Visitor Question

Back pain after rear end accident…

Submitted By: JJ (San Diego, CA, USA)

I was rear-ended about six weeks ago and have been experiencing pain in my upper back and right shoulder area. I have been seeing a chiropractor at least once a week and am unable to do some of my normal activities, such as exercising or even sleep. I will be seeing a pain specialist.

I did have back pain in the past, but my chiropractor confirmed the pain I have now is a result of the accident, because it is in a different area. The adjuster did not expect me to be in treatment long because the estimate for the car damages was “minimal.”

Will this prior back pain be a problem when it comes to my settlement? How much can I get for pain and suffering? I did not lose any time from work because the chiropractor is close to my office. Thank you.

Disclaimer: Our response is not formal legal advice and does not create an attorney-client relationship. It is generic legal information based on the very limited information provided. Do not rely upon the information in our response, or anywhere else on this site, when deciding the proper course of a legal matter. Always get a personalized case review from a local attorney.


Dear JJ,

Fortunately, your injuries don’t appear to be very serious. Your injuries are referred to as “soft tissue.” These injuries include sprains and strains of muscles, tendons, and ligaments, whiplash, back spasms, and the like. More serious hard injuries can include head trauma, fractures, deep gashes with scarring, 3rd degree burns, and the like.

There is little doubt that your prior back injury will reduce the amount of compensation you can hope to receive. The adjuster will likely say your recent injury is nothing more than an exacerbation of your previous injury. The adjuster will support her claim knowing the damage to your car was minimal.

You can realistically only hope to receive partial compensation for your chiropractic bills. As far as any amount for pain and suffering, you can be sure the adjuster will resist paying any amount whatsoever.

Learn more here: New Claim with Prior Injury

The above is general information. Laws change frequently, and across jurisdictions. You should get a personalized case evaluation from a licensed attorney.

Find a local attorney to give you a free case review here, or call 888-972-0892.

We wish you the best with your claim,


One comment on “Back pain after rear end accident…

  1. RoRo says:

    I had back surgery 2013 (WC case). Completed all necessary medical processes and settled the case, then went back to work full duty. No prior treatment. In 2014, almost a year later I was rear ended really bad and my car was totaled.

    I was off work for 7 months with constant pain, procedures, etc. After returning to work I went back out in June briefly, returned a few weeks later. Now I’m back out again as of beginning of August.

    I’ve had nerve block, nerves burned, and a total of 4 different epidural procedures, which never last no more than 3 weeks due to the physical job I have.

    My doctor says she doesn’t want me to go under the knife again so we’ve just been managing the pain. I’m ready to relocate from my job and state to be with my family because I’m scared my job will continue to worsen my situation.

    I need to be close to my family in case it gets even worse. I don’t know how or what to think, but I know this on going pain is due to the accident, not aggravation. Aggravation shouldn’t have lasted this long.

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