Back Pain After a Car Accident in Denver
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The Colorado Department of Transportation’s most recent data shows that in 2017 there were more car crashes in Denver than any other county. 4,000 of the 22,000 car crashes that occurred in Denver of that year resulted in injury. Car accidents happen every day and are often the most common type of personal injury claim people think about. Car accidents can vary dramatically in the amount of damage and injuries they leave behind. Damage from a car accident can be as minor as a scraped bumper or as severe as causing catastrophic property damage and sometimes even death to the victim. Back injuries are a very common type of injury sustained in a car wreck. This is because car wrecks, even minor ones, usually involve jolting and rattling of a person’s body. These types of movements and the overall absorption of the impact lead to back pain, even in young healthy people.
As mentioned, car accidents can be minor and they can also be catastrophic. Either way, dealing with insurance companies and the overall legal process after an accident can feel complex, daunting, and overwhelming. Our attorneys at Zinda Law Group don’t want you to suffer through this process alone. Having a diligent attorney fighting for you can lighten the burden of what to do after a car accident and can help make sure you receive the compensation you deserve for your back pain and other injuries.
Common Types of Back Injuries
Our back is one of the largest parts of our body containing many important muscles, nerves, and bones that make it particularly vulnerable to injury. Back pain includes more than just those everyday dull aches and pains we experience in our lower backs as we get older. The back has three main areas that can be affected in a car accident. The three general areas of your back are:
- The Neck
- The Upper Back
- The Lower Back
Within these areas of the back, a person can experience multiple types of injuries that vary in strength and severity. As previously stated, back pain can be dull aches, it can be sharp shooting pains, it can throbbing, and it can even be excruciating debilitating pain that prevents victims from living their everyday lives. Here are a few of the common types of back injuries that can occur after being involved in a car accident:
- Spinal Cord Injuries
- Herniated Discs
- Compression Fractures
- Back Sprains
- Neck Strains
Treatment for Back Pain after a Car Accident
The best way to diagnose the type of back pain or injury you have sustained in a car accident is to seek the advice of a medical professional. Going to a doctor is not only important to create official documentation of your injuries, which can serve as important evidence, but it is also important in order to know the specific type of injury you are dealing with and thus what type of treatment is appropriate going forward.
Medical professionals use a variety of technics to diagnose your specific type of back injury. These techniques include the use of x-rays, MRIs, CT scans, etc. Once a diagnosis has been determined, a proper treatment plan can be put into place. Treatment can last for a mere few days to months to even years depending on the severity of your injuries. Some common treatments for back pain and back injuries after a car accident include:
- Spinal Injections
- Pain Medication
- Physical Therapy
- Other General Chiropractic Care
How to File a Claim
There are a few steps you can take in order to file a personal injury claim for your back injury after a car accident. However, the first and most important thing you should do following an accident is to take care of your health and well-being by consulting a medical professional. As stated above, seeing a doctor is helpful for a variety of reasons, but it will also expedite the legal process because you will be able to provide the insurance company and your attorney with official documentation of your injuries.
After being involved in an accident and seeking initial medical treatment, contact your insurance company as soon as possible. This sends a signal to the insurance company and the liable party that you are serious about your injuries and your claim and you don’t want to delay recovery. You don’t necessarily need an attorney to have an initial conversation with the insurance companies after your accident. However, having an attorney from the start can be a helpful way to make sure you don’t get taken advantage of. If you choose to forego an attorney initially, but have failed to reach an agreement with the opposing party about an appropriate settlement, you may want to consider consulting an attorney.
Our attorneys at Zinda Law Group work on a contingency fee basis. This means that unless we secure you a settlement or legal award for damages, you don’t have to pay us. Contact us today for a 100% free case evaluation with our Denver attorneys.
Compensation for your Back Injury
If a car has hit you and that impact has resulted in back pain, you may be able to seek compensation for both economic and non-economic damages for your claim.
Economic damages compensate you for the tangible things that money can easily reimburse you for. This includes your medical bills, property damage, lost wages, and other financially based injuries. Non-economic damages are for pain and suffering. These damages are not as concrete as economic damages and calculating them is not an exact science. However, attorneys often multiply your economic damages by a number that represents the severity of your suffering between 1-5 to calculate non-economic damages. Colorado caps the compensation for non-economic damages at $250,000.
Some states also allow for the possibility of punitive damages. Punitive damages are meant to punish the liable party for conduct that is particularly egregious in the hopes that it will deter others from acting similarly. However, Colorado courts do not let plaintiffs seek punitive damages as an initial step. A plaintiff must wait until the court finds clear and convincing evidence that punitive damages are appropriate before they can be awarded as part of your recovery. If they are appropriate, Colorado law states that the amount of punitive damages cannot exceed the amount of economic and non-economic damages combined.
Fault and its Effects on Recovery
Car accidents are often caused by a party’s negligence. This means that a driver, who owed a duty of care to other motorists, breached that duty and caused harm to another driver. However, sometimes the blame can be attributed to both drivers. Courts and insurance companies will analyze this under a theory of comparative negligence. If you are found to be partially at fault for your car accident, this may affect your ability to seek compensation.
Under Colorado law, if you are at fault in a car accident, you cannot receive 100% compensation for your damages. However, you may still be entitled to some damages for recovery.
Colorado follows a rule known as the Modified Comparative Fault rule. This rule allows a court to determine your percentage of culpability in your car accident claim and then reduce the total amount of recoverable damages by that same percentage. You may be entitled to recover whatever is left. However, in the event that you are found to be more than 50% at fault for the car accident, then you may be barred from receiving any compensation at all.
Statute of Limitations
Time is a very important legal factor for a number of reasons, but most importantly because your right to recover may be affected by how long you wait to bring your claim. Each state places a legal time limit in which you are permitted to file a lawsuit for a specific type of claim. This is known as the statute of limitations.
The statute of limitations can seem like an annoying attempt for the legal process to keep you from recovery if you wait too long, but these laws play an important role for both the overall judicial process and for victims. The reason states have these statues is to ensure that lawsuits are filed when there is still reliable evidence. Time erases witnesses’ memories and important evidence. Placing a strict time limit on your legal claim ensures that your recovery is based off of the best and most reliable information available.
As mentioned, every state places a different statute of limitations on car accident claims. Colorado law places a three-year statute of limitations on Personal injury claims resulting from a car accident. If you do not file your lawsuit within this time limit, you will most likely be barred from recovery all together and will not receive compensation for your injuries.
OUR DENVER CAR ACCIDENT LAWYERS CAN HELP
At Zinda Law Group, our auto accident attorneys have helped numerous clients seek compensation for injuries related to a crash. Beyond medical bills, you could be entitled to compensation for property damage, loss of wages, pain and suffering, and more.
Our attorneys have the knowledge and resources needed to help you ascertain the maximum damages available. And as one of our clients, you will pay nothing unless we win your case.
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