There are approximately six million car accidents each year in the United States, with three million people injured. Many of these injuries are to the vulnerable structures of the back and neck that can be badly damaged by rapid movements and forceful impacts. If you’ve injured your back or neck in a car accident, it’s important to contact an experienced California car accident attorney that can help you collect the greatest amount of compensation possible for medical expenses, lost wages, pain, suffering and emotional distress.

A car accident can be a harrowing experience that often results in various injuries. Among the most frequent and potentially debilitating are neck injuries. The sudden impact and force exerted during a collision can cause significant strain on the neck, leading to a range of injuries that may not always be immediately apparent. Understanding these injuries and their symptoms is crucial for seeking proper medical attention and treatment.

Don’t miss out on the opportunity! Reach out to us now at (209) 600-4389 to schedule your FREE consultation, whether in person or remotely.

Car Accident Back Injuries

There are several possible back injuries you might suffer in a car accident. Some are mild, but others can be severe and devastating. Many back injuries will be temporary, and you can expect to make a full recovery, while others can be permanent and life-altering. Here’s a look at four of the most common back injuries from car accidents.

Spinal Cord Injuries

Of course, one of the most severe back injuries is a spinal cord injury. The spinal cord is crucial for relaying signals from the brain to the body. The spinal cord runs through the vertebrae, and sometimes a break or dislocation of the vertebrae can injure the spinal cord.  

Spinal cord injuries can result in numbness or loss of sensation, temporary paralysis, permanent paralysis, or even death. 

Herniated Disc

A common car accident back injury is a herniated disc. A herniated disc can cause severe nerve pain, weakness, and numbness. A herniated disc occurs when one of the rubbery cushion-like discs that sit between the vertebrae slips or ruptures. The force exerted during a car accident can also cause herniated discs in the back. Symptoms may include back pain that radiates down the limbs, numbness, tingling, or weakness. Diagnosis often involves imaging tests such as MRIs or CT scans, and treatment may involve rest, physical therapy, or in severe cases, surgery.

Fractures and Dislocations

An array of fractures and dislocations are common in car accidents and the risk of sustaining a break or dislocation in the back is high. 

There are several types of fractures, including:

  • Flexion fractures caused by the whipping motion of an impact,
  • Compression fractures occur when the vertebrae compress together in the impact,
  • Transverse fractures caused by turning or twisting beyond the normal range of motion, and
  • Dislocations that occur when the vertebrae come out of alignment.

Fractures are usually immediate and excruciating and require immediate medical attention. They often require resetting, surgical repair, and extensive rehabilitative therapy. 

Muscle Strains

The impact of a car accident can cause the body to move, twist, stretch, and strain in unnatural ways. While many people are fearful of fractures and spinal cord injuries, strains occur far more often and can be just as debilitating. Soft tissue injuries such as muscle strain are frequently overlooked or downplayed. However, you should be on the lookout for symptoms. These include pain, stiffness, limited range of motion, and muscle spasms.

Usually, these injuries resolve themselves on their own with at-home remedies such as heat pads, cold packs, and anti-inflammatories. More severe strains may require physical therapy to improve. 

Whether you suffered one of these four common types of back injuries after a car crash or something else entirely, you should not have to bear the financial repercussions caused by someone else’s negligence. We can help you seek the compensation you rightfully deserve. 

Common Neck Injuries After a Car Accident

Neck injuries from a car crash are almost as common as back injuries. Neck injuries can be scary, painful, and even permanent. Let’s take a look at three common types of neck injuries after a car accident. 


Whiplash is one of the most prevalent neck injuries following a car accident, particularly in rear-end collisions. The impact causes your head and neck to thrust forward while your body remains restrained by the seat belt. Your head is forcefully jerked backward and then forward in a rapid motion, causing strain on the neck muscles and ligaments. Symptoms may include neck pain and stiffness, headaches, dizziness, and even tingling or numbness in the arms. 

Most cases of whiplash are relatively mild and can be treated at home with over-the-counter pain medication. Light stretching and exercises can also help improve injury and mobility.

Sometimes severe cases can lead to chronic and extensive neck pain requiring physical therapy and medical intervention. Seeking a medical evaluation is essential to prevent long-term complications.

Cervical Fractures

Another common car accident neck injury is a cervical fracture. The sudden impact of a car crash can lead to fractures in the cervical spine, the seven vertebrae that form the neck. Fractures can range from minor cracks to severe breaks, potentially causing nerve damage or paralysis. Symptoms might include severe neck pain, difficulty moving the neck, numbness or weakness in the limbs, and in severe cases, difficulty breathing. In cases of cervical fractures, immediate medical attention is crucial to prevent further damage.

Strains and Sprains

As with the back, soft tissue injuries like strains and sprains of the neck are common in car accidents. They involve damage to muscles, tendons, and ligaments in the neck. Symptoms may include pain, swelling, stiffness, and limited range of motion. While these injuries may heal with conservative treatments like rest, ice, and physical therapy, it’s essential to monitor for any persistent or worsening symptoms.

Other common back and neck injuries from car accidents include bruising, lacerations, and swelling. Many car accident victims also sustain both a neck and back injury simultaneously. If you are feeling back and neck pain after a car accident, you should seek immediate medical attention to avoid worsening the injury. 

Consequences of Common Back and Neck Injuries After a Car Accident

Depending on the circumstances and severity of your injury you may be unable to work for a substantial amount of time and require significant and extensive treatment.

Medical treatment can include:

  • Emergency room care;
  • Radiology diagnostic testing (e.g., x-rays, MRIs);
  • Surgery;
  • Orthopedic treatment;
  • Rehabilitation and physical therapy; and
  • Pharmaceutical services. 

Bills for these services can quickly mount all while you are unable to work or perform your daily activities. At Silva Injury Law, we approach each case with a delicate balance of compassion for our clients and aggressive representation at the negotiating table and in the courtroom.

Symptoms Of Neck And Back Injuries Can Be Subtle At First

Heavy impacts from truck accidents can cause catastrophic spinal cord injuries with devastating consequences. If you’re unable to move any part of your body or you experience intense pain, immediate medical attention is a must. On the other hand, milder back and neck injuries may not reveal their severity immediately. It’s not unusual for victims to refuse the ambulance at the scene, only to wake up the next morning with severe stiffness and/or pain in their back and neck. These are some of the symptoms to look out for in the hours and days after a car accident:

  • Sharp pain that radiates down the arm or leg;
  • Numbness in the arms, hands, legs or feet;
  • Bruising;
  • Swelling;
  • Redness;
  • Inflammation;
  • Headaches;
  • Dizziness and
  • Burning sensations.

If you have any of the symptoms above, it’s important to seek medical attention as soon as possible. It’s also important to speak to an experienced California back and neck injury accident attorney about your legal rights to compensation.

The Importance Of Proper Diagnosis And Treatment

X-rays can only diagnose broken and dislocated bones, so when the hospital tells you you don’t have fractures, it’s important to remember that your pain could be caused by a soft tissue injury. Serious soft tissue injuries of the sensitive spinal vertebrae can cause long term pain and disability. That’s why it’s important to have a Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) scan to determine whether or not you’ve sustained herniated or bulging discs if your pain does not subside after a period of physical therapy. An MRI scan can also diagnose soft tissue back and neck injuries such as torn ligaments, inflammation, sprains and tendonitis. Once you have a diagnosis, a treatment plan can be created. If physical therapy, acupuncture, pain management with epidurals and other conservative treatments are not successful, your doctor may want you to consider surgery.

California Back And Neck Injury Accident Attorney

Victims that sustain serious back and neck injuries are entitled to compensation from the parties that caused them harm. In order to collect the maximum amount of damages, it’s important to work with a California back and neck injury attorney that has a great deal of experience with this type of case.

Find Out How We Can Help

At Silva Injury Law we promote healing through compassionate advocacy. With each case tailored to the individual, we look our for your best interests by evaluating your unique circumstances.Contact us today at (209) 600-4389 for a FREE in person or remote consultation.