Why Do I Have Back Pain After My Car Accident?

back pain after car accident

If you’ve been involved in a car accident, chances are, you experienced some level of back pain. Back and spinal cord injuries are the most common injuries a person can suffer following a motor vehicle collision. These injuries can happen in many ways and don’t always result from a major car collision. The force of one vehicle hitting another can cause the body to jerk forward, resulting in ligament tears, disc injuries, whiplash, and more. If you find yourself searching “back pain after car accident” online, this blog will inform you of what to do next.

Unfortunately, many back and spinal injuries can lead to life-changing injuries like complete or partial paralysis. Even minor back and spine injuries can result in medical expenses and lost wages that seem impossible to recover from. If you’re struggling with a back injury following a motor vehicle accident, you shouldn’t be held responsible for the damages. While pursuing a lawsuit may seem like the last thing you want to do when recovering from back injuries, our Michigan car accident attorneys are here to help.

The Michigan personal injury attorneys at Lipton Law will carry the burden of dealing with insurance companies, negotiating compensation, and will take the case to court if necessary. Our team of medical professionals will evaluate your injuries and help our attorneys strengthen your claim that the driver’s negligence led to your injuries.

To discuss your case with a Michigan car accident attorney, call Lipton Law today at 248-557-1688 to schedule a free consultation.

How Do Car Accidents Cause Back Pain?

why do i have back pain after car accident

Back injuries are some of the most common injuries a person may experience following a car accident. A person can suffer from back injuries after minor or major car accidents since the back cannot safely absorb the force caused by the crash.

A back or spinal cord injury is most common in a rear-end collision, but these injuries can occur even in minor fender benders. The type of collision you’re involved in can result in different back injuries and pain.

  • Rear-end collisions: Due to the pressure and force from the rear of the vehicle, the torso will move forward until pushed back into the seat by the seat belt. Whiplash, cervical vertebrae damage, spinal cord damage, and ligament damage are often caused by rear-end collisions.
  • Front-impact collisions: During this type of accident, the head and neck are thrust forward, which results in torn or herniated discs in the neck.
  • Side impact collisions: These types of collisions often result in various back injuries due to the seat belt holding the lower part of the body in place while the neck and head are thrown side to side.

What Are Symptoms of Back Injuries After a Car Accident?

Individuals involved in car accidents may experience limited mobility or serious back pain following the accident. Some back injury symptoms may not present themselves until days after the crash, so it’s important to pay attention to your body and seek medical treatment when experiencing any of the symptoms listed below.

  • Pain
  • Muscle spasms
  • Weakness
  • Headaches
  • Loss of normal movement
  • Stiffness
  • Numbness
  • Difficulty standing or walking
  • Tingling

Most Common Car Accident Back Injuries

back pain after a car accident

Our spines are made up of 33 individual bones called vertebrae. These small bones are divided into three sections. Those sections are the cervical vertebrae in the neck region, the thoracic vertebrae in the upper back region, and the lumbar vertebrae in the lower back region.

Our vertebrae consist of a network of tendons, ligaments, muscles, nerves, and discs. When a person is involved in a car accident that injures the back and spine, these structures can become damaged, leading to serious injuries and back pain.


Whiplash is one of the most common car accident injuries that a person can experience. This neck injury typically affects those involved in rear-end collisions. Whiplash gets its name due to the jerking back-and-forth motion that the force of the crash causes the head to make. This violent movement can cause stretching and tearing in muscles and tendons in the neck region.

The severity of whiplash injuries can determine the type of treatment you’ll require after the accident. Most mild whiplash cases can be treated at home with over-the-counter pain medication and stretches. If the injury is more serious, you may need medical treatment for more extensive care.

Facet Joint Injuries

Facet joints sit between nerve roots and spinal bones that run into different areas of your body, like your arms and legs. They are what allow us to bend or twist without damaging or hurting our spine.

A person can suffer facet joint injuries following a car accident and experience severe nerve pain. The accident can cause facet joints to become fractured, inflamed, or dislodged.

Muscle Sprains and Strains

Muscle strains and sprains are soft tissue injuries and can also affect a person following a car accident. The accident’s impact can stretch or tear the back ligaments and muscles, pulling them away from their attachments. Car accident victims with muscle sprains or strains may experience stiffness, spams, limited motion, and/or pain. Muscle sprains and strains can usually be treated at home by rotating between hot and cold applications and anti-inflammatory medications. If your muscle injuries are more severe, you may require physical therapy.

Spinal Cord Injuries

Spinal cord injuries are the worst type of back injury a person can sustain following a car accident. Since the spinal cord is responsible for sending signals from the body to the brain, any injury to the spinal cord can be devastating.

Severe spinal cord injuries can cause a person to lose functions and sensations beneath the injury site. In some cases, a person experiencing spinal cord injuries after an auto accident may become partially or totally paralyzed. A spinal cord injury can also cause blood clots, chronic pain, infections, and other serious side effects. If you’re suffering from this injury after an accident, contact an attorney to file a spinal cord injury lawsuit as soon as possible.

Lumbar Spine Injury

The lumbar spine portion of the spinal column is the lower back area right above the sacrum, the lowest part of the spine. When referring to the spine, doctors use a numbering system to identify particular vertebrae. The lumbar spine is numbered L1 to L5, with L5 as the largest vertebrae in the spinal column. The lumbar spine stabilizes our back, and the muscles in the lumbar region are the strongest in the spine.

Following a car accident, a person may experience pain in the lumbar region of the spine, causing lower back pain, bruising, and swelling. Lumbar pain can also limit a person’s mobility.

Thoracic Spine Injury

The thoracic spine is the spinal cord area that makes up the upper and middle back, between the neck and lumbar spine. The vertebrae in this area are numbered T1 to T12 and are often responsible for the most severe back pain following a car accident.

High-speed motor vehicle accidents can lead to sprains and fractures in the thoracic spinal region, which can cause permanent nerve damage.

Degenerative Disc Disease

Our spinal cord has small discs that sit between each vertebra that cushion and separate the spaces between them. Over time, the discs can degenerate, leading to severe back pain. Following a car accident, degenerated discs can easily be injured and cause worsening back pain. The severity of the pain and injury will determine the treatment type offered. Your doctor may prescribe medications for minor disc injuries, but significant injuries often require surgery.

Herniated Disc

If the impact of the car accident is strong enough, the discs between vertebrae can become severely damaged, causing the soft inner core of the disc to leak out. When this happens, it’s called a herniated or slipped disc. A disc that has been dislodged can press on surrounding nerves, causing intense pain.

Herniated discs often occur in the lumbar region of the spine, causing pain and numbness in the legs and feet. If the herniated disc is in the cervical spine region, pain and numbness can occur in the arms and hands.

Spinal Stenosis

Spinal stenosis occurs when the spinal canal or area inside the backbone narrows, putting pressure on the spinal cord and nerves. Those suffering from spinal stenosis may experience chronic pain, weakness, numbness, and discomfort in their legs and other areas throughout the body. In some severe cases, spinal stenosis can lead to paralysis.

Car accidents are not known to cause spinal stenosis, but they can worsen a pre-existing condition or cause spinal stenosis to develop eventually. Trauma like herniated discs, dislocations, fractures, and other back injuries can cause spinal stenosis to develop.

How Long Will My Back Hurt After My Car Accident?

car accident back pain

The length of time that your back pain will last depends on the severity of the back injuries and other circumstances, like your health, prior to the accident. Typically, mild back pain can affect a person for several days or weeks, but more serious back injuries can cause chronic back pain lasting months or years. Chronic back pain is considered pain that lasts longer than three months.

What Causes Delayed Back Pain After a Car Accident?

Back injuries and pain are common car accident injuries that don’t always present themselves right away. Since there’s a possibility that your back pain may appear later, it’s important to seek medical treatment following your car accident. Your doctor will document your injuries and provide treatment options.

These medical records will be significant evidence if you seek legal action against the at-fault driver. The longer you wait to receive medical treatment for your back injury, the harder it will be to prove that your injuries were caused by the accident, ruining any chances of recovering damages from a personal injury lawsuit.

What to Do if You Have Back Pain After a Car Accident

After your car accident, seeking medical treatment as soon as possible is crucial. Delaying any treatment following your accident can lead to worsening back pain down the road and make it challenging to pursue damages from the responsible parties. You don’t necessarily need to go to the emergency room after your accident, but you should visit an orthopedic specialist soon.

Your doctor will perform a series of diagnostic tests to determine the cause of your back pain. Tests like X-rays and MRIs will show if any discs are damaged or herniated and can help pinpoint potential threats.

How to Find a Lawyer for Your Car Accident Back Injury

If another’s negligent actions caused your car accident, you could sue the responsible party for damages. Back injuries can affect a person for the rest of their life, leading to a mountain of medical expenses that missing work can make it difficult to recover from. In addition to medical bills and lost wages, there are other damages that you should not be financially responsible for when a driver’s negligence caused your injuries. This is why seeking legal representation following your car accident is crucial.

When looking for a Michigan car accident attorney, you want legal representation that can provide results. At Lipton Law, our car accident lawyers have been representing Michigan residents with their motor vehicle accident claims and more. Since 1964, our attorneys have always worked to protect their client’s rights and ensure those responsible are held accountable.

When you choose Lipton Law to represent you in your car accident lawsuit, you’re also getting a team of medical experts that will review your medical records and testify that your back injuries were directly caused by your auto accident.

Not only will your Michigan personal injury attorney fight for your rights, but they will also negotiate with insurance companies on your behalf. If necessary, we’ll take the fight to court so that you’re adequately compensated for both your physical and emotional injuries.

Back Injury Treatments

what causes back pain after car accident

Your back injury treatments that your doctor prescribes will be determined mainly by the type of injury and the severity. To diagnose the source of the back injury, your doctor will perform a series of diagnostic tests, like X-Rays, MRIs, and CT scans. These tests will allow your doctor to locate any damaged discs or other sources of damage.

If your back injury is minor, your doctor may recommend the following short-term care treatments:

  • Bed rest
  • Over-the-counter pain medications and anti-inflammatories
  • Prescriptions for muscle relaxers or painkillers
  • Corticosteroid injections
  • Physical therapy
  • Chiropractic treatments

Back injuries that are more serious may require the following long-term care treatments:

  • Surgery is often necessary for fractures, herniated discs, and spinal cord injuries
  • Physical and/or occupational therapy
  • Counseling

Filing a Claim for Your Back Injury

Once you’ve received medical treatment for your back injuries, contacting an experienced auto accident attorney is important. Regardless of the severity of your injuries, you could still be entitled to compensation. When you work with the attorneys at Lipton Law, your legal team will work to prove that the driver’s negligence caused the car accident, your back injuries were caused by the accident, and you have financial damages that were in relation to the accident.

Hiring legal representation for your accident claim can help you recover maximum compensation for damages. Insurance companies want accident and injury claims to go away. So, they’ll provide an amount that is usually less than what you deserve.

Your personal injury attorneys from Lipton Law will evaluate your injuries and other factors when determining the compensation you’re entitled to. You can guarantee that your attorneys will settle for nothing less than that amount when pursuing damages and negotiating settlements.

Compensation for Car Accident Back Injuries

how long will back pain after car accident last

Many factors determine the amount of compensation you can receive following a successful car accident claim. Those factors include the severity of your injury, the amount of medical expenses and lost wages, and more. Your Michigan car accident attorney will work to recover maximum compensation for the following damages:

  • Medical expenses
  • Lost wages
  • Future medical treatments
  • Physical therapy
  • Loss of earning capacity
  • Pain and suffering
  • Emotional distress
  • Funeral and burial expenses if the accident results in a wrongful death

Contact a Michigan Back Injury Lawyer at Lipton Law Today

Back pain caused by car collisions can stay with you for the rest of your life. Many individuals suffering from back injuries and spinal injuries are left with recurring medical expenses. These expenses are for ongoing treatments so they can try to return to a somewhat normal life.

If the at-fault driver acted negligently, which resulted in the accident, they should be held responsible for damages. When you pursue legal action against the responsible driver, you can recover compensation for your medical expenses, lost wages, and more. Schedule a free consultation with an experienced car accident attorney at Lipton Law by calling 248-557-1688.