What to Do When Back Pain Starts after a Car Accident
Any type of car accident is a jarring event that can leave the parties involved shaken, but not entirely sure if they are 100 percent okay. When the body goes through a traumatic event, like a car accident, a person’s natural flight or fight response is activated, which floods the body with adrenaline and endorphins that act as natural pain blockers. Consequently, a person in a car accident may not realize he/she is injured for days, or even weeks, if obvious signs of injury are absent because the body inhibits perceptions of pain until it perceives the danger is over. This is particularly true with neck and back pain that appear after a car accident. The pressure exerted on the body, and especially the spine, in a car accident is more than the body is designed to bear, and can cause misalignment and injury to the nerves and vertebrae. If a person starts to have pain in the neck or back after a car accident, there are several things he/she can do to help build the foundation for a strong personal injury claim.
Immediately after the Accident
In the immediate aftermath of a car accident, it may be difficult to form a reasoned response to what happened, but it is important to take certain steps that will be helpful and necessary if a party later decides to sue another driver for injuries. First, get medical treatment if an injury is obvious or urgent. Second, record the names and contact information for witnesses and other drivers. Third, notify the auto insurance carrier about the accident as soon as possible. When notifying one’s insurance company about an accident, it is fine to submit a recorded statement, but when speaking with another driver’s insurance company, it is best to stay away from recorded statements, and instead provide an oral description of what happened as succinctly as possible. The other insurance company could interpret a statement differently and use it as grounds to deny fault.
Obtaining any necessary medical treatment is key to laying the groundwork for a legal claim. A common injury experienced after car accidents is whiplash. This injury is derived from damage to the neck after an abrupt motion causes the head to jerk forward and backward. Symptoms usually appear after a few days and include neck/back pain, shoulder pain, numbness in the arm and/or hand, dizziness and difficulty concentrating. Once it appears some injury was sustained, seek medical treatment as soon as possible to prevent future damage and to begin a record that can be used in court to support a personal injury claim. Specifically, make sure medical personnel thoroughly document the type of treatment required, when treatment began, how long it continued, and the cost. This information will form the basis of evidence proving an injury occurred and damages were incurred, key elements in any car accident lawsuit.
Recording the Accident Scene
Documenting the accident scene as soon as possible is the most important step a person can take to prove which party was at fault. Take photographs of the accident from several angles, write notes about what happened and where, and talk to any witnesses about what they saw. Serious accidents will require police involvement, which will create another record of an accident.
If you were injured in a car accident, do not wait to explore filing a personal injury claim. There are time limits on how long a person has to file suit, and important evidence will likely be lost. The Miami law firm of Pita Weber & Del Prado will assess the details of your case and determine what legal options are available to you. Contact us for a free consultation.