Successful Back Sprain and Strain Claim Strategies from a Cook County Back Injury Lawyer
Back sprains and strains occur after unusual stretching or tearing of ligaments, tendons and muscles attached to the lower back, upper buttocks and neck. Ligaments are bands of fibrous tissue that connect two bones and cartilage, while tendons provide oppositional force that makes neck and back muscles bend and turn properly. Both give the spinal column its flexibility. After back sprains and strains sustained in accidents, victims may experience herniated or ruptured discs or acceleration of disc degeneration. Such traumatic injuries should be compensated if they resulted from another’s negligence, and a Cook County back injury lawyer can help.
When suffering a neck sprain or strain and other accompanying vertebral damage after a traumatic injury, victims often experience chronic, debilitating pain and are unable to work or live a normal life. Recovery can take months, and disability can range from moderate to severe.
Accidents Involving — and Compensation for — Back/Neck Strain Injuries
Sprains and strains are classified as “soft-tissue injuries” and result in soreness, swelling, bruising and stiffness. They can happen from auto accidents as minor as a 5 mile per hour rear-ender in which the victim’s vehicle moves forward while his or her head “whips” back (known as a whiplash injury).
But they also can be the result of a slip-and-fall accident, either at work or on someone else’s property, such as a restaurant or shopping mall, someone else’s private property, or government property. Most often, if the cause of the accident that injured you is the direct result of another’s negligence, then he or she could be held liable for damages that can include medical bills, lost wages, disability expenses, pain and suffering, and other expenses. A Cook County back injury lawyer can help pursue compensation.
If the accident that caused your neck strain or sprain happened at work, your civil options are limited because of Illinois’ workers’ compensation. This no-fault insurance bypasses negligence and is designed to pay injured victims up to 80 percent of their lost wages, all medical bills and a negotiated amount of disability compensation quickly, though there are guidelines that your employer’s insurance company must follow. But if someone other than your employer or fellow employees caused the accident – such as a contractor or vendor who was visiting your place of employment – you might file an insurance claim with that third-party defendant and sue them if they refuse to pay fairly your entire damage amount; including pain and suffering that workers’ comp doesn’t cover.
Challenges of Winning Compensation for a Back Sprain and Strain Accident
Soft-tissue injuries can be immediate or develop days, weeks or even months after an injury accident. This not only makes them difficult to identify, but also to associate with an accident that could have happened any time in the recent past. Another challenge in identifying soft-tissue injuries is that they don’t always appear in X-rays, MRIs or CAT scans unless there is some other injury associated with them, such as a vertebral or a bulging disc.
This is why at the first hint of any pain after a vehicle, slip-and-fall, work accident or other injury in which you hurt your back, you must seek professional medical attention to be treated and create records that confirm your injury. Because if you make a claim or become involved in litigation to recover damages, your medical records – in addition to testimony from your doctors – are critical to support your claim and counter charges from the defendant’s insurance company that you’re “faking a whiplash case.” This is a common strategy for the opposition to make, due to the elusiveness of soft-tissue injuries in general and the fact that some accident victims are not above filing dubious whiplash injury cases. The more legitimate evidence you and your attorney can present, the stronger your case.
So if you have suffered a soft-tissue back or neck injury in an accident of any kind, seek medical help immediately, then contact an experienced Cook County back injury lawyer. Buttafuoco and Associates will evaluate your case without charge, so call 1-800-NOW-HURT today.