Santa Barbara Back Injury Attorneys
Back Injury After an Accident
The back is a common area injured in accidents. A sudden jolt can cause serious injury to the back that takes weeks, months or years to resolve, or may become a permanent disability. Back injuries that happen from accidents include sprains and strains, herniated discs, and fractured vertebrae. X-rays, CT scans and MRI’s are often used to diagnose injury.
Signs and symptoms of back pain include:
- Muscle aches and spasms
- Shooting or stabbing pain
- Limited flexibility or range of motion
- Pain that radiates down the leg
- Weakness, numbness or tingling in one or both legs
NordstrandBlack PC has helped many back injury victims recover money for their injuries. We provide a free consultation to evaluate your potential claim. We assist our clients in getting the care they need and hire the best experts to prove liability and loses.
Commonly Asked Questions:
What is a herniated or bulging disc?
After an accident, you may experience tenderness and spasm in your cervical (neck), thoracic (upper back), or lumbar (lower back) spine, along with pain that radiates to another part of your body, for example, down the arm or leg. These symptoms could indicate a herniated disc, or an injury to an intervertebral disc. Bulging disc, slipped disc, disc protrusion, ruptured disc, among others, all mean herniated disc.
When a person has suffered a herniated disc, it is important to determine the actual cause of the pain by a thorough review of the medical history, physical exam and diagnostic tests. An MRI or CT scan may be ordered to confirm the findings on physical exam.
What treatment is available for back injuries?
Your treatment will depend on the severity of your injury. Less severe back injuries may include injections for inflammation, physical therapy and chiropractic treatments. More serious back injuries may include surgery for a herniated disc, or to remove or fuse parts of the vertebrae.
What compensation can I receive for my injuries?
Under the law, you are entitled to recover money for your injuries and losses. There are two categories of losses or damages available in California: economic damages and noneconomic damages.
- Economic damages are those damages that are quantifiable financial losses, such as lost wages and earnings, medical expenses, and other out-of-pocket expenditures.
- Non-economic damages are often referred to as pain and suffering. Pain and suffering includes past and future physical pain, mental suffering, and emotional distress. Noneconomic damages are difficult to determine because there is no formula to calculate this loss, which is subjective. Each person’s damages are different. An experienced personal injury lawyer in Santa Barbara knows how to present these losses to an insurance company and a jury to maximize your recovery.
How long will it take for my case to resolve?
If you suffer injuries in an accident due to the fault of another, it is important that you seek medical attention immediately. If you wait too long the insurance adjuster and the defense lawyer will argue that you were not injured enough to warrant much monetary compensation. After seeking medical attention, it is important to contact NordstrandBlack PC to determine if you have a viable claim.
When a client reaches a point of maximum medical improvement (MMI), which happens when the client’s medical treatment has ended or the client’s condition has gotten as good as it’s going to get, we will send a demand letter to the responsible party’s insurance carrier and attempt to settle the case. If the opposing sides are not able to resolve the claim, the parties can agree to mediation or arbitration or the injured party can file a lawsuit. Many of our cases settle before a lawsuit is filed. If a lawsuit is filed it generally takes about a year from the date of filing to get a trial date. However it could take up to two years before the case gets to trial.
Who will pay for my medical bills?
When you are injured in an accident due to the fault of another, not only do you have to make sure you are receiving appropriate medical care for your injuries, but you are also responsible for paying your medical bills. These bills can be paid by your health insurance or car insurance if you have medical payments coverage. Oftentimes, clients do not have money to pay outstanding medical bills. Nonpayment of medical bills may affect your credit. NordstrandBlack PC is often able to help our clients receive medical treatment on a lien basis, which means that payment does not need to be made until your case is settled.
What happens if the at-fault party has no insurance or not enough insurance to cover my claims?
The person at fault for causing the accident is liable for the damages they caused. In some cases, the at-fault party is not insured or does not have enough insurance to cover all damages. In these instances, NordstrandBlack PC will investigate all possible sources of insurance coverage, including homeowners, personal and auto insurance. We will also determine the personal assets of the responsible party.
If the injured party has uninsured motorist /under-insured motorist (UM/UIM) coverage on their own automobile policy, they can make a claim under the UM/UIM portion of their insurance policy, which steps in to cover the victims losses up to the policy limit. Your own insurance company has a duty to act in good faith to resolve your claim as opposed to another person’s insurance company, which owes you no such duty.
If the at-fault party does not carry enough insurance to compensate you for your damages and you do not have UIM coverage on your own auto policy or enough coverage to compensate you for your losses, NordstrandBlack PC will investigate to determine if the at-fault party has assets of value, like real property, savings accounts, and other investments. Since the at-fault party is ultimately liable for all damages they cause, our law firm will investigate all possible revenue sources and go after those funds to insure our client is fully compensated for their damages.
How much will your office charge for representing me?
NordstrandBlack PC offers a free consultation and represents personal injury clients on a contingency fee basis. This means there is no fee if there is no recovery.
NordstrandBlack PC can help you or your loved one.
NordstrandBlack PC has over 75 years of combined experience. We are committed to providing the highest quality legal representation to our clients. We know the law. We know how insurance companies work and we vigorously advocate for our clients. If you or a loved one has suffered a back or spinal cord injury to the fault of another, you can get help. Call our offices today for your free consultation at (805) 962-2022.
- Bulging Disk vs. Herniated Disk: What's the Difference?
- Herniated Disk - Mayo Clinic
- Herniated Disk - MedlinePlus