After an accident, whether a car accident, a slip and fall, or a work-related accident, one of the most common injuries for a victim is a neck or back injury. Neck and back injuries can range from minor discomfort to chronic pain to lifelong debilitating conditions such as paralysis.
No matter what the cause, here are steps to take if you’ve suffered a neck or back injury after an accident.
Seek Medical Attention
First and foremost, the important thing to do after any kind of accident is to seek medical attention. Either call 911, head to the emergency room, schedule an appointment with your physician, or in the case of a work-related accident, seek medical attention at one of your company’s approved workers’ compensation physicians.
There are many different reasons your neck or back may hurt after an accident, and it’s best to have a medical professional diagnose the cause and develop a treatment plan for you.
Some of the reasons you may have back and neck pain include:
- Muscle and ligament tears or sprains
- Herniated disc
- Fractured vertebrae
- Spinal cord injuries
In the case of an accident, it’s important to see a physician so they can document your injury. Medical documentation is critical in personal injury cases and workers’ compensation claims. Be honest with your provider about what caused the accident and if you have any pre-existing medical conditions.
Report the Accident
If you were injured on someone’s property, in a car accident, or in a work-related accident, it’s important to report your accident to the appropriate party. In each case, the process for reporting your accident is slightly different. Here are steps to take for each circumstance:
Slip and Fall
In the event of a neck or back injury after a slip and fall on someone’s property, whether a private residence, a commercial business, or even in a parking lot, inform the property owner of the accident. File a formal, written accident report with the property owner and ask for a signed copy.
Slip and fall injuries are often the result of a property owner’s negligence and you have the right to seek compensation to cover your medical bills, lost wages, and pain and suffering. If you are able, take photos of the accident location, particularly when there are trip hazards, wet floors, or poor lighting.
If you are in a car accident, call 911. When you report the accident to emergency responders, the police will document the accident, interview witnesses, and can help determine who was at-fault. In addition, when you call 911 after a car accident, the EMT team will be able to administer emergency medical care.
Hurt at work? Inform your employer immediately of your accident to start the workers’ comp process. Tell your employer exactly how the accident happened and be thorough with the details of your injury. As soon as you report the accident, your employer is required to file an accident injury report with their workers’ comp insurance company.
Keep in mind you have 21 days from the date of the accident to report it to your employer to receive full benefits. After day 21, you may still be eligible, however, your benefits may be reduced.
Keep a Journal for Your Back and Neck Injury
Following an accident that leaves you with neck and back pain, it can be useful to keep a journal of the pain you are experiencing. Jot down any movements that make your condition worse – or better – so your doctor can help you with pain management.
Be specific in your journal – what is your pain on a scale of 1-10? When is your pain the worst? When is your pain bearable? Do you have neck or back spasms after your accident? This information is not only useful for your treatment plan, but it is also useful during the insurance claim process.
Follow Doctor’s Orders
While it may be tempting to try to get back to your normal routine or back to work quickly after your neck or back injury, always follow your doctor’s orders. If your doctor recommends bed rest for a few days, do so. If your physician hasn’t cleared you to go back to work, continue to rest and heal.
Although medical bills can pile up during your recovery, a personal injury claim or workers’ compensation benefits will help alleviate the financial burden caused by your accident. Your health should be your top priority, so follow your doctor’s orders. Further, if you ignore your physician and the insurance company finds out, you could put your claim at risk.
Consult with a Workers’ Compensation or Personal Injury Attorney
After an injury accident, reach out to a personal injury or workers’ compensation attorney for the best outcome in your injury case. Insurance companies have a team of attorneys working to minimize their financial risk, and you deserve the same representation.
The insurance company may offer you a low-ball settlement that will not cover your medical bills, lost wages, and pain and suffering. The workers’ comp insurance company may even deny your claim. In either case, do not talk to the insurance company before consulting with an attorney.
Back and Neck Injury Attorneys in York, Pa.
If you’ve suffered a neck or back injury after an accident, reach out to the team at Dale E. Anstine Personal Injury Law Firm. We’ve been fighting for the rights of accident victims for decades and know how the legal system works in Central Pennsylvania.
Neck and back pain can be debilitating and expensive, and you shouldn’t have to worry about a personal injury or workers’ comp case while you recover. We can visit you in the hospital, at home, or in our office. Our consultations are always free, and we are not compensated until we win your case. Contact us 24/7 either online or by calling 717-846-0606 today.