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Due to its high population and sheer number of licensed drivers, California routinely leads the nation in car accidents. Data from the California State Transportation Agency found that there were 19,219 rear-ended car accidents that resulted in injuries between 2014 and 2019. With such a preponderance of car accidents, spending any amount of time on the road in California could potentially lead to injuries.

At Setareh Law, our experienced team of California car accident attorneys is well versed in the numerous injuries that can result from a car accident.  Of these injuries, damage to your neck and back are two of the most common and most painful.

Types of Car Accidents That Cause Neck and Back Pain

No two car accidents are alike, and the same can be said for the injuries that result from one. The fact is, neck and back pain can be the result of any car accident. Still, there are certain types of accidents where neck and back pain are more likely to occur. 

The most common accidents that result in neck and back pain are rear-ended collisions. The reason that rear-end collisions often result in neck and back pain is because of the whiplash effect that accompanies those types of collisions. Upon impact, your head, neck, and back are violently jolted forward and then back again, causing tremendous strain on those parts of the body.

That movement frequently results in serious neck and back injuries, including: 

  • Injuries to the spinal cord
  • Vertebrae damage
  • Cervical spine injuries
  • Tears to the cervical discs
  • Ligament sprains
  • Muscle strains
  • Nerve damage
  • Soft tissue injuries

In the immediate aftermath of your car accident, these injuries may not be apparent. That’s why it’s extremely important to get medical care as soon as possible, especially when the symptoms of these injuries begin to present themselves.

Causes of Back and Neck Injuries After a Car Accident

Right after your car accident, you will likely have a surge of adrenaline that covers up some of the more immediate symptoms of a neck or back injury. In other cases, you may feel the pain immediately, and you know you need help right away. There is really no timetable for some of the more ongoing symptoms that don’t become apparent for hours or even weeks after the accident. This could mean that you mistake the symptoms for something else. Specifically, though, there are a few very distinct causes of neck and back pain after a car accident.

Whiplash

One of the most common causes of neck and back pain after a car accident is the diagnosis of whiplash. Whiplash occurs any time the neck moves back and forth in rapid succession while the body remains still, such as during a rear-end collision. This injury causes extensive damage to the nerves and muscles in the neck and back, which leads to pain in those areas.

Lumbar Strains

Strains and sprains of the lumbar, or lower back, are another common back injury following a car accident. The force of impact can cause the muscles, tendons and ligaments in the lower back that overstretch or tear, leading to serious low back pain, tightness, and muscle spasms. 

Spinal Stenosis

Many car accidents cause injuries in the spine that lead to immediate spinal stenosis, which occurs when the space between the vertebrae is compressed and narrowed. This puts pressure on the nerves that traverse your spine and usually lead to pain, numbness, or even paralysis in some cases.

Herniated Discs

Herniated discs are another extremely common cause of neck and back pain after a car accident. When discs herniate, the soft cushion between the vertebrae breaks through the tough outer shell of bone. Herniated discs are extremely painful and often require months of recovery.

Joint Injuries 

Common joint injuries after a car accident usually include strained, sprained, fractured, and dislocated joints in the back or neck. You can expect swelling, difficulty moving, or visible displacement in your neck and back after a car accident.

Spinal Cord Injuries

The nature of car accidents is such that they often lead to spinal cord injuries. Among the most serious types of injury a person can suffer, spinal cord injuries can lead to paralysis and even death.

Contact a Skilled California Car Accident Attorney

Neck and back injuries that result from a car accident can stay with you for a long time, even for the rest of your life. This fate means that you have a long road to recovery, and need a skilled personal injury attorney to fight for your compensation. From their Beverly Hills office, Setarah Law represents clients throughout California, fighting to make sure their legal and financial needs are taken care of. To get started with a free consultation, in English or Spanish, call (310) 659-1826 or fill out this contact form.