In some cases, the trauma that caused the back injury is readily apparent, but others may require medical expertise to fully understand. It may be difficult for the injury victim to document the pain and limitations they experience because of their injury. Further, some parties may dispute whether the back injury occurred as the result of a specific incident.
Therefore, the average person may find it challenging to pursue a claim seeking compensation for their back injury. The experienced Chicago back injury attorneys at Langdon & Emison have represented injury victims for over 30 years. We apply our expert knowledge, experience, and resources to your case to seek the maximum compensation available. Our goal is to help you recover what you need to resume a normal life.
Learn more about filing a claim after your back injury when you call (312) 872-3389 or contact us online to schedule a free, no-risk case review.
Common Causes of Back Injury
There are several common ways to sustain a back injury. The type of incident that led to the back injury will likely have a strong relationship with the specific medical diagnosis.
Motor Vehicle Accidents
Motor vehicle accidents are the leading cause of spinal cord injuries and other serious back injuries in U.S. residents under age 65. The impact of an accident can lead to major stress on the spine as well as back muscles, tendons, and nerve pathways.
Car accident back injuries can present as anything from nagging aches and pains to full-blown paralysis from a severed spinal cord.
Falls are a major contributor to back injury, especially in individuals 65 and older. A fall can be the result of a slip-and-fall incident at a neglected property, but it can also involve nursing home abuse/negligence, defective products, or physical assault.
Repetitive Stress, Lifting, and Work Strain
The third-leading cause of back injury is work-related activity. Employers have a responsibility to properly train workers to reduce their risk of back strain and injury while providing reasonable accommodations such as lifting braces, hoist devices, ramps, and adequate staffing. A work-related injury can qualify for workers’ compensation, and in some instances, a non-employer negligent third party may be partly liable for the injury.
Sports injuries are a major cause of both minor and severe back injuries. All sports activity organizers have a responsibility to ensure safe techniques are being used and to reasonably work toward a safe environment with a lowered risk of injury.
When sports injuries occur, they can be the result of a neglectful property owner, careless supervision, or sports organizations that encourage practices known to carry unreasonable risks.
Physical assault knocking the victim to the ground is a common scenario, and trauma from blunt or sharp objects can also lead to damage to the back and spinal area. When an assault is the result of negligent security, property owners and managers may be liable for its costs.
Types of Back Injuries
Back injuries can be mild enough to cause daily discomfort or severe enough to permanently limit the victim’s ability to walk or perform their usual tasks. If a back injury has side effects leading to a prolonged or permanent loss of ability to earn income, the responsible party must compensate the victim for their lost earning capacity.
Common back injury types include the following.
Soft Tissue and Tendon Injuries
We tend to think of our back as a solid mass, but it is a complex assemblage of bones, muscles, tendons, and ligaments. During a physical trauma, such as a fall, injuries can occur to soft tissues. Sometimes, tendons are strained, leading to prolonged pain and debilitation.
Whiplash is a common soft tissue injury experienced during car accidents, as the head jerks quickly upon the cervical spine, creating damage to soft tissues in the neck and shoulders.
“Pinched” nerves and nerve damage in the back can lead to sustained pain, limited movement, and sometimes partial paralysis. Nervous systems found within the back are complex, and damage at any point can cause subsequent issues in the extremities.
Spinal Disc Injuries
Soft, jelly-like tissues protect spinal vertebrae from making contact with one another. Trauma can cause tremendous pressure to act upon these discs, leading to herniated or “bulging” discs, ruptured discs, and similar injuries. Victims will feel discomfort from the injury, which is difficult to treat. In some cases, the disc injury will cause pressure on nerves or the spinal cord itself, leading to numbness, stabbing pain, debilitation, and sometimes paralysis.
Spinal Cord Injury
An injury to the spinal cord is a major medical concern, as damage can easily lead to paralysis in the legs (paraplegia), arms, torso, and even across the entire body. Individuals with a spinal cord injury will need serious medical intervention, often necessitating surgery, extended hospital stays, and long-term rehabilitation.
Seeking an Injury Claim After You Have Hurt Your Back
Back injuries can lead to financial losses and other less tangible consequences like prolonged pain and suffering. A successful injury claim can help them recover money spent on medical expenses, lost wages, out-of-pocket costs, and compensation for personal pain and hardship.
Several important factors must be established for a back injury claim to be successful. They include:
- The cause of the injury: The injury victim must be prepared to demonstrate the specific cause of their injury, such as a motor vehicle crash or a slip and fall.
- The responsible party: All claims must establish that the defendant had a responsibility to the claimant that they violated because of negligence or an intentional wrongful act.
- The damages caused: Proving some damages, like medical costs, can be as simple as presenting a copy of a bill. However, back injury victims may need professional assistance to document aspects like their pain and suffering or the total amount in earnings they have lost, past and future.
Working with a Chicago back injury lawyer can help you prove all of the above and reinforce your legal position with reference to specific laws and prior case rulings.
Langdon & Emison can provide you with a Chicago, IL personal injury lawyer to vigorously investigate your case, assemble all claimable damages, and pursue your claim against any applicable negligent parties. If insurers refuse to offer a reasonable settlement, we are prepared to counter common defense strategies. You can also seek your claim in court through a lawsuit or jury trial, where the prepared evidence will be presented on your behalf.
Work With a Chicago Back Injury Lawyer Who’s Passionate About Helping You Recover
Don’t assume you have to pay for your own bills out of pocket and don’t risk handling your case alone when you and your family’s well-being is on the line.
Langdon & Emison has a proven record of winning cases both in and out of court, and we can bring that experience and our dedicated team to serve your goals.
Schedule a free, no-obligation case review to discuss your options and what damages might be available when you call (312) 872-3389 or contact us online today.