Car accidents can wreak havoc with your neck and back, causing injuries ranging from relatively mild strains all the way to whiplash, fractures, herniated discs, and catastrophic spinal cord injuries. Neck and back injuries are especially common in rear end accidents and falls. When you’ve suffered an injury to your neck or back in an accident that was caused by someone else, you have the right to make a claim for monetary compensation against the person responsible for your injury. The severity of the injury and the length of time it takes it to heal—if it does heal—will influence the amount of money you are able to receive from the liable party.
If you have a neck or back injury from an accident of any kind in Dallas, Texas, contact the Law Firm of Aaron A. Herbert, P.C. for a free consultation. Our attorneys may be able to help you negotiate a settlement from an insurance company in Dallas County.
Why Hire Aaron Herbert?
- He has significant experience representing clients with serious to catastrophic injuries.
- He has negotiated thousands of personal injury claims on behalf of clients.
- He does not fear going to court; he has been involved in over 50 jury trials.
- He offers personalized legal services and strategies to victims with neck and back injuries.
- He provides legal representation to clients in Dallas on a contingency fee basis.
When You Need a Lawyer
Unless your case is a very small one with a minimum of treatment, it will not be in your best interest to try to negotiate a settlement directly with the insurance company. You should hire an experienced personal injury attorney to represent you if you hope to receive a fair amount of compensation. Neck and back injury cases can be difficult, especially in two types of injury:
- Soft tissue injuries that can’t be proved by x-rays; and
- Catastrophic injuries, where fair compensation is so high that paying the claim represents a big dent in the insurance company’s profits. Insurers are usually willing to dig in their heels and fight against paying high value catastrophic claims, because the victim’s damages are extensive and permanent.
A personal injury lawyer will know precisely how to handle defense tactics and/or bad faith practices from an insurance company during settlement negotiations. Your lawyer can demonstrate your neck or back injury, help prove the defendant’s fault and take other steps in an effort to achieve maximum compensation on your behalf.
Types of Neck and Back Injuries
The most frequent cause of neck or back pain resulting from a car accident or other trauma is an injury to the facet joint. Facet joint pain, usually felt in the area to the right or left side center of the back of the neck, is sometimes mistaken for muscle pain. Facet joint pain causes an ache in the neck, usually radiating through the neck and shoulders, and is worse when you turn you head or look upward. Facet joint damage doesn’t show on an X-ray or MRI and can only be diagnosed by administering a medial branch block (MBB), a strong local anesthetic injected directly into the medial branch nerves leading to the facet joints.
Sprain and Strain of the Neck and Back
Sprain and strain of tendons, ligaments, or muscles in the neck and back can also be painful. Sprain and strain injuries, while the cause of substantial suffering, are difficult to prove, because they don’t show up on X-rays. Your medical records will reflect the difficulties you’ve experienced and are the main source of documentation of these soft tissue injuries.
Although chiropractic, massage, and other alternative treatments are sometimes helpful, insurance companies and juries typically give more consideration to treatment by medical doctors.
An experienced personal injury attorney will know how to make a case for these very real but subjective injuries by documenting the length of treatment, your time off of work, and your real limitations in your activities.
Some attorneys will not accept soft tissue injury cases because they can require more work. In Dallas, personal injury attorney Aaron Herbert has a history of recovering significant amounts of compensation for clients with soft tissue injuries.
Injury to an intervertebral disc can also cause severe chronic neck or back pain. The disc is a piece of gelatinous material that forms a cushion between the vertebrae that make up the spinal column. In a whiplash injury, the rapid forward and backward movement of the spine may cause a painful tear in the outer wall of the disc; or the disc may herniated or bulge out and impinge on a nerve. This causes severe shooting pain that radiates down the arm (in the case of a neck injury) or down the leg (if the injury is lower in your back), often accompanied by numbness, tingling, and weakness in the extremities. A herniated disc may require surgery to fuse the vertebrae.
Car accidents, falls, and workplace accidents can cause fractures of the vertebrae in the neck or back. These can not only be painful, but may threaten the spinal cord that runs through the spinal column, which is formed by the vertebrae. Surgery is often required.
Compression fractures are especially likely to occur in older adults. These are small cracks in the bones that form the spinal column, which can cause the vertebrae to collapse and deform over time, damaging the structure and alignment of the spine. Compression fractures are often overlooked. They can cause pain and respiratory problems.
Spinal Cord Injuries
A spinal cord injury is the most serious and life-changing of all neck and back injuries. The spinal cord is the bundle of nerves that connects the brain with the rest of the body through a tunnel formed by the hard vertebrae of the spinal column. If the spinal cord is damaged, paralysis of the body below the point of injury will often result.
A spinal cord injury in the neck (cervical spine) may cause tetraplegia, also called quadriplegia, which is paralysis of all four limbs and usually of the diaphragm, necessitating the use of a ventilator to assist with breathing.
An injury to the spinal cord in the thoracic or lumbar region (mid to lower back) tends to cause paraplegia, which is paralysis of the lower part of the body.
In either case, the victim is permanently paralyzed and confined to a wheelchair for life.
What Damages Could I Pursue?
At the Law Firm of Aaron A. Herbert, P.C, we are passionate about helping accident victims pursue fair and full recoveries for serious injuries. Our attorneys in Dallas can review your neck or back injury case and let you know what it might be worth. The defendant may owe you and your family compensation for many tangible and intangible damages.
- Pain and suffering. Injuries to the neck and back are some of the most painful. You may have considerable physical pain, stiffness, immobility, discomfort, chronic pain and emotional distress from your injury. These are all compensable damages in Texas.
- Disability costs. If an injury to your neck or back gives you a disability, you could seek compensation for related costs, including lifelong medical expenses, live-in care, medical devices, rehabilitation, home or vehicle modifications, and loss of consortium.
- Medical bills. You can recover 100% of your neck and back injury medical expenses in a successful case. These may include surgeries, treatments, medications, hospital stays, x-rays and ambulance fees.
- Lost wages and capacity to earn. If your neck or back injury forced you to stay home from work, change careers, take a lower-paying job, miss earning opportunities or otherwise lose income, list lost wages as part of your settlement demand.
You could also be eligible for compensation for out-of-pocket expenses related to your neck or back injury, attorney’s fees and court costs, any property repairs, lost quality of life, mental anguish, and other damages. Discover what your neck or back injury case could be worth during a free consultation with Aaron A. Herbert. We know how to maximize financial recovery for injured clients in Dallas County using proven negotiation strategies.
What Does My Attorney Need for a Successful Case?
Although Attorney Aaron A. Herbert has all the tools and resources he needs to take over your case at any stage, you can take steps to prepare your claim early on for the best odds of success. When you begin the claims process, your lawyer will ask you questions and start collecting and preserving evidence to use during your injury claim. You may be able to help with the documentation process.
- Photograph and video evidence
- Medical documents describing your injury
- X-rays and medical test results
- Statements from eyewitnesses
- Pay stubs and loss of income reports
- Letters from insurance companies
- Copies of police reports
- Medical bills and other expense documents
Your lawyer will have the burden to prove with clear and convincing evidence that the defendant caused your neck or back injury. The more evidence you can collect regarding your accident, the stronger your claim might be. For a successful personal injury claim, your attorney will need to demonstrate that the defendant owed you a duty of care, did not meet the requirements of this duty and caused your accident. Furthermore, your lawyer will need proof of your compensable damages.
Free Legal Consultation
To learn about your legal options following an injury to your neck or back, contact the Dallas law offices of Board Certified Personal Injury Trial Specialist Aaron Herbert. With 14 years of experience, top qualifications, the highest possible AVVO rating, and membership in the prestigious Million Dollar Advocates forum, Aaron has proved again and again that he has the dedication to do what is needed to obtain justice for his injured clients. The consultation is free and you will incur no attorney fees, court, or legal expenses unless you recover.