to go to HR or your direct manager. You will need to file an incidence report so that you can seek medical care under workers compensation.
- Continue Medical Care. For your benefit and for the benefit of any settlement you may request for your injuries, it is essential that you continue with your medical care. Back injuries require specialized care to make a recovery, and if you miss your treatment, it could harm your recovery. Insurers also view missed appointments as a statement that you no longer need treatment.
- Speak With A NJ Injury Lawyer. In most instances, you will need to seek legal representation when making a claim for an injury. Protect yourself by requesting a FREE CASE EVALUATION to determine what types of compensation you are entitled to for your injury.
Why You Should Hire A New Jersey Back Injury Lawyer
There are many advantages to hiring a New Jersey back injury attorney to represent your compensation claim. In addition to giving you the time you need to concentrate on recovering from your injury, you can expect the following:
Right Level Of Medical Care
Working with an attorney will help make sure that you receive the level of care you need to make a recovery from your injury. Insurance companies often deny requests for care or push recovery periods too quickly to save money. Your attorney will work closely with your doctors to ensure you receive the medical care you are entitled to under the law.
Improve Dealings With Insurance Company
The insurance company has only one thing on their mind – saving money. Insurance companies deny or undervalue claims to save their company money. Having a New Jersey back injury lawyer representing your claim will help protect you as a victim of an accident by making sure the insurance companies place your best interest first.
Seek All Areas Of Claims
Some accidents may be the result of negligent actions by several parties. Your attorney will look at all aspects of the accident and determine all parties responsible for the event and seek compensation accordingly.
Negotiate A Fair And Complete Compensation Package
The insurance company covering the accident is going to want to settle your case for the smallest amount possible. In this quest, they often “forget” different types of compensation you may be entitled to under the law and the terms of their policy. Your attorney will negotiate a complete settlement that addresses all forms of compensation.
Take The Case To Trial
If necessary, your attorney can file a lawsuit against the insurance company for your claim. Your attorney will prepare the trial, find expert witnesses and aggressively represent your case before the court.
Back injuries should always be taken seriously. Failure to treat a back injury could result in additional life-changing injuries. If you’ve injured your back at work or in an accident, you are encouraged to CALL FOR A FREE CONSULTATION or fill out the request form below. Our staff will gladly schedule you an appointment or even arrange to come to your home so that you can speak with a qualified New Jersey back injury lawyer about your case.