By Lewis Houston. Last Updated 28th September 2023. If you’ve experienced lower back pain after a car accident, compensation could be awarded to you. In order to claim, you’d need to show that the accident happened as a result of the negligence of someone who owed you a duty of care.
Lower back pain can be inconvenient, stressful and painful. You might experience some loss of mobility; for example, you might not be able to bend your back or lean over the way you did before the injury.
If you’re thinking of making a claim, our team of advisors can offer free legal advice about your case. If they think your claim could have a good chance of success, they may connect you with a solicitor from our panel. Though it’s not essential to hire one, a solicitor will know all the appropriate steps you can take to make a personal injury claim and could make the claims process run more smoothly than it otherwise would.
Keep reading to find out more about claiming for lower back pain after a car accident. You can also get in touch with us at any time if you have any further questions. You can:
How to claim for lower back pain after a car accident
Select A Section
- Can I Claim Compensation For Lower Back Pain After A Car Accident?
- How Car Accidents Could Cause Lower Back Pain
- Types Of Lower Back Injury
- How The Whiplash Reform Program Could Affect Your Claim
- Tips On Claiming Compensation for Lower Back Pain After a Car Accident
- Time Limit On Personal Injury Claims
- Lower Back Pain After Car Accident Compensation Amounts
- Lower Back Injury Settlements – Claim With A No Win No Fee Solicitor
- Related Guides On Making A Claim For Lower Back Pain After A Car Accident
While on the roads, all road users owe each other a duty of care to navigate in a way that prevents damage and injury to themselves and others. As part of this, road users need to adhere to the Road Traffic Act 1988 and relevant rules and regulations found in the Highway Code. If you suffer back pain after a car accident and would like to claim, you must satisfy the eligibility criteria.
This means that if you are in a car accident and have back pain following it, you must prove that:
- You were owed a duty of care.
- Another driver breached this duty.
- You suffered injuries, such as lower back pain after a car accident because of this breach.
If you were in a car accident and had back injuries, an advisor from our team can discuss your eligibility for compensation.
When you’re involved in a car accident, it often means that force has been applied to your vehicle. The force in a car accident, often caused by another vehicle colliding with yours, could force your neck and back to move in a back-and-forward motion. This could strain the muscles and ligaments in the back, resulting in lower back pain.
Below, we’ve included some examples of how a car accident could occur as the result of someone else’s negligence:
- A rear-end collision. These are often the fault of the following driver because they failed to keep a safe stopping distance from the car in front.
- A side-impact collision. This kind of accident could happen if a driver pulled out of a side road without looking properly.
- A head-on collision. This could occur if one car was travelling down the wrong side of the road. It could also occur if a motorist overtook a cyclist or other road user too close to a bend or junction.
Different circumstances could have caused you to experience lower back pain after a car accident. Compensation could still be owed to you, however. Get in touch with an advisor from our team today for more information on how much you could be owed.
In this section, we will look at different types of lower back injuries that could potentially result from a car accident.
Herniated Disc Injuries
A herniated disc happens when one of the discs of soft tissue that sit between your vertebrae move out of place. This injury could also be known as a ruptured or slipped disc.
If a disc pushes out and presses against nerves, it can be extremely painful. Some slipped disc injuries may not cause any symptoms at all, but symptoms you could look out for include:
- Lower back pain
- Numbness or tingling
- Neck pain
- Problems bending or straightening your back
- Muscle weakness
Discogenic Lower Back Pain
Discogenic pain can refer to any pain associated with spinal discs. When one or more discs are damaged, the pain can be very intense. Discogenic pain can occur if the condition of the spinal discs is deteriorating over time, but can also happen as a result of sudden trauma, such as a car accident.
When discs age, they lose hydration and become more susceptible to fissures known as annular tears. This can lead to inflammation and pain. However, this condition can be treated with physiotherapy and medication; seek medical attention for more information on the course of treatment that is appropriate for you.
Facet Joint Spinal Injuries
The facet joints help support the weight and movement between spinal vertebrae. Nerves travel through these joints to go to the other parts of the body. In some cases, they can be inflamed.
One common symptom of this is muscle spasms; this is a protective reflex to inflammation. However, the spasming can cause pain and pull the spine out of alignment. There could also be a sudden and brief paralysis; for example, you could find that you’re unable to straighten your back again after bending over.
Facet joint pain can often be confused for disc-related disorders, so it is always advisable to get a proper diagnosis if you have any concerns. Treatments could include rest and some form of physical therapy.
Lumbar Spinal Sprains
Sprains in the lumbar area (or lower back) are often a result of excessive force placed on the back. This could occur in a car crash. The trauma can cause the tendons, ligaments and muscles in the back to overstretch, leading to a sprain or strain.
Rest, physical therapy, and medication could all be recommended by a medical professional to treat a lumbar spinal sprain.
There have been recent changes to the law that affect how some road traffic accident claims are made. This is covered in the Whiplash Reform Program.
Under the WRP, if a passenger or driver who is over 18 has injuries that are valued under £5,000, they now have to claim using an online portal. This can cover any type of injury that may be the result of a road traffic accident. However, the Whiplash Injury Regulations 2021 have re-classified how much whiplash claims are worth.
However, you may be undervaluing your injury, so get in touch with us before you try to make a claim through the online portal. We can give you a more accurate evaluation of your injuries and see if you could potentially claim more compensation. Furthermore, you can utilise the services of a solicitor even if your claim has to be made through the online portal.
If you’re wanting to claim for lower back pain after a car accident, you need sufficient evidence to prove that the injury was caused by another road user’s negligence. While you can claim directly, we recommend that you use a solicitor due to their experience making personal injury claims. They can help you collect evidence when you claim for a back injury.
Evidence that could be used when claiming for lower back pain from a car accident includes:
- Photographs of your injuries and the accident site.
- Medical reports – An independent medical assessment can be organised by your solicitor. A medical professional will help determine factors including your prognosis, treatment plan and if any permanent side effects have been created. This report can be used as medical evidence.
- CCTV footage or dash cam footage of the accident. This can help show the series of events that led to the accident.
- Contact details of witnesses. Your solicitor could then contact them for a statement as part of the claims process.
If you want more information about what can be used as evidence, please contact us for free legal advice using the above details.
The time limit on personal injury claims is outlined in the Limitation Act 1980. After suffering a back injury from a car accident, you’ll typically have three years from the date of the accident to begin your claim.
However, there are exceptions to the personal injury claims time limit. For example:
- Claimants who were injured in a car accident when they were under 18 will have three years from the date of their 18th birthday to make a claim. The time limit is frozen before this point.
- The time limit is suspended for those who lack the mental capacity to pursue a claim. It would only begin if they were to ever regain the mental capacity.
In both circumstances mentioned above, a litigation friend can claim on their behalf during the suspended period.
Our advisors can provide legal advice if you get in touch and can offer free guidance on the personal injury claims time limit.
If you’ve suffered back pain after a car accident due to another road user’s negligence, you may be able to claim compensation. There are two potential heads of losses that can apply in a back injury claim.
General damages equate to the suffering and pain caused by the injury. The Judicial College Guidelines can give you a greater indication of what you could receive for this. Factors that dictate how much you receive includes the extent of the injury and if any permanent health issues were caused as a result.
The figures below have been taken from the latest guidelines (published in April 2022) and relate to successful general damage claim amounts from England and Wales. Please remember that these figures are not guaranteed as many aspects can dictate what you receive.
Injury Severity Amount Notes
Back Severe (i) £91,090 to £160,980 This could involve severe damage to the spinal cord and nerve roots, leading to serious consequences. There could be serious pain with a disability such as paralysis.
Back Severe (ii) £74,160 to £88,430 This could involve some form of orthopaedic injury. This could include nerve root damage with impaired mobility and loss of sensation.
Back Severe (iii) £38,780 to £69,730 This could involve cases of disc fractures or soft tissue injuries that have led to chronic conditions or lasting disabilities. There may also be continual pain, impaired agility and a risk of arthritis.
Back Moderate (i) £27,760 to £38,780 This could involve less severe back injuries such as a compression/crush fracture or prolapsed disc that leads to reduced mobility and pain.
Back Moderate (ii) £12,510 to £27,760 This could involve cases of prolapsed discs, or soft tissue injuries that exacerbate the symptoms of a pre-existing condition.
Back Minor (i) £7,890 to £12,510 This could involve less serious sprains, strains, disc prolapses, soft tissue injuries or fractures that don't necessitate surgery.
Whiplash Tariff With minor psychological damage £4,345 This tariff applies to a whiplash injury alongside a psychological injury with symptoms that last between 18-24 months.
Whiplash Tariff Without psychological damage £4,215 This tariff applies to a whiplash injury without any psychological damage with symptoms that last between 18-24 months.
Special Damages For A Back Injury After A Car Accident
When making a personal injury claim for back pain after a car accident, your settlement may also include special damages. This compensates you for any financial losses you have experienced due to your injuries.
Some examples of the losses that special damages could compensate you for include:
- A loss of earnings – if your back hurts after a car accident, you might need some time off work as you recover from the symptoms of your injury.
- Prescription fees – you might require medication if you are feeling back pain after being rear ended.
- Travel costs – for example, if you’ve needed to pay for taxis to and from medical appointments.
You will need to provide evidence about these financial losses to be able to claim them back under special damages. Evidence could include payslips, receipts and bank statements.
Contact our advisors today to see whether you could make a personal injury claim if you have suffered a back injury in a car accident.
After suffering a back injury from a car accident, you might benefit from hiring a solicitor on a No Win No Fee basis. Under this arrangement, they’ll be able to offer you the usual benefits of working with solicitors, such as gathering evidence on your behalf. However, No Win No Fee solicitors won’t require you to pay them if your claim is unsuccessful.
If you claim for a car injury from a car accident and you receive compensation, your solicitor deducts a legally capped success fee from your award. The success fee does not apply to any lower back injury settlements awarded for future special damages, including a predicted loss of earnings.
To connect with our panel of expert road traffic accident solicitors on a No Win No Fee basis, all you need to do is speak with our advisors. They offer free 24/7 legal advice through the following methods:
- Calling 0800 408 7825
- Requesting a call back by visiting our contact page
- Chatting via our live online chat service
Thank you for reading our guide on claiming compensation for back pain after a car accident. We hope it answered any questions you may have had. For more related guides, see below.
Facial Scar Compensation Guide – A guide to claiming compensation for a scarred face.
Hernia Compensation Guide – An article explaining how you could claim after suffering from a hernia.
Injury Caused by Fire Compensation Guide – A guide on how to claim after being injured in a fire.
THINK!- Government road safety campaigns.
Department for Transport – The government department responsible for the English transport network.
Statutory Sick Pay – An overview of statutory sick pay and how you can access it after an accident has led to a loss of wages.
Other Guides You May Find Useful
Thank you for reading our guide on lower back pain after a car accident and the compensation that could be owed to you.
Article by AO