San Francisco Back Injury Lawyer
Imagine driving along in your car, when out of nowhere you are rear-ended by a semi truck going full speed. Although you are lucky to be alive, the back injury you sustained from the accident leaves you permanently disabled. You can no longer work or live life the way you used to.
If you’ve sustained a back injury from a car accident or in the workplace, you may be able to recover compensation. Our San Francisco law firm has an experienced back injury attorney that can help you get the justice you deserve.
What is a back injury?
Your back is a complex structure made up of bones (vertebrae), muscles, tissues, and cartilage that begins in your neck and extends all the way down to your pelvis. As you can imagine, your back is an essential part of the skeletal frame. Any time there is damage, wear, or trauma to the vertebrae, muscles, or other tissues of the back, this can result in back injury.
Back Injury Types and Severity
The two main types of back injuries are:
- Cervical Radiculopathy
Spondylolisthesis occurs when a lower vertebra (usually towards the base of the spine) slips forward and rests on the vertebrae directly below it. This can cause extreme lower back pain in an individual.
Cervical Radiculopathy is a condition triggered by nerve damage compressing the cervical vertebrae. This compression can cause pain, weakness, and loss of sensation to various areas of the body.
Back injury vs. Spinal injury
A back injury is very different from a spinal injury. Back injuries are usually classified by the area where you feel pain.
- Upper Back Pain – Your upper back is comprised of cervical vertebrae, as well as muscles and ligaments. Injuries to your upper back are most commonly labeled as neck injuries.
- Middle Back Pain – Your middle back is comprised of the thoracic vertebrae, as well as muscles and ligaments.
- Lower Back Pain – The lower back is the most common area for a back injury. The lower back is comprised of the lumbar vertebrae, as well as muscles and ligaments.
A spinal cord injury represents damage caused to the spinal cord. There are 31 nerves in the spinal cord that are encased within the spinal column. These nerves transmit messages back and forth from the brain to the body and play a significant role in controlling movement. An injury to the spinal cord can result in the partial or full loss of sensation and movement from the neck down. Some spinal cord injuries can even be fatal.
Back injury types & severity
Here are a few common back injuries that an accident victim may experience, including:
Fractured Vertebrae – fractured vertebrae can occur in an accident as small as a slip and fall or a high impact accident, such as a car crash. A broken back can bring about severe pain, often worsened by movement. Many fractures heal over time with stabilization of a back brace, but some severe cases require surgery.
Back Strains – a back strain is an injury resulting from a torn, twisted, or stretched muscle or tendon. It is often caused by improper lifting or overworking of the back muscles. Symptoms of a back strain include muscle spasms and pain that worsens when you move. Chronic back strain is usually caused by overuse of the muscles of tendons.
Herniated Discs – a herniated disc occurs when a disc slips out of its place within the vertebral column. A herniated disc is often due to trauma or a blow to the back. The slipped disc causes irritation to surrounding nerves and can radiate pain, numbness or tingling sensations throughout the legs and feet.
Back Sprains – a back sprain, not to be confused with a back strain, occurs when the ligaments in the back are torn or stretched. Damaged ligaments can result in pain, bruising, loss of movement, and swelling.
Back injury causes
It doesn’t take much to sustain a back injury. Anything from playing sports to lifting a heavy object can trigger a back injury. Here are a few common causes of back injuries:
- Car Accidents
- Pedestrian Accidents
- On-the-job Accidents
- Slip and Fall Accidents
- Sports Accidents
Car accident back injury types
Car accidents are notorious for causing back issues and injuries.
Whiplash causes severe damage to muscles, ligaments, and tissues in the neck. It is a common occurrence in rear-end accidents because the head and neck are forcefully propelled forward, then quickly pulled back like the motion in the cracking of a whip. Symptoms of whiplash are not always immediate, often taking hours or even days to notice. Symptoms include pain, stiff neck, dizziness, fatigue, and blurred vision. Recovering from whiplash usually requires physical therapy, depending on the severity.
Spinal fractures are another common injury in car accidents. These fractures are often caused by seat belts that fail to hold the body adequately. The seat belt holds the lower half of the body still, while the upper half of the body is banged around, ultimately resulting in the fracturing of the spine.
Why hire a back injury lawyer
If you suffer from a back injury caused by an accident, then you should talk to an experienced back injury attorney. Why? Because an experienced attorney knows the value of your claim and how to handle all aspects of your claim. Having an experienced back injury lawyer by your side can be of an advantage to you when negotiating a settlement or even initiating a lawsuit.
The San Francisco attorneys at Rizio Lipinsky will make sure that your case is strongly supported by evidence with testimony from expert witnesses, and backed by high legal standards. Contact us today to discuss your back injury claim.
- This article should only be used for informational purposes. It does not constitute legal advice, and it does not create an attorney-client relationship with anyone. If you need legal advice, please consult an attorney in your community.