Suffering From Chronic Back Pain After an Auto Accident? What To Do.Trusted Content
Legally reviewed by:Erik Abrahamson, J.D. September 06, 2016
Experienced Tampa, FL Attorneys Seeking Compensation for Back Injury Victims
Back pain is a symptom of trauma that, for many people, comes on slowly over time. You may not notice it the day of – or even in the days immediately following – an accident. But, gradually, you start to experience pain that becomes too much to bear.
Of course, for other accident victims, back injuries are evident immediately. Our spines are fragile. They are not designed to withstand the severe forces involved in a violent collision. Unfortunately, even if surgery fully restores your mobility (which, for many people, it does not), there is a good chance that you will experience chronic pain long after your injuries are healed.
If you are experiencing chronic back pain after having been involved in a vehicle collision, you may be entitled to financial compensation. In this article, we will discuss:
- Diagnosing and Treating Chronic Back Pain from a Traumatic Injury
- Three Tips for Protecting Your Rights After an Auto Accident
- Steps You Can Take Now to Begin Pursuing a Financial Recovery
Diagnosing and Treating Chronic Back Pain from a Traumatic Injury
Helping Your Doctor Provide an Accurate Diagnosis
In order to recover financial compensation for chronic back pain after an auto accident, you need to be able to demonstrate that your chronic pain is the result of an accident-related injury. Lots of people experience back pain during their lifetimes, and the insurance companies are not going to pay unless they are convinced that your pain is accident-related.
To make sure that you receive an accurate diagnosis, you will need to be very explicit with your doctor. You will need to communicate the specific location and the level of your pain clearly (your “pain history”), and you need to tell your doctor that you were recently involved in an auto accident. If your doctor is unaware that you experienced a traumatic event, he or she may assume that your pain is the result of other factors.
While there are medical technologies available today that can help diagnose chronic back pain, according to the National Institutes of Health (NIH), “the best treatment plans are tailored to the person, with input from healthcare team members, who each have different training backgrounds and understand chronic pain.”
Treatment Options for Chronic Back Pain
The good news is that there are a number of options when it comes to treating chronic back pain. With compensation from your auto accident claim, you may be able to cover the costs of your treatment without coming out of pocket or relying on your own medical insurance coverage. Some of the treatment options for chronic back pain include:
- Pain medications – Medications available for chronic back pain include nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDS), analgesics, muscle relaxants, and prescription narcotic drugs. Of course, you should consult with your doctor before using any type of medication, and you should never use a medication prescribed to someone else.
- Acupuncture – Some patients experience positive results with acupuncture. Massage, stretching, and joint therapy may all help relieve chronic back pain as well.
- Physical therapy – Controlled physical activity can help reduce back pain for some patients. However, for others, rest can be an essential part of the recovery process.
- Steroid Injection – For some patients, epidural steroid injections can help relieve the symptoms of chronic back pain.
- Self–management – Another option is what is known as “self-management.” With self-management, you work with your doctor to develop and continually shape a pain-alleviation strategy that involves a variety of different pain management techniques.
Three Tips for Protecting Your Rights After an Auto Accident
As you seek treatment for your chronic back pain, you also need to begin thinking about what you need to do to pursue a financial recovery. In particular, if you have a claim for compensation, there are a number of common mistakes you need to avoid. For example:
1. Avoid Talking to the Insurance Companies
While you can (and should) report your accident to your insurance company, you need to avoid making any statements about what happened or how you feel. Insurance adjusters are good at soliciting damaging statements from accident victims; and, no matter what you say, they will almost always try to find a way to use it against you.
2. Avoid Discussing the Accident on Social Media
Don’t post pictures. Don’t talk about what happened. Don’t talk about your injuries. The insurance adjusters will be watching, and they will pounce on any excuse to try to deny you fair compensation.
3. Avoid Activities that Could Make Your Condition Worse
Generally speaking, you want to keep your accident claim as simple as possible. You were injured in an accident, and the driver (or his/her insurance company) owes you compensation. You want that to be the end of the story. If the insurance company can say, “Well, we think Ms. Smith made her pain worse by returning to work too soon,” this can make it more difficult for you to win the compensation you deserve.
Steps You Can Take Now to Begin Pursuing a Financial Recovery
In addition to avoiding these types of mistakes, here are five steps that you can take now to begin pursuing a financial recovery:
- Step 1: Collect evidence. Make sure you save any photos you took at the scene, keep copies of your medical records and receipts, and keep a journal detailing your pain history.
- Step 2: Learn more about the process. Read our FAQs to learn more about what to expect once you file your claim.
- Step 3: Follow up with your medical treatment. Follow your doctor’s advice. This is important for your health and your claim for compensation.
- Step 4: Choose an experienced attorney. Do your research, and make sure you choose a law firm whose attorneys have extensive experience in auto accident litigation.
- Step 5: Schedule a free consultation. Meet with an attorney to learn more about your rights. The consultation should be free, and you should not be asked to pay anything until after you win compensation.
Get Started with Your Free Auto Accident Consultation in Tampa, FL
If you would like to speak with an attorney in Tampa, FL about your rights, contact Abrahamson & Uiterwyk to schedule a free, no-obligation consultation. Our legal team is available 24/7, so call (855) 293-5630, start a Live Chat, or tell us about your accident online and get started on the road to recovery today.