Atlanta Attorney for Back, Neck & Disc Injury Claims Due to Negligence
Table of Contents
- What is a Back, Neck, & Disc Injury?
- Proving Negligence in a Georgia Back, Neck, & Disc Injury Case
- Compensation and Damages Recoverable in a Claim for Back, Neck, & Disc Injuries
- Common Causes of Back, Neck, & Disc Injuries
- Further Reading on Back, Neck, & Disc Injuries
What is a Serious Back, Neck or Disc Injury?
Car and other accidents frequently cause damage to the back area. Rear-end car crashes are particularly hard on the entire back and neck area. Many accidents can lead to a back, neck, or disk injury because of someone else’s negligence.
These injuries can take the form of:
- Whiplash, which can cause damage to tendons, ligaments, bones, nerves, muscles, discs, and the spine itself
- Back injuries, including spinal fractures
- Spinal cord injuries
- Spinal stenosis – the constricting of the vertebral channel that holds the spinal cord, leading to pinched nerves, pain, numbness, and other symptoms
- Disc injuries, i.e., herniated or bulging discs
- Upper and lower back pain
- Painful sprains and strains in the neck and back area
Of particular note are injuries to the discs, which serve as a cushion between the vertebrae and allow freedom of movement and flexibility. Made of a cartilage-like exterior, the interior is softer and more fluid. Damage to the discs can lead to herniation, or bulging, in which the softer interior pushes through the exterior and puts pressure on the spinal cord. The bulging leads to numbness, weakness, chronic pain, and even paraplegia.
Long-Term Impact of Back, Neck, or Disc Injuries
Someone who has experienced these injuries after an accident may also develop:
- Chronic pain
- Limited mobility or complete disability
- Nerve damage
- Spinal cord injury
- Nerve root compression, leading to moderate to severe pain, numbness, tingling, muscle weakness, or partial paralysis
- Depression, anxiety, or other emotional distress
A specific treatment plan will depend on the severity of the injury. A doctor can recommend the best treatment and course of action following an accident.
Despite future medical treatments, these long-term effects can impact a person’s quality of life. A person may not be able to return to work for an extended period or at all. Getting immediate medical attention and following a prescribed treatment plan can help manage these and other long-term effects and promote healing.
Proving Negligence In a Back, Neck, or Disc Personal Injury Case
The first step after any accident is to seek immediate medical care. Not only is it necessary to receive treatment and begin healing, but emergency care and follow-up doctor appointments also document your injury and the progression of needed care.
Whatever type of accident led to your back, neck, or disc injury, proving your case is essential to winning and getting fair compensation. To do so, you will need to establish negligence by showing that:
- A duty of care existed, and the defendant owed you a level of responsibility
- The defendant breached the duty of care and responsibility
- That breach directly caused your injuries
- You suffered damages that resulted from the breach
The evidence you present should prove all four of these elements. Your medical records are strong evidence to prove your injury case. Pictures, a police report, W-2s or other earnings statements, and other relevant documentation should demonstrate the defendant’s breach of duty. Other evidence includes forensic evidence at the scene of the accident, video surveillance, and witness statements.
Under GA Code § 9-3-33, the statute of limitations for personal injury claims is two years. After two years, a court will dismiss your claim. Insurance companies engage in stalling techniques to avoid paying you anything. That’s why it’s important to begin working with a Georgia personal injury attorney as soon as possible to build your case.
Compensation & Damages Recoverable in Back, Neck, or Disc Injury Claims
Long-term care costs for these types of catastrophic injuries can be higher than others. Much of these costs include the loss of quality of life that a patient experiences if they are disabled as a result. They can include:
- Medical expenses, current and future (including long-term)
- Lost earnings
- Lost future earnings/loss of earning capacity
- Property damage
- Pain and suffering
- Punitive damages
- Emotional distress
After the initial emergency treatment and hospitalization, you may need long-term care, especially if you become disabled. This can include:
- Diagnostics, such as X-Rays and MRI
- Future surgeries
- Physical or occupational therapy
- Home health care
- Steroid injections for pain
- Chiropractic care
- Other medical supplies and equipment
- Other treatments prescribed by your doctor for pain or disability
These costs can easily total over $1M, and can financially devastate a family, especially if insurance coverage ends or the company denies the claim. Your settlement should include provisions for these expenses, and our injury attorneys understand how to get you the compensation you need going forward.
If you or a loved one have suffered a catastrophic back, neck, or disc injury in Georgia and would like to know what damages you may recover as part of your case, contact Apolinsky & Associates, LLC, for a free case evaluation.