I Have Back Pain from a Car Accident, Can I Seek Compensation?
If you were in a car accident, you may experience injuries upon impact, or you may develop injuries long after the accident. The fact is, if you were in a car accident in California and you experience back pain after some time has passed, you may still be able to seek damages.
The first thing you should do upon noticing back pain is to seek treatment from a medical practitioner. You should let them know you were in a car accident, even if it was a long time ago. Some injuries take a significant amount of time to develop. Your practitioner will be able to tell you if the car accident was likely the cause. Even if you don’t immediately feel pain to your back or other obvious injuries, it’s a good idea to see a medical professional after a car accident. Sometimes there are internal injuries or back injuries that you wouldn’t be able to see with your just your eyes. Once you’ve done this, it’s a good idea to contact a personal injury attorney who is experienced in handling car accident cases.
Common Back Injury Symptoms from a Car Accident
Any back pain should warrant a trip to a doctor. You may be wondering what symptoms could indicate that you have a back injury from your car accident. It is important to realize that back injuries can cause symptoms in other areas of your body. If you are experiencing back pain in addition to any of the following symptoms, you should seek medical treatment right away:
- Sharp pain
- Burning pain
- Muscle spasms
- Difficulty walking or standing
These symptoms could point to a variety of back injuries, such as a herniated disc, a lumbar fracture, a back sprain, spondylolisthesis, discogenic pain, a facet joint injury, and a degenerative spinal disorder. It is imperative you seek treatment right away so the back injury does not worsen.
Statute of Limitations and Discovery Rule
Once you have sought treatment and received a diagnosis about your back pain, you may be wondering how you can file a lawsuit. In California, the statute of limitations to sue for a personal injury is two years. What happens if you discovered the back injury over two years after your car accident?
In California, something called the “discovery rule” exists for this type of situation. The discovery rule simply states that an individual can file a claim past the original statute of limitations, upon reasonable discovery of an injury or loss that resulted from another individual or entity’s negligence. The statute of limitations for the discovery rule is one year, and the clock starts upon the individual’s discovery of their injury.
It is important to note that if you do not file within the statute of limitations, you will no longer be able to collect compensation.
How Can a Lawyer Help Me?
Back injuries can be painful and even debilitating for many individuals. Additionally, you do not have a significant amount of time in which to file your claim, especially if you are invoking the discovery rule. Hiring a Los Angeles car accident lawyer can ensure that your claim is filed in a timely manner. Also, a lawyer can help ease the burden of gathering evidence, securing witness testimony, as well as assisting in building your case. It will always be in your best interest to hire a lawyer so you can focus on your recovery from your car accident.