Out of all of the ways you can get hurt in an accident in Philadelphia, back injuries have the potential to be one of the most debilitating. Not only do back injuries come with a relatively high chance of serious and pervasive nerve damage, but they also implicate muscles that are responsible for some of the most basic physical movements you make on a day-to-day basis.
The personal injury attorneys at Gilman & Bedigian's law office in Philadelphia can help you recover the compensation you deserve if you have suffered a back injury in the city.
Common Types of Back Injuries
There are numerous ways for your back to get hurt in an accident in Philadelphia. Some of them are far more severe than others, though none of them should be considered trivial. The most common include the following.
- Broken or fractured vertebrae
- Fused vertebrae
- Slipped disc
- Ruptured or herniated disc
- Bulging disc
- Sciatica and other nerve damage
- Spinal cord damage
From a physical standpoint, these injuries can be disabling because of how central your back muscles are for your daily life. Back injuries that implicate your muscles – whether by straining or tearing them – can make it far more difficult to do basic physical activities like walking, sitting, or turning your neck.
From a more physiological standpoint, injuries to your back can also impinge, pinch, fray, or even sever the nerves that run up and down your spinal cord. This is especially common if the back injury that you suffered was a traumatic one that impacted your spine. The damage to your spinal cord that these injuries can create can also cause nerve damage, as well.
Common Causes of Back Injuries in Philadelphia
There are a lot of situations that can cause a back injury. Many of them are the result of someone else's negligence or reckless conduct.
- Slip and fall accidents. If you are on someone else's property – like in a grocery store or a sidewalk outside a business – and you slip and fall on something dangerous, the impact of your fall can cause serious back problems like whiplash or even a broken bone that can disable you for months.
- Car accidents. The impact of a car accident is often enough to strain or tear the muscles in your core and in your back. High-speed accidents can even be severe enough to cause direct trauma on your back, bad enough to cause damage or break bones.
- Workplace accidents. Back injuries are also common in worksite accidents, particularly in physically-demanding roles that involve lots of heavy machinery like construction. Just because there is no single incident that directly causes a back injury, though, does not mean that you are immune in the workplace. Workers who have to make the same motion, again and again, every day are also susceptible to muscle strains in their back that can be disabling.
- Medical malpractice. While medical malpractice rarely causes the kinds of muscle strains or broken bones that are typically associated with back injuries in Philadelphia, surgical mistakes or poor prescription choices can lead to nerve damage in your back that can be just as debilitating.
Compensation for Back Injuries
Because these accidents are often the fault of someone else – and because there was little or nothing that you could have done to avoid what happened – the personal injury law in the state of Pennsylvania recognizes that you deserve to be compensated for your losses. After all, what you have gone through was not your fault, so it would be extremely unfair to expect you to pay for the costs of your injury.
Despite what insurance companies will tell you, in the aftermath of a back injury, the compensation that you deserve is not just confined to the reimbursement of your medical expenses. Your losses go much further than that and can include the following.
- Lost wages. Back injuries are disabling and require extensive medical treatment to correct. All of that time that you spend on the road to recovery is probably time that you are left unable to earn an income. Because you would not be recovering were it not for the other person's negligence, you should be compensated for the income that you have lost because of it.
- Lost earning capacity. The worst back injuries are so disabling that they prevent you from returning to work in the same role as before. Some can even keep you from working ever again. Once again, this outcome is not through any fault of your own so you deserve to be compensated for the sudden inability to provide for yourself or for your family.
- Pain and suffering. Many back injuries are incredibly painful. While putting an exact dollar amount on the physical pain that you have been put through is difficult, Pennsylvania's personal injury law requires a jury to make just such a determination in a trial because it recognizes that your physical pain is not something that you deserved. The same applies for the loss of life's enjoyments and the mental and emotional suffering that you have been put through.
- Future medical bills. Finally, back injuries take a long time to recover from. Even after years of recovery, you may still be facing physical therapy and the costs of future checkups and surgeries to make sure you are on the right path. You did not cause the accident that ended with your back injury, so you should not have to pay for these medical bills.
Philadelphia Personal Injury Lawyers at Gilman & Bedigian
The personal injury lawyers at the Philadelphia law office of Gilman & Bedigian strive to legally represent back injury victims both in the courtroom and outside of it to ensure they get the care and help they need. Contact us online if you or someone you love has been hurt in an accident in or near the city of Philadelphia and have had their lives turned upside down by a serious back injury.