Car accidents, even those that occur at low speeds, can jar the body enough to result in back injuries. If you have lower back pain following a car accident, seek medical treatment. Lower back injuries can result in muscle spasms, reduced mobility, and other complications that could impact your ability to live and work.
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Do Not Ignore Your Lower Back Pain
Back injuries, if not treated, can worsen and lead to potentially life-long complications. If you have not already done so, you should see a doctor for your lower back pain if:
- You have severe pain
- Your pain does not improve with rest
- Your pain spreads down one or both of your legs
- Your pain causes tingling, weakness, or numbness in your legs
- You experience unexplained weight loss
Diagnosing Your Lower Back Injury
According to the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS), the impact of a car accident could cause injuries to tendons, ligaments, and muscles in the back. Car accident injuries may also cause discs to rupture and/or herniate and could compress the spine.
To determine what is causing your lower back pain, your doctor may use one or more of the following diagnostic tests:
- CT scans
- Blood tests
- Bone scans
- Electromyography (EMG) to check for nerve damage
Treating Lower Back Pain
Lower back pain is treated using a variety of methods, depending on the patient, the nature of the injuries, and the severity of the injuries. Treatment methods include:
- Pharmaceuticals, such as muscle relaxers and pain relievers
- Physical therapy
- Spinal injections
- Implanted nerve stimulators
You Can Seek the Cost of Your Medical Treatment Insurance
Diagnosing and treating a back injury can be expensive. If a vehicle accident caused your lower back pain, you can seek the costs of your medical treatment through your personal injury protection (PIP) insurance.
According to Florida Statutes § 627.736(a), your PIP pays for 80 percent of your accident-related medical expenses, no matter who is at fault for the crash. However, in order to receive coverage, you must seek initial treatment within 14 days of your accident.
PIP compensation may include reimbursement for:
- Diagnostic testing
- Surgical procedures
- Medical devices and mobility aids
- Long-term nursing care
You May be Entitled to Compensation for Damages Beyond Your Medical Expenses
According to Mayo Clinic, back pain is one of the most common reasons people miss work. It is one of the leading causes of disability, globally. If your accident was not primarily your fault, you may be able to seek additional compensation for:
- Your lost wages
- Your loss of future earning capacity if your back injury leaves you unable to return to work
- Your pain and suffering
- Your vehicle damages
Another Party’s Negligence Can Make You Eligible for Damages
Florida motorists must have a minimum of $10,000 in PIP protection and a minimum of $10,000 in property damages liability (PDL) insurance, according to the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles (FLHSMV). Florida does not require that drivers carry bodily injury liability (BIL) insurance. Rather, the state relies on PIP to pay for injuries. However, some drivers may have an additional, optional BIL policy.
You might be able to seek a settlement against another driver’s liability insurance, but you must prove their negligence led to your injuries. Examples of driver negligence include:
- Driving while intoxicated
- Speeding or driving too fast for the current road and weather conditions
- Driving distracted
- Failure to maintain lane position
- Failure to obey traffic laws
- Driving recklessly or aggressively (road rage)
Taking Legal Action
If the cost of your lower back injuries exceeds your PIP, you may be able to pursue a lawsuit. You typically have four years from the time of your accident to file an action for personal injury, according to Florida Statutes § 95.11. If your time limit runs out, you may not be able to file a civil suit.
The statute of limitations may also affect liability insurance claims. Knowing the case can no longer go to trial, insurance companies may use an expired statute as a reason to deny you payment.
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Should You Hire Your Attorney to Help You Pursue Your Losses?
While you can try to handle insurance claims or legal action related to your accident on your own, getting help from one of our lawyers can relieve your stress. We can identify liable parties, calculate your damages, prove negligence, and properly adhere to insurance and/or court procedures.
Reach Out to the Law Offices of Anidjar & Levine
At the Law Offices of Anidjar & Levine, we know what it takes to get car accident victims back on their feet. We can assist you with your PIP claims, liability claims, and a lawsuit, if necessary.
Our primary goal is to get you the awards you need and deserve. Call our offices at 1-800-747-3733 for a free evaluation of your case.