Car accident settlements for a back injury can be complicated. A back injury is common following a car accident because the force of impact to a seated driver or passenger typically strikes the back. While trauma following a car accident can result in a back injury, back injuries also commonly result from overuse or strain from lifting. Back injuries also result from aging and various genetic conditions.
Compensation When Accident Victim Has Existing Back Problems
The many possible causes of a person’s back injury make it easier for an insurance company to fight compensation for a back injury following a car accident. The insurance company is only responsible for compensating a person who has an injury caused directly from the car accident and not from some other condition. It is also important for the accident victim to provide evidence that if a prior back injury existed before the car accident, that it was in fact healed (or at least no longer painful) at the time of the accident and it was the car accident that re-injured the back. Insurance companies see a prior injury as a red flag and they will typically attempt to argue the injury is not a result of the car accident. It is important to have a doctor confirm the status of the injury prior to and following the car accident to be fully compensated for the injury resulting from a car accident.
Back injuries frequently require rehabilitative treatment such as physical therapy or chiropractic care. Any settlement with an insurance company following a car accident should include anticipated costs for rehabilitative care. It is also likely that a person will miss work while healing from a back injury and the accident victim should consider demanding compensation for lost wages in addition to medical costs.
Compensation for Future Treatment of Back Injuries
The other complication in getting compensation for a back injury is that once injured, a back injury can be quickly aggravated which means that it is impossible to predict how long a person might need medical or rehabilitative treatment for a back injury. An insurance company will likely offer an accident victim enough compensation to cover immediate medical costs or treatment, but once the back starts to heal, the insurance company will likely stop compensation. It is important in negotiating a settlement with an insurance company to add compensation for future treatment.
Getting Legal Help
Back injuries following a car accident are complicated because they can re-surface over the years depending on how active a person is or how demanding a job is on a person’s back. An experienced personal injury attorney can work with an insurance company to demand or negotiate a fair compensation depending on the circumstances of the accident and the accident victim’s condition.