A back injury can affect the muscles, ligaments, tendons, bones, nerves, or spinal discs of the back. Depending on the injury, you may experience chronic pain, limited mobility, stiffness, and disability.
Unfortunately, most adults experience back pain at some point that requires treatment. While nearly 90% of patients do not need to return to their doctor after a month and 80% are able to return to work within 6 weeks, many people are left with life-long consequences.
Back injuries can be difficult to treat effectively, especially when they result in permanent damage to the spine or impinge a nerve. Back pain is the top cause of disability around the world. You may be left with chronic pain, medication dependence, frequent visits to your doctor, painful treatments, and mental health issues as a result of your injury.
Types of Back Injuries
The following are the most common types of back injuries the Oklahoma City personal injury lawyers at McGuire Law Firm see on a regular basis.
- Sprains and strains which happen when a ligament or muscle is overextended and causes inflammation and pain.
- Herniated discs which can irritate surrounding nerves and lead to chronic pain and disability.
- Fractured vertebrae which can limit mobility and cause extreme pain.
- Spinal cord injuries which often permanently affect mobility, strength, sensation, and bodily functions
- Radiculopathy which happens when a spinal nerve is compressed. Sciatica is a type of radiculopathy.
- Spinal stenosis which happens when the spinal space narrows and puts pressure on nerves. It can be age-related but jobs that require manual labor and heavy lifting can contribute to spinal stenosis.
If you have suffered a back injury, call today to speak with an Oklahoma City back injury lawyer to discuss your case.
What Commonly Causes of Back Injuries?
Back injuries may be the result of an acute injury, such as a bad fall or crash, but they can also happen slowly over time. Manual labor, heavy lifting, and twisting can all contribute to a back injury. Many injuries may also be caused by health conditions which can contribute to an acute injury or work-related strain.
At McGuire Law Firm, we handle cases of back injuries with the following causes.
Traffic accidents are a major cause of back injuries in Oklahoma City. Even a low-speed crash can generate a great deal of force that damages the delicate structure of the spine. A jerking motion, twisting when struck, or direct impact to the neck or back can cause:
- Vertebral fractures
- Pinched nerves caused by inflammation
- Lumbar strains
- Herniated discs
If you have an existing back condition, a car accident may worsen your condition and cause new symptoms. Car accident victims with conditions like degenerative disc disease, spinal stenosis, and spinal osteoporosis may suffer significant disability after an accident. You can still be eligible for compensation if an accident causes a pre-existing condition to worsen.
Slip and Fall Accidents
One of the leading causes of acute back injuries is slip and fall accidents. Slipping and falling directly on your back or twisting when you fall can cause serious injury, including a herniated disc, a sprain, or even spinal cord damage. It is not only seniors who suffer serious injuries in a slip and fall.
Every year, over 1 million U.S. workers suffer a work-related back injury. These injuries account for 20% of all workplace injuries.
Any workplace can be dangerous, but the risks you face will depend on the type of work you perform. Jobs that require pulling, pushing, twisting, and lifting are more likely to result in back injuries. Some of the most at-risk occupations and industries include construction, retail, and warehouse.
Sometimes the medical professionals you have trusted to help you feel better may be responsible for a back injury or worsened condition. One of the most common causes of back injuries in medicine is a surgical mistake.
What Compensation Is Available for a Back Injury?
A back injury can lead to significant damages. You may be facing a painful recovery, invasive treatment, and an inability to work. You may even be left with significant and life-long disability.
Under Oklahoma law, you have the right to seek compensation for the damages you have suffered from the party responsible for your injuries. There are two broad types of damages available in a personal injury claim: economic and non-economic damages.
Economic damages are those that are easy to calculate with a clear financial value. Non-economic damages have no intrinsic value but may exceed the value of your economic damages.
You may be entitled to:
- Property damage
- Medical expenses including hospitalization, medication, doctor appointments, medical devices, surgery, and rehabilitation
- Lost wages
- Pain and suffering
- Emotional distress
- Loss of enjoyment of life
If your injury occurred on the job, you may be entitled to workers’ compensation benefits. The workers’ compensation program will not compensate for non-economic damages, but it offers benefits for medical care, lost wages, and disability.
What’s the Statute of Limitations for Filing a Back Injury Claim in Oklahoma?
Note that you have a limited time to file injury claims in Oklahoma City. The statute of limitations depends on the type of claim you are filing.
With most accident claims, the at-fault party’s insurance company has rules about when claims must be submitted, usually within a “reasonable amount of time” following an accident. If you file a personal injury lawsuit, the statute of limitations is typically two years. If you suffered a back injury on the job, you must notify your employer as soon as possible and file a workers’ compensation claim within 30 days.
While it may seem that you have a long time to pursue your personal injury claim, delays can damage your case. Valuable evidence may be lost and it may become difficult to prove causation, liability, and the extent of your damages. It’s crucial to contact an experienced back injury lawyer in Oklahoma City as soon as possible to preserve your right to compensation.
Contact Our Oklahoma City Personal Injury Lawyers For Help
Whether it’s the result of a traumatic accident or repetitive strain on the job, a back injury can affect you for the rest of your life. While you struggle to move on with chronic pain and other consequences, the financial burden of your injury should not be on you. At McGuire Law Firm, we will not rest in our pursuit of the fair compensation you deserve from the at-fault party.
Contact an Oklahoma City personal injury lawyer at McGuire Law Firm today to schedule your free case review. We will help you protect your legal rights and explore your options.