Road Traffic Accident

Top 5 back injuries likely to come from a road traffic accident

November 7, 2022
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Written by Caroline Morris, Director | Serious Injury Law


As lockdown restrictions begin to ease and we find more traffic on our roads, the likelihood of being in a road traffic accident will naturally increase. That said, even during the height of the pandemic, traffic accidents still occurred on a regular basis.  Of the most common injuries to come out of a road traffic accident, back injuries are high on the list; including spinal damage, lumbar injuries, damage to the ribs or muscular tissue. Here, we break down the top 5 back injuries that have resulted in car accident claims.

Read on to find out more.

A road traffic accident doesn’t have to be serious to impact your long term health. Even a minor crash can lead to uncomfortable back pain and lasting damage. So, even if you, or the opposing vehicle, were travelling at a relatively low speed in the lead up to the collision, the consequences can have a big impact on your future mobility and wellbeing. And if you are suffering from back pain after a car accident, you could be entitled to compensation.


Types of back injuries you might be at risk of following a car accident

Spinal cords and vertebrae are surrounded by a myriad of muscles, tendons, nerves, ligaments and discs. Should any of these bodily cogs become damaged, you can expect to experience varying degrees of back pain, from moderate to incapacitating.

Below are the FIVE most common causes of back pain after a car accident.


Thoracic Spine Injuries

• An injury to the thoracic spine is serious according to the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence
• The thoracic spine, or upper back, connects to the ribs and chest region
• Thoracic spine injuries result in upper back pain after a car accident
• Thoracic spine injuries are significant and detrimental to a person’s future mobility
• Older people are at particular risk due to the impact on mobility and independence
• Sprains and fractures are primarily caused by high velocity car accidents
• Thoracic spine injuries can also result in permanent nerve damage and back pain


Lumbar Spine Injuries

• The strongest of the vertebrae’s muscles, according to the NHS, the lumbar spine provides much needed stability
• Any damage or sprain to the lumbar spine can become painful to your back
• A strain to the lumbar stretches the ligaments, tendons or muscles
• Car accident back injuries may result in limited movement, swelling and tenderness
• Can also severely impact your ability to perform daily activities


Slipped or herniated discs

• Back pain from a car accident can be the result of a slipped or herniated disc
• Slipped or herniated discs result in lower back pain from a car accident
• Not all slipped discs cause symptoms of pain and poor mobility
• The discs cushion and separate the vertebrae and protect the spine
• A herniated disc occurs when a disc is displaced
• Slipped or herniated discs often put pressure on the spinal cord and surrounding nerves
• Common herniated or slipped disc symptoms include intense back pain in the lower region of the back and numbness in the legs



• Damage or irritation to the sciatic nerve that runs from your hips to feet
• Numbness, weakness and painful sensations around the bottom of the back are symptoms
• Symptoms may worsen by day-to-day activity
• Sciatica is often a consequence of delayed back pain after a car accident


Spinal Cord Injuries

The most serious car accident back injuries involve the spinal cord
• Spinal cord injuries result in middle back pain after a car accident
• injuries include bruising, excessive pressure and permanent damage to the spinal cord
• If neglected, they can lead to long term disability
• Spinal cord injuries can also result in total or partial paralysis and a loss of feeling throughout the body
• Victims of spinal injuries from a car accident are also susceptible to secondary medical problems, such as infection from surgery, blood clots, bleeding, pneumonia, and spinal fluid leaks



What if I am suffering with delayed back pain after a car accident?

Delayed back pain can be just as debilitating as immediate pain following a car accident. Many people soldier on with their day-to-day activities as it’s easy to convince yourself that delayed back pain is unrelated to the car accident.

But following a car accident your body can experience shock which results in a delay in the feeling of pain. Furthermore, because many back injuries aren’t visible, it can feel easier to try and carry on and hope the pain goes away.


Pre existing back conditions & car accidents

It is also important to know that trauma in a car accident can cause pre-existing spinal conditions to deteriorate at a greater rate than they otherwise would have done, or to cause the symptoms to become much worse than they ever would have done. This can often result in a much greater reduced quality of life. Even though the car accident may not have caused the primary condition it is still possible to be compensated for the additional effects that the accident caused.

When assessing pain and shock following a car accident, here are some red flags to watch out for:

Headaches: If you are suffering delayed back pain after a car accident, headaches are often a tell-tale sign. Although easily treated with medication, headaches can be nasty and persistent if not properly diagnosed.

Neck and shoulder pain: Be aware, shooting neck and shoulder pains can be a symptom of whiplash, spinal injuries or a herniated disc. Even if the pain is minor, never ignore it.

Abdominal Pain: Abdominal (stomach) pain symptom should never be taken lightly. It can also signify internal bleeding, or soft-tissue damage following a car accident.


If you’re in any doubt, the best thing to do is seek medical advice immediately. Call 111 or read NHS advice online to see if your symptoms of back pain match your own.

If it turns out that it is the case you are suffering a back injury, Fletchers Serious Injury can assist you in claiming car accident compensation for your back pain.



Rebuilding your life following back pain after a car accident

If you have injured your back in a car crash, every aspect of your life could be affected. At Fletchers Serious Injury, we understand that the resulting back injury doesn’t just affect your personal or your work life; it affects absolutely everything. As trusted personal injury specialists, this is where we come in.


  • Around the clock file management and legal services
  • Empathetic and qualified lawyers with case experience related to your injury
  • A dedicated Court Of Protection team to handle any financial concerns

If you are suffering any form of back pain following a car accident, call our expert lawyers today to ensure that you receive the right advice, as quickly as possible.

Rest assured, our dedicated and friendly team will be able to answer any questions without hesitation or fuss.



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