Back Pain Months After A Car Accident - Is There Something I Can Do?

Car accidents are one of the leading causes of personal injuries across New Jersey, affecting nearly 49,000 people in 2021, according to New Jersey Department of Transportation data. After a fender-bender that seems to result in little to no injuries, your first reaction is most likely relief. However, what happens if you are still experiencing pain months after an accident?

In addition to physical pain and discomfort, nagging back injuries may result in costly medical treatment and time off work as well. Back pain can even prevent you from being able to carry out the same job you had before the accident. These effects should not be overlooked.

The lawyers at Judd Shaw Injury Law are here to help. A free case evaluation with our firm can give you an idea of the legal options for compensation that are available to you. Call us 24/7 for a free consultation at 1-866-909-6894.

Types of Back Pain After a Car Accident

The back is divided into three areas: the lumbar vertebrae (lower back), thoracic vertebrae (upper back), and cervical vertebrae (neck). Each section is full of tissues, nerves, ligaments, bones, tendons, and muscles that allow your body to move. Injuring any of these parts can be incredibly painful and debilitating.

Common back injuries include:

  • Fractures
  • Herniated discs
  • Muscle sprains (damage to ligaments)
  • Muscle strains (damage to tendons)
  • Spondylolisthesis (displaced vertebra)

Muscle spasms

Muscle spasms can cause debilitating pain. These can result when nerves are irritated and they continually cause the muscles to contract, to protect the damaged muscle.

Burning or sharp pain

Burning pain can radiate across the back, through the buttocks, and into the legs. The pain can last for days, or it may be a sharp, stabbing pain that gets worse when changing positions or making certain movements.

Tingling or numbness

Damage to the muscles and soft tissues in the back can pinch nerves in the spine. This can cause tingling or numbness in the extremities, sometimes causing weakness in the legs, feet, arms, or hands.


After an accident, tense muscles can lead to stiffness. Stiffness in the back can reduce flexibility and limit your ability to move freely. Sometimes, stretching can help alleviate stiffness, but it often takes some time to significantly improve after a serious injury.

Explaining Car Accident Settlement Agreements

It is important to understand some key details about car accident settlement agreements before signing anything. Knowing this information can help you make informed decisions and avoid making a rushed choice that you may regret in the future.

In nearly every case, the plaintiff (in a personal injury case, this is the injury victim) must sign a release agreement in order to receive the settlement agreed upon. This is a legally binding document where the plaintiff agrees not to pursue further action against the liable party for the same incident.

Some release agreements specify that the defendant (the person or entity who is liable for the injuries) cannot be held liable for any other losses, whether known or unknown. This means that even injuries that appear after the agreement is signed would not be eligible for compensation. There may also be restrictions on confidentiality regarding the agreement as well.

Of course, the exact language of each agreement will vary; it is important to consult an experienced personal injury lawyer before signing one – to ensure that this agreement is in your best interests. This is true whether or not you decide to pursue a personal injury lawsuit with an attorney.

Reaching Maximum Medical Improvement

In most situations, it is nearly impossible to recover additional compensation once a release agreement has been signed. Therefore, you should not sign any documents or accept compensation right away.

Maximum Medical Improvement, or MMI, refers to the point where a person has recovered to his or her fullest potential. This does not mean that the person is fully healed or has fully recovered; there may be permanent disabilities or limitations due to the injuries. Rather, MMI means that the condition is stable, and a medical professional believes that his or her condition is not likely to change with time.

If a person accepts a settlement before he or she has reached MMI, there is a possibility that the condition deteriorates and requires additional medical treatment or care. If this happens, it may be impossible to recover more compensation for any additional medical expenses.

Don’t Delay in Receiving Medical Treatment

If you are experiencing back pain months after a car accident, one of the best things you can do is to see a medical professional as soon as possible. Doing so can help you in a few ways. Many times, injuries that are not treated right away take longer to heal and have a higher risk of causing lasting damage.

What may initially start as a mild ache can get worse over time, drastically affecting quality of life. The sooner you receive medical treatment after an accident, the better your chances of a faster recovery.

The sooner you visit a medical professional after an accident, the sooner you begin acquiring documentation for a potential claim. Getting examined by a medical professional can also help prove that your injuries were caused by the crash and were not inflicted afterward.

Call Judd Shaw Injury Law Today

At Judd Shaw Injury Law, we are dedicated to you and your family. We understand that after an accident, you may feel overwhelmed and unsure of what to do or where to turn.

The Judd Shaw Way is our commitment to our clients – we promise to:

  • Be a knight in shining armor
  • Work the “WOW”
  • Be chivalrous to each other and our communities
  • Be passionate and committed to continuous improvement

With our No Fee Guarantee®, you won’t pay us anything unless we get you money for your claim. Contact us today at 1-866-909-6894 to get a free case review. Our team is available 24/7 to give you and your family the help you need.

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Content edited by personal injury attorney Judd Shaw. From the beginning, Judd established a set of Core Values laying out the pursuit for excellence in client service. He is a regular host of the Working The Wow podcast, with the belief that providing an exceptional client experience is just as important as delivering a quality service or product. You can find us in Red Bank and Tom‘s River, New Jersey.