November 4, 2010
By Marshall Hoekel & Robert Goldson on November 4, 2010 1:35 PM | Permalink
Back injuries occur often in car accidents. The actual mechanism of injury is the interaction of the human body and spine with the waive of energy which passes through the car during impact with another car or truck. Muscular strain is very common and often injuries are more severe.
Missouri drivers often experience pain in their backs and necks after an accident. The type of pain experienced by drivers can be acute or chronic. Acute pain is that which can be treated with chiropractic means and generally improves over time.
Chronic pain lasts longer and may never resolve. The physical cause of chronic pain can be damage to the soft discs between the vertebrae. This damage is refferred to as disc herniation or protrusion and/or bulging. The irregularity in a disc can be seen on diagnostic testing such as an MRI or CT scan. Basically, the disc comes out of its natural place and begins pressing on an adjacent nerve and the pressing force generates the pain. Another related and often painful cause of chronic pain is a tear to the annular tissue in the back.
When someone sustains a back or neck injury in an automobile accident attributable to someone else's negligligence in Missouri, the injured Missouri driver or passenger is entitled to compensation under Missouri law. Because of the severity and relatively high compensable value of back injury cases, insurance companies devote much energy and resources to disputing claims of back injury in automobile accidents. Insurers will literally pay doctors more than $1,000.00 per hour to render opinions that a back injury was not a result of the accident and in fact, pre-existed the accident. Because there aren't tiny cameras in the back, the argument that a disk bulge predated the accident is not without plausability. There are even highly paid physicians who will testify for insurance companies that disc bulging cannot occur in a car accident.
Given this state of affairs, Goldson and Hoekel recommend that an accident victim suffering from back pain retain counsel to assist them in processing the claim and of course, in litgation as well.
Sign up to receive a 3-part series of useful information and advice about personal injury law.