Back and neck injuries usually fall under the category of soft tissue injuries, which include contusions, lacerations, sprains, strains, and repetitive strain injuries like tendinitis. In contrast to fractures and broken bones, soft tissue back and neck injuries usually resolve themselves with time—often after completing physical therapy regimens or other types of conservative medical treatments. Common examples of soft tissue injuries include muscular sprains, strains, and whiplash injuries caused when a person’s body is abruptly thrown forward and backward inside a motor vehicle during a collision.
Although soft tissue back and neck injuries usually do not require surgeries, they can still sometimes cause serious pain. If you or someone you love suffers from soft tissue injuries sustained in an accident that was caused by someone else’s negligence, Florida law may may entitle you to monetary compensation. The Florida back and neck injury attorneys at Dolman Law Group can investigate the facts and circumstances of your case—including your medical treatment—and may represent you during settlement negotiations or, if necessary, in court.
Sustaining Soft Tissue Injuries
A person may sustain a soft tissue back or neck injury in many ways, but most often in the context of a motor vehicle accident. Rear end collisions are especially common causes of these injuries, which makes sense when considering the abruptness and forcefulness of being struck from behind when sitting in a vehicle. These collisions typically occur when someone is driving in a careless or negligent manner, such as by texting or making phone calls while driving, listening to loud or distracting music while driving, roughhousing with others in the car while behind the wheel, or violating Florida traffic laws and other Florida rules of the road.
When a person operates a motor vehicle in a distracted or neglectful manner, that person is more likely to cause a rear-end accident—and to cause the driver and passengers of the other vehicle to sustain soft tissue back and neck injuries.
Whiplash injuries are soft tissue injuries to the neck (that is, the cervical spine) or upper back. Whiplash occurs when a person’s neck and upper back are thrust forward and then immediately backward, or vice-versa, as in a classic rear-end car accident. Whiplash injuries sustained in car accidents are almost always accompanied by back injuries and head injuries (such as when the accident victim’s head strikes the steering wheel or headrest).
A person may sustain back injuries to the cervical (upper), thoracic (mid), or lumbar (lower) spine. If you experience back pain or symptoms following an accident, immediately seek follow-up care at a hospital or urgent care facility, at which time you may undergo an X-ray or MRI to determine whether you suffered any fractures.
Other Causes of Neck and Back Injuries
While back injuries are often caused by motor vehicle accidents, they can have many other legally actionable causes. As a result, if you have sustained a back injury in an accident or as a result of your work, speak to an attorney as soon as you can. Other than traffic accidents, common causes of back injuries include:
- Slip and fall accidents
- Falls from heights
- Medical malpractice
- Inadequate training or supervision during sports
- Defective exercise equipment
- Poorly designed workplace furniture or work equipment
- Pool or hot tub accidents
Proving Soft Tissue Back and Neck Injuries
Proving the existence of soft tissue back and neck injuries is sometimes difficult, since the injuries are not always observable on imaging studies like MRIs or X-rays. Insurance companies vigorously defend these soft tissue back and neck cases and try to blame the accident victim’s pain and symptoms on prior injuries, preexisting medical conditions, and degenerative conditions, rather than on the accident.
Over-Treating Soft Tissue Injuries
Although soft tissue injuries can hurt, treat them consistently—and do not over-treat your injuries. Contrary to what you may think, over-treating soft tissue back and neck injuries will not increase the compensation you might expect from your personal injury case. Rather, it is more likely to decrease the value of your case.
In terms of consistency, refrain from long gaps in your medical treatment as much as possible, and follow up with a primary care doctor or family doctor at least once. Finally, never discharge yourself from a medical or physical therapy facility.
Damages Available in Soft Tissue Back and Neck Injury Cases
If you can prove that someone else caused the accident that led to your soft tissue back and neck injuries, you may recover monetary compensation in your case. Florida law may entitle accident victims who sustain soft tissue injuries as a result of someone else’s negligence to:
- Payment of all causally related medical bills
- Lost wage compensation
- Compensation for lost earning capacity or for the inability to work at the same job
- Compensation for pain and suffering
- Compensation for loss of ability to function
- Payment of related psychological or psychiatric treatment bills
- Compensation for loss of spousal companionship
Contact a Florida Personal Injury Attorney Today for a Free Initial Consultation and Case Evaluation
If you sustained soft tissue back or neck injuries in a car or truck accident that another individual caused, you may recover monetary compensation under Florida law.
Insurance companies and their adjusters always look for ways to limit their liabilities in soft tissue injury cases. Moreover, insurance companies are never on your side in a personal injury case, and adjusters will pick up on any significant gaps in your medical treatment, inconsistencies in your medical or physical therapy records, previous accidents or injuries, and degenerative changes on imaging studies, such as X-rays and MRIs. The experienced Florida back and neck injury attorneys at Dolman Law Group can advocate for you throughout your entire case, including in settlement negotiations, during alternative dispute resolution proceedings, or if necessary, at trial. A knowledgeable lawyer by your side can go a long way when it comes to maximizing the compensation you receive in your soft tissue personal injury case.
The personal injury attorneys at Dolman Law Group are ready and willing to represent you, and can meet to answer all of your legal questions. To schedule a free consultation and case evaluation with a Florida back and neck injury attorney, please call us at (727) 451-6900 or contact us online today.