Charlotte Lower Back Injury Attorney

Charlotte Lower Back Injury Attorney

Back pain often seems to be ignored by those who suffer from it. Usually thought of as a sign of aging, it can, however, cause major disruptions to everyday life. Whether it’s discomfort from simply sitting up to get out of bed or the source of more severe interruptions to your daily life, you should never ignore the pain you feel. Back injuries can happen at work, in accidents, or in many other circumstances. Knowing how your back pain or injury began could entitle you to compensation for time out of work, medical attention, and the impact on your quality of life.

The Bollinger Law Firm, PC, is committed to helping those who have suffered back injuries resulting from injuries at work, in accidents, or because of the negligence of others in Charlotte, NC. We advocate for our clients and ensure that they receive the representation they deserve. With decades of experience, our team has the knowledge and skills you need for your case and is dedicated to representing you. We know filing a claim won’t help heal your injuries, but it can help provide the compensation you deserve to manage your injury now and in the future.

Charlotte Lower Back Injury Attorney

Causes of Back Injuries

There are several ways that back injuries can occur. However, the one thing they all have in common is the pain and potential long-term suffering that come with them. Some of the most common ways include:

  • Slip and Fall Accidents: These types of accidents are very common and can occur in a variety of situations. Whether it is from a wet, slick surface or an obstruction in a walkway without proper signage, from grocery stores to sidewalks, the potential for severe back injuries to occur seems ever-present. However, the businesses and individuals who are responsible for maintaining the safety of their walkways could be responsible for your injury if they fail to reasonably protect the public.
  • Negligence: Keeping one’s business or personal property properly maintained is a huge responsibility. A lack of proper maintenance, or ignoring glaring safety issues, could cause injuries that place liability on those tasked with the property’s upkeep. For example, you find yourself walking through the park and decide to sit on one of its many benches to read a book or just enjoy the weather. You don’t notice that there are several support screws missing when you sit on the bench. It is unable to support you, and it crashes to the ground. This could cause bruising or fractures in your back, which could have been avoided if the park bench had been properly maintained.
  • Motorcycle Accidents: Motorcycles may be fun, but they are one of the most dangerous vehicles on the road because they are difficult to see and do not provide protection to the rider outside of the safety equipment they choose to use. Accidents that occur involving a motorcycle often result in significant injuries. Many of these are back injuries involving the vertebrae and the spinal cord that could result in permanent damage. If, however, the accident is the fault of someone else, they could be held responsible for your injuries and may be obligated to provide compensation.
  • Workplace Injuries: Some types of back injuries set in over time, making it difficult to pinpoint the source. Some back injuries happen because of a specific action and are easily identifiable as the cause. However, both situations can and do occur at work. Injuries at work can be caused by operating heavy machinery, equipment malfunctions, negligence, or even repeated movements that put stress on the body over time. When the injury occurs at work, however, there is a different approach, as it falls under a workers’ compensation claim as opposed to a personal injury claim.

While these represent some of the more common ways that back injuries occur, there are other circumstances that could be responsible. Suffering a back injury can mean that there is damage, bruising, bulging discs, a ligament tear, a pulled muscle, or any other number of specific injuries in the lower, middle, or upper back. Pain from back injuries can be excruciating. Serious symptoms of a back injury include:

  • Numbness
  • Breathing difficulties
  • Limited range of motion
  • Weakness in the muscles
  • Muscle spasms
  • Increased or decreased heart rate
  • Doors or elevations in blood pressure
  • Changes in sexual functions
  • Bowel or digestive issues

Proving the Injury in Charlotte, NC

In any personal injury case, the burden of proof falls on the plaintiff, who must present evidence, witnesses, and documentation to support their claim that the other party was negligent and should be held responsible. While this generally makes sense, it is difficult to prove it on your own because you must do so while recovering from potentially severe or permanent injuries. The medical treatment you receive helps determine the outcome of your case, so do not neglect the medical treatment you need.

To prove negligence in a personal injury case, the plaintiff must specifically prove the following factors to be true:

  • Duty: There was legal responsibility placed in the defendant’s hands to protect the safety and security of the plaintiff. This could mean the defendant was a supervisor at a job, the driver of another vehicle, or in any other situation in which responsibility was put on them.
  • Breach of Duty: The defendant’s legal responsibility to uphold safety and security was neglected, and they breached their legal duty to the plaintiff.
  • Cause: It must be proven that the defendant failed to take appropriate action to avoid the injury suffered by the plaintiff or that the defendant’s actions were specifically the cause of the defendant’s injuries.
  • Damages/Injury: The injuries suffered by the plaintiff were the direct result of the interactions with the defendant and the fact that an injury actually occurred.

To prove these elements of your case, you will need to present an abundance of evidence that can prove beyond doubt that the defendant was reasonably responsible for the injuries. To do this, you will want to provide a variety of evidence that could include any of the following:

  • Photos or videos that were taken at the scene prior to, during, or after the accident occurred
  • Statements from any witnesses, which could be from other drivers, pedestrians, coworkers, or others on the scene, depending on the type of accident that occurred
  • Records of medical treatment, including reports from a medical professional, bills, prescriptions, etc.
  • Any documentation to support the fact that work was missed, including paystubs, letters from your employer, time clock information, or any other documentation
  • Any police reports that may be affiliated with your accident

A helpful way to support your case is to keep a journal of daily life post-accident. This could include information about:

  • Your injury
  • Your pain
  • Changes to your daily life
  • Changes to your ability to work
  • A schedule of your day that includes any medical treatments, medications, etc.

While this is not the strongest evidence, it does provide an account from your point of view and in your own words.

Potential Back Injury Compensation

There are many different types of back injuries, and depending on the type of injury you suffer, you may be entitled to a varying amount of compensation. There is no standard compensation amount, as each case is determined by several different circumstances.

One such circumstance is the type of injury. If, for example, your back injury results in any one of the types of spinal cord injuries with paralysis (paraplegia, tetraplegia, or quadriplegia), you may receive greater compensation because there is more long-term care necessary to maintain a quality of life. Additionally, the initial medical treatments may be quite costly.

Back injuries can vary from strains and sprains to more severe injuries, as described. Damages in personal injury cases involving the back could be both economic and non-economic.

  • Economic damages refer to the financial recovery you may be entitled to. This includes medical bills, lost wages, and other impacts directly on your finances.
  • Noneconomic damages are potential compensation you could receive for intangible damages, such as pain and suffering or emotional trauma.

The determination of how much compensation you could be entitled to consider the following factors:

  • The severity of the injury suffered
  • Any preexisting injuries that were compounded because of the accident
  • The medical expenses you needed to pay to treat the injury
  • How long it took, or will take, to recover
  • How permanent the injury may be
  • Any stress or trauma suffered as a result of the injury
  • How daily life is impacted because of the injury
  • The amount of shared fault involved
  • The testimony of witnesses

Shared fault refers to the amount of fault each party had in the accident. If there was negligence on both sides, the court will seek to determine the level of fault and adjust any compensation accordingly. For example, there is an auto accident where the other party was speeding and rear-ended you. However, you were at a full stop at a green light. In this scenario, there may be a shared fault. If the court says you were 25% at fault and the other driver was 75% at fault, then you would only be entitled to 75% of the compensation amount.

Back Injuries and Workers’ Compensation

If your back injury is the result of work, then you would not file a personal injury claim but rather a workers’ compensation claim. However, to qualify for workers’ compensation, the injury must meet the following criteria:

  • The injured party is an employee.
  • The injury was the direct result of a work-related task.
  • The job was being completed as part of the employment expectations.
  • The employer is covered under the North Carolina Workers’ Compensation Act.

If all these criteria are met, then your employer would be responsible for going through their insurance company to examine the claim and determine the extent of responsibility. If your injury was suffered at work, it is important to utilize the assistance of an attorney to be sure that an insurance adjuster or investigator does not attempt to create a narrative that is different from what happened or have you agree to terms prior to the completion of the investigation. Remember, most insurance companies and employers want to avoid paying for your injuries if they can.

Back injuries are unique circumstances in workers’ compensation claims because these claims do not have to be the direct result of an accident. To be compensated for a back injury under workers’ compensation, it must meet one of two requirements:

  • Injury by Accident: If an accident occurs within the parameters of your specific employment, and the injury is a direct result of your regular duties, then you could be entitled to workers’ compensation. The injury may be the result of faulty equipment, improper training, a slip and fall, or any other number of potential accidents. It must be proven that you were performing your work as trained and did not put yourself at risk by following improper safety guidelines.
  • Specific Traumatic Incident: This type of injury happens when there is no accident but rather an incident that presents itself through the normal course of work. This could be through repeated movements or specific stresses from the functions of the job.

If your injury is the result of a work-related accident or incident, be sure to speak with an attorney to understand your options and to make sure you meet the deadlines for filing a claim with your employer. Just like in any personal injury case, you should be sure to collect evidence, witness statements, and medical documentation.

Charlotte Spinal and Back Injury Lawyer

If you have been injured at work, in an auto accident, or because of the negligence of someone else, you should first seek medical help immediately. Then, call The Bollinger Law Firm, PC. Our team can review the facts of your case to help guide you through your legal options. We conduct a full investigation, help with filing paperwork, and ensure that deadlines are met so that you can focus on healing. Contact our offices today and find out how we can help you recover the damages you may be entitled to.

Workers’ Compensation

Third-Party Claims

Social Security Disability