Can I Have Delayed Onset of Back Pain from a Car Accident?

You had a car accident and didn’t feel much pain at the scene. But in the days and weeks following the accident, your back begins to hurt. Is the back pain from the car wreck? Can a person have delayed onset of back pain from a car accident?

Yes, it’s common for victims of car accidents to have delayed injury-related pain after a car wreck. The back pain could be a severe injury and not realized at the time of the collision.

Even collisions resulting in minor damage to your vehicle can cause serious injury. We are all individuals and our bodies react differently to injury and pain. Some people may feel pain immediately, and others not.

How Long does it take for a Back Injury to Show Up?

The length of time a back injury causes an individual back pain varies based on the person and type of injury. Victims of car accidents are excited, and their adrenaline is flowing, masking pain.

Most people at the scene are concerned about superficial cuts and bruises; otherwise, they are happy they walked after the accident. It isn’t until they go home and try to relax that they begin to feel the pain caused by the wreck.

Often a person will wake up the next day stiff and sore in parts of their body that felt normal when they went to sleep. Even more often, the pain is not noticeable until days following an accident.

The time-lapse between the collision to the feeling of pain often happens in injuries to the spine. The gap in time is due to the complex nature of the spinal structure.

Sometime pain may not become evident for days or weeks after the wreck. The spine is the most frequent area affected in an auto collision, more specifically the back and neck.

How Long Does Back Pain Last After a Car Accident?

The severity of your injury determines the length of time back pain lasts. In most cases of muscle strains, soft tissue damage, and bruises should heal with six weeks of the accident.

The National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke conducted a study of whiplash victims and found their rate of recovery from soft tissue injury to be within three months.

The length of time a person suffers back pain depends on the seriousness of the damage caused to the spine. Some people experience back pain a year or longer, even for the rest of their lives.

An MRI or CT scan of your spine will be able to determine the source of your back pain and help determine the length of time you could suffer in pain.

How do I Know if My Back Injury is Serious?

Most cases of back pain are the result of soft tissue damage often referred to as strains or sprains. Strains and sprains happen when a person’s muscle or ligaments tear or overstretch. These can resolve over time but should be examined by a physician.

Symptoms of back sprains or strains include tenderness, swelling, and muscle spasms. These can resolve with the passage of time, but it is prudent to schedule an examination with a physician.

However, the following symptoms are indicators that require you to see a physician:

  • severe lower back pain
  • bowel and bladder problems
  • numbness, weakness, or loss of sensation in one or both legs
  • difficulty walking tingling and numbness that radiates down the legs.
  • prolonged back pain

The symptoms described above are indicative of a serious problem with the spinal structure, possibly a herniated disc pressing on a nerve root. It could also be vertebrae damage or ligament.

If you have any prolonged back pain schedule an appoint to see a spine specialist. It is best to see a doctor as early as possible for treatment to avoid any permanent damage.

Why does my Lower Back Hurt After a Car Accident?

Your lower back mostly likely is causing you pain because you suffered either a muscle sprain strain or have discogenic pain. Discogenic pain originates from damage to a vertebral disc.

The most common causes of discogenic pain are lumbar sprains, spinal stenosis, disc herniation, and degenerative spinal diseases.

Lumbar Sprains

Sprains in the lumbar region are the result of overstretching of the ligaments, muscles, and tendons in the back caused by trauma. Strains and sprains typically can’t be diagnosed by imaging and instead rely on doctor experience and patient consultation to determine the diagnosis.

Spinal Stenosis

Spinal stenosis refers to a narrowing of the channel housing the spinal nerves and spinal cord. Spinal stenosis happens in the natural course of aging; however, it can be caused by trauma such as a car accident.

Trauma can rupture disc or bone fragment and invade the spinal canal space, applying pressure to the nerves or cord, resulting in pain.

Disc Herniation 

The spine has a cushion-like disc between vertebrae, the vertebral disc is filled with a soft material. When the material protrudes out of the disc, it’s referred to as a disc herniation. The protruding material often contacts the surrounding nerves causing pain.

Degenerative Spinal Diseases

Degenerative disc disorders is a general term used to describe many different injuries and symptoms related to the break down of the spine or its parts as the body ages.

How Long After a Car Accident Can You Claim Injury?

If you have been involved in a car accident, there is a time limit within which you must file a personal injury and property damage claim. Unfortunately, each state has its own time limit. So be sure to check the time limit in the state you had your accident.

If you were hurt because of another’s negligence, then you are entitled to receive compensation for your losses and pain and suffering.

Time Limit to File a Personal Injury Claim in Louisiana

Louisiana has a brief window of time to file a personal injury claim, one year. Your legal claim for damages must be recorded in the court within one year of the date of the car wreck. The one-year limitation includes a claim for property damage as well. The time limit begins on the day of the crash.

The time limit to bring a suit is based on Louisiana Civil Code Article 3492, which states: “Delictual actions are subject to a liberative prescription of one year. This prescription commences to run from the day injury or damage is sustained.”

Article 3492 codifies that any lawsuit for injury or property damage must be filed within one year, which includes any claim for injury or vehicle damage by a driver, passenger, pedestrian, motorcyclist, or bicyclist after a traffic accident.

If you’ve been involved in a car accident and sustained injury contact Sonja Bradley, in Hammond Louisiana, or Livingston Louisiana.

Motorcycle Accidents In Louisiana: What You Need To Know.

South Louisiana has a high amount of motorcycle accidents. Are the accident caused by road conditions, unsafe drivers, or is that motorcycles are inherently dangerous?

The rate of automobile accidents and motorcycle accidents are about the same. However, people involved in motorcycle accidents die or sustain severe injuries at a significantly higher rate than people in car accidents.

Motorcycle riders like the freedom of the road, but it the pleasure worth the risks? Compared to cars, motorcycles make up a small percentage of road travel, is this because of the perceived dangers of motorcycle accidents? There is a lot of concerning information about motorcycle riding in the United States.

Is Riding a Motorcycle Dangerous?

It goes without argument that motorcycles are inherently more dangerous than cars. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), provides that motorcycles made up only 3 percent of vehicles registered in the United States in 2017.

However, the fatality rate for motorcyclists in 2017 was six times the death rate for passengers of cars. Fatalities on motorcyclist occurred nearly 27 times more frequently than passengers in cars in traffic crashes.

A look at 2017 numbers shows there were 5,172 motorcyclists killed, a three percent decrease from the previous year. Let’s look at some of the key findings in the NHTSA report:

  • Twenty-nine percent of motorcycle fatality crashes in 2017 were riding without valid motorcycle licenses;
  • Impaired drivers by vehicle type (27% for motorcycles, 21% for passenger cars, 20% for light trucks, and 3% for large trucks);
  • Forty-three percent of motorcycle riders who lost their lives in single-vehicle crashes in 2017 were alcohol-impaired
  • Motorcycle riders killed in crashes at night were three times more frequently alcohol-impaired than those killed during the day in 2017
  • NHTSA estimates that helmets saved 1,872 motorcyclists’ lives in 2017 and that 749 more people could’ve have been saved if all motorcyclists had worn helmets.
  • In States without universal helmet laws, 57 percent of motorcyclists killed in 2017 weren’t wearing helmets and only eight percent in States with universal helmet laws

These numbers illustrate the dangers of riding motorcycles on the road. I encourage you to check the NHTSA website to view the most current numbers.

What is the Most Common Cause of Motorcycle Accidents?

Cars have to share the road with motorcycles. However, they frequently seem to forget, but there are many causes by motorcycle drivers that could be prevented. The following is a list of some causes of motorcycle accidents:

  • Speeding: Speeding is dangerous in any vehicle, but more so on a motorcycle. Speed limits establish a safe rate of travel on a particular roadway. It takes into consideration reaction times, curves, and general road conditions. Death in a crash is more likely to occur at a higher rate of speed;
  • Driving under the influence. The number of fatal motorcycle crashes illustrated in the NHTSA numbers proves that motorcycle drivers influenced by drugs or alcohol are at increased risk of an accident;
  • Lane splitting is the maneuvering of a motorcycle between vehicles on a roadway. Lane splitting causes a substantial amount of accidents, cars are often not aware of a motorcycle and will unexpectedly shift lanes hitting the bike;
  • Sudden stops: A vehicle that stops quickly creates a dangerous condition. Tailgating results in rear-end accidents. When riding a motorcycle, always follow a safe distance behind traffic. A sudden stop could result in severe injury or death to a motorcyclist;
  • Inexperienced drivers:  Inexperienced motorcyclists likely are also unsafe drivers. They lack the experience to avoid wrecks and create dangerous conditions not only to themselves but other motorists as well;
  • Left-turn accidents: Misjudgments of distance while making a left turn are causes of injury and death to motorcycle riders.
  • Dangerous road conditions: Driving a motorcycle on broken concrete or roads with potholes, and debris, causes bikers to lose control of their motorcycle and crash;
  • Motorcycle defects: Motorcycle manufacturer just like with any other product sometimes have a poor design or faulty part which creates a condition that leads to an accident.

If You Ride Reduce the Risks of an Accident.

The first thing you should realize when riding a motorcycle, you are in a vulnerable position, so be alert and be visible. Some other steps you can take are:

  • Wear a helmet: Helmets save lives. NHTSA estimates helmets saved 1,872 motorcyclists’ lives in 2017 and that 749 more lives would’ve been saved if all motorcyclists wore helmets. Nineteen states require motorcyclists to wear helmets, while three states-Illinois, Iowa and New Hampshire-have no helmet use laws at all.
  • Older riders: If you are over 40, you may need to consider getting off your motorcycle. Motorcycling requires more brain function and focus than driving a car. 54% of motorcyclists killed in crashes were age 40 or older, and older riders sustain more severe injuries from accidents. Why does this occur? It could be declining vision and reduced reaction time in older riders or fragility.
  • Anti-lock brakes (ABS): Anti-lock brakes provide a better and safer stop for a motorcycle. Motorcycles with ABS are 37% less likely to be involved in a fatal crash.
  • Avoid cafe-style racing motorcycles: Cafe-style motorcycles require unique skill sets and can go fast. Motorcyclists on cafe-style bikes are four times more likely to die in a crash than riders of other styles of motorcycles.
  • Training: Most states offer motorcycle safety classes. The classes teach how to maneuver a motorcycle in different weather conditions and during specific traffic conditions.
  • Clothing: Wear protective clothing that is visible. Leather helps to prevent road rash. The brighter you are, the easier for others to see you.

Louisiana State Police Motorcycle Safety Program

Louisiana has an unusually high motorcycle accident rate. The high instances of wrecks could be caused by several reasons, poor road conditions, inattentive drivers, or lack of motorcycle driver training. The state police are taking steps to reduce motorcycle accidents.

The Louisiana State Police established a program designed to save motorcyclist lives. It is the Louisiana Motorcycle Safety, Awareness and Operator Training Program.

The basic course is 15 hours and its designed for beginners. It teaches the physical skills, proper attitude, and knowledge for navigating safely in traffic. It is an excellent program if you are interested or want more information click the link above to register.

Do I Need A Motorcycle Lawyer?

If you or someone you know has been in a motorcycle accident, you need to contact an attorney. Injured parties are entitled to recover for their losses, pain and suffering, medical expenses, lost wages, and any other damages they suffered.

One of the risks you shouldn’t face is going without the compensation you are owed. Sonja Bradley has offices in Hammond and Livingston Louisiana

To read about “Important Steps to Take if You’ve Neen in a Car Accident,” or learn about “Negligence Law in Louisiana,” click the highlighted links.

No Pay No Play Law in Louisiana

What is Louisiana No Pay No Play Law?

No Pay, No Play, refers to a Louisiana law restricting the rights of a victim of an automobile accident to recover full damages.  It a person is driving an automobile without the legally required insurance coverage his right to recover damages is limited.

To legally drive on the roads and highways in Louisiana you must have a valid drivers license and have automobile insurance coverage.

Under Louisiana’s “no pay” “no play” insurance laws you may lose the right to recover for your losses suffered in an accident if you didn’t carry automobile insurance on the vehicle you were driving, even if you were not at fault for the accident.

Under this statute (No Pay, No Play) victims of an accident without insurance can not recover the first $15,000 of bodily injury damages and the first $25,000 of property damages.

There are some important exceptions you need to be aware of:

You are only required to carry a minimum liability insurance;

Drivers from other states are not covered by the statute;

The law doesn’t apply if the at fault driver broke certain laws before the crash, such as driving under the influence, fleeing the scene, or it tha at fault driver is in the commission of a felony.

if the car was legally parked

A passenger may recover for his damages, so long as he was not a co-owner of the uninsured vehicle.

Purpose of No Pay No Play Law

The purpose of the law is to reduce the cost of insurance rates in the state. The theory is the limitation on recovery will encourage more driver to buy insurance coverage. 

More insured drivers results in a lower number of uninsured drivers on the roads.  The less uninsured drivers reduce the cost automobile insurance companies spend covering accidents caused by uninsured drivers.  The lawmakers hope the savings for the insurance companies “trickle down” to consumers.

Currently, Louisiana has the second highest insurance premium rates in the country. To check the current statute La. R.S. 32:866, the statute governing No Pay, No Play in Louisiana click here

The statute reads, in part:

“[t]here shall be no recovery for the first fifteen thousand dollars of bodily injury and no recovery for the first twenty-five thousand dollars of property damage based on any cause or right of action arising out of a motor vehicle accident, for such injury or damages occasioned by an owner or operator of a motor vehicle involved in such accident who fails to own or maintain compulsory motor vehicle liability security.”


If you are involved in an Automobile Accident Contact Sonja Bradley your attorney in Hammond Louisiana, Denham Springs, Louisiana, Ponchatoula Louisiana, Livingston Louisiana, Albany Louisiana, Amite Louisiana, Walker Louisiana and surrounding areas to ensure your personal injury case is handled right.

Check out our article on steps to follow when you have been in a car accident.

The following is the Louisiana Revised Statute 32:866. It is essential to visit the website to check the current status of the law for any updates.

§866.  Compulsory motor vehicle liability security; failure to comply; limitation of damages

A.(1)  There shall be no recovery for the first fifteen thousand dollars of bodily injury and no recovery for the first twenty-five thousand dollars of property damage based on any cause or right of action arising out of a motor vehicle accident, for such injury or damages occasioned by an owner or operator of a motor vehicle involved in such accident who fails to own or maintain compulsory motor vehicle liability security.

(2)  For purposes of this Section, the meaning of “bodily injury” and “property damage” is governed by the applicable motor vehicle liability insurance policy or, in the event of security other than an insurance policy, the meaning of such terms is that which is commonly ascribed thereto.

(3)(a)  The limitation of recovery provisions of this Subsection do not apply if the driver of the other vehicle:

(i)  Is cited for a violation of R.S. 14:98 as a result of the accident and is subsequently convicted of or pleads nolo contendere to such offense.

(ii)  Intentionally causes the accident.

(iii)  Flees from the scene of the accident.

(iv)  At the time of the accident, is in furtherance of the commission of a felony offense under the law.

(b)  The limitation of recovery provisions of this Subsection do not apply if at the time of the accident, the other vehicle is not being operated and the vehicle is not in violation of the provisions of Chapter 1 of this Title.

B.  Each person who is involved in an accident in which the other motor vehicle was not covered by compulsory motor vehicle liability security and who is found to be liable for damages to the owner or operator of the other motor vehicle may assert as an affirmative defense the limitation of recovery provisions of Subsection A of this Section.

C.  If the owner of a motor vehicle, who fails to own or maintain compulsory motor vehicle liability security, institutes an action to recover damages in any amount, regardless of whether such owner or operator is at fault, and is awarded an amount equal to or less than the minimum amount of compulsory motor vehicle liability security, then such owner or operator shall be assessed and held liable for all court costs incurred by all parties to the action.

D.  Each person who applies for a driver’s license, registers a motor vehicle, or operates or owns a motor vehicle in this state is deemed to have given his consent to be subject to and governed by the provisions of this Section.  All persons who apply for the issuance or renewal of a driver’s license, motor vehicle title, or motor vehicle registration shall sign a declaration on a form developed by the Department of Public Safety and Corrections pursuant to rule and regulation that the person acknowledges and gives consent to the requirements and provisions of this Section and that the person will comply with all provisions of this Section and the Motor Vehicle Safety Responsibility Law.  Proof of whether the person obtained or signed such declaration is irrelevant to the application of this Section.

E.  Nothing in this Section shall preclude a passenger in a vehicle from asserting a claim to recover damages for injury, death, or loss which he occasioned, in whole or in part, by the negligence of another person arising out of the operation or use of a motor vehicle.  This Subsection shall not apply to a passenger who is also the owner of the uninsured motor vehicle involved in the accident.

F.(1)  Notwithstanding any provision of law to the contrary, no insurer shall lose any rights of subrogation for claims paid under the applicable insurance policy for the recovery of any sum in excess of the first fifteen thousand dollars of bodily injury and the first twenty-five thousand dollars of property damages.

(2)  In claims where no suit is filed, the claimant’s insurer shall have all rights to recover any amount paid by the claimant’s insurer on behalf of the insured for the recovery of any sum in excess of the first fifteen thousand dollars of bodily injury and the first twenty-five thousand dollars of property damages.

G.(1)  Except for newly acquired vehicles added to a policy subject to the policy terms, the issuance, change, or adjustment of any motor vehicle liability security or insurance policy subsequent to a motor vehicle accident, without proof of coverage having been bound prior to such motor vehicle accident, shall not effectuate any of the following:

(a)  The recovery for injury or damages that are otherwise prohibited under this Section.

(b)  The defeat of any affirmative defense otherwise allowed under this Section.

(c)  The avoidance of liability for court costs otherwise required under this Section.

(2)  Reinstatement provisions of a policy during the premium payment grace period specified in the policy shall not be invalidated by the provisions of this Section.

H.  The provisions of this Part shall not apply to any vehicle which is legally parked at the time of the accident.

Acts 1997, No. 1476, §4, eff. Sept. 6, 1998; Acts 1999, No. 1085, §1, eff. Jan. 1, 2000; Acts 2003, No. 532, §1; Acts 2008, No. 921, §1, eff. Jan. 1, 2010; Acts 2014, No. 149, §1.

NOTE:  See Acts 1997, No. 1476, §5(D)(2).  The rate reduction day was the date on which the judgment in the lawsuit became final, May 8, 1998.  Sections 2 through 4 became effective 120 days thereafter, Sept. 6, 1998.