Future back problems due to injuries from this accident?

by Kay

I was rear-ended while stopped at a red light. The other driver was 100% at fault while driving his work truck. He indicated that his brakes would not work. The impact was so great that his truck had to be towed, however the trailer hitch on my truck saved our back end from being damaged too badly.

I immediately felt weird and stiff in my back, so I went to the doctor after a couple of days and he diagnosed it as a back sprain that should heal in around 4 weeks.

I've continued to have back pain since then, but it's manageable - mostly with ibuprofen and occasional muscle relaxers prescribed after the accident. The insurance company sent me papers to settle, which cover the doctor visit, medicine, and $400 for inconvenience.

Should I be concerned about having back problems later down the road resulting from this accident? Once I sign the settlement I release his insurance company from covering any future medical expenses. How can I be sure this won't cause future problems? If it does, what recourse will I have? Thank you.

Visitor Question:
Disclaimer: Information provided in our response is NOT formal legal advice. It is generic legal information based on the very limited information provided. Under no circumstances should the information in our response, or anywhere else on this site be relied upon when deciding the proper course of a legal matter. Our response does NOT create an attorney-client relationship. Always get a formal case review from a licensed attorney in your area.

ANSWER for "Future back problems due to injuries from this accident?":

Kay (Georgia):

You would be ill-advised to settle the claim without first being absolutely sure your back injury has been completely and forever healed. Once you sign the insurance company release, they won't pay you a penny more, regardless of any future back problems - even if it can be shown those problems were the direct result of the collision.

It wouldn't hurt to seek the counsel of one or more personal injury attorneys. Most won't charge for an initial office consultation. A personal injury attorney won't accept your claim unless he or she will be able to secure a much higher settlement for you, netting you much more than $400.00.

However, if the attorney(s) don't think they can secure a higher settlement, they will tell you. To help you decide whether or not you need an attorney, read this article.

The above is general information. Laws change frequently, and across jurisdictions. You should get a personalized case evaluation from an attorney licensed in your state. Find a local attorney to give you a free case review here, or call (888) 647-2490.

Best of luck,

Judge Calisi

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