Long Island Back and Neck Injury Lawyer
Experienced Back and Neck Injury Attorneys Serving Long Island, NY
Whether it’s a motor vehicle accident, slip and fall or other type of accident, one of the most common types of injuries suffered by people is back and neck injuries. The back and neck is a complicated structure of bones, joints, ligaments and muscles. An accident can cause a fractured bone, sprained ligament, irritated joint or ruptured disc, all of which can lead to serious back and neck pain. Back and neck pain is the leading cause of disability worldwide and is the most common cause of missed work.
Neck and back injuries can require a variety of treatments, ranging from non-invasive to more invasive methods. Often, physical therapy or chiropractic care can be effective in resolving the issue. If conservative treatments are unsuccessful, pain management techniques like trigger point or epidural injections may be recommended. In severe cases, surgery may be necessary. At Palermo Law, we specialize in representing individuals who have suffered serious neck and back injuries due to the negligence or intentional actions of others. As a Long Island Personal Injury Law Firm, we are committed to advocating for our clients and helping them obtain the compensation they deserve.
With two decades of experience, Steven Palermo leads the legal team at Palermo Law. He personally handles each back injury case from its beginning through conclusion. He has litigated hundreds of back and neck injury cases and has won numerous million dollar verdicts and settlements for his clients. He loves helping injured people find justice in their fight against large multi-million-dollar insurance companies that try and minimize his clients’ injuries. If you or a loved one has suffered significant injuries as a result of a construction accident and would like to schedule a free case evaluation with an experienced Long Island Back And Neck Injury Attorney, call or email us today.
Get Justice for your Back And Neck Pain
If you have suffered from back or neck injuries from an accident in Suffolk County, Long Island , it is a good idea to consult with a personal injury attorney as soon as possible. Hiring an attorney early on in the process will help protect your legal rights, ensure your medical bills and lost wages are paid and give you an advantage building a strong personal injury case. An early investigation will also help preserve key evidence in your case.
Important deadlines to know for your case:
Medical bills and lost wages are paid through no-fault insurance. All no-fault insurance carriers require a no-fault application be filed within thirty days. Failing to do so may result in denial of your no-fault benefits and may make you personally responsible for the bills.
In car accident cases there is generally a three-year statute of limitations to initiate a lawsuit. However, that time period may be reduced to as little as 90 days if your car accident involves a municipal, state or federal entity. So, it’s best to check with a qualified car accident attorney as soon as possible.
How Much Is My Long Island Car Accident Case Worth?
The value of an injury suffered in a car accident is an accumulation of several different factors. These include any accident related economic expenses such as lost wages and damage to your car as well as non-economic losses such as pain and suffering and mental anguish. At Palermo Law, our experience in handling thousands of car accident cases allows us to accurately assess the value of your case to determine the fairest settlement or jury award. In cases of long-term injuries, we partner with experts in the fields of medicine and economics to make sure that your compensation is adjusted for future inflation. This allows you the peace of mind knowing that you will be compensated for years to come.
Types of Neck and Back Injuries
- Sprained Ligaments
- Ruptured Discs
- Herniated Discs
- Bulging Discs
- Loss of Range of Motion
- Nerve Damage
Treating Neck Injuries
According to WebMD, here are some things that aid whiplash recovery:
- Ice your neck. Wrap ice in a thin cloth and apply for 15 minutes every 3-4 hours for 2-3 days
- Moist heat. Heat your neck once swelling has gone down. Begin applying heat after 2-3 days of icing first.
- Painkillers. After you speak with your doctor, they will likely recommend painkillers. It is very important that you follow your doctor’s instructions and only use if you feel pain.
- Neck Brace or Collar. This might be used for support if your doctor recommends it. They are often temporary as they can atrophy neck muscles long term
- Therapy. Depending on the seriousness of the injury, you’re doctor may recommend going to either Physical therapy, Occupational therapy or message therapy to help relax the muscles and regain movement without pain.
- Trigger point injections. This type of pain management treatment may be used if other options are still not relieving pain
- Surgery. Ultimately, when nothing else is working. Surgery may be needed to correct the damaged area that is causing pain.
- Here’s What You Need to Know About Herniated Discs
- The Most Common Injuries After a Car Accident
- What Is No-Fault Coverage?
- How To File Your New York State No-Fault Application
- What To Know Before Handling Your Own No-Fault Claim
- Understanding New York State’s “Serious Injury Threshold” Statute
- Additional No-Fault Coverage (“APIP” & “OBEL”)
- Understanding MVAIC – For Victims Of Motor Vehicle Accidents With No Access To No-Fault or Bodily Injury Coverage
Back and Neck Injury FAQs
What Are Common Back & Neck Injuries After an Accident?
Whether you are injured from a motor vehicle accident or a slip and fall, and injury to the neck or back is no joke. Here are some of the most common injuries in the back and neck as a result of an accident. Most of these injuries require seeking medical treatment.
- Whiplash – When the head experiences a sudden jerking movement, it can result in damage to muscles, ligaments and connective tissues in the neck and upper back. This often occurs after a car accident when a collision stops the car suddenly causing a person’s head to jolt forward, resulting in whiplash
- Fractures – A fracture is more commonly known as a broken bone. Fractures to the neck and back can occur even at slower collisions as well as a slip and fall.
- Herniated Disc – An auto collision can lead to parts of your spinal structure shifting out of place. Slipped, ruptured, herniated and bulging discs can result in debilitating pain. Herniated discs often require prolonged medical treatment, physical therapy and sometimes surgery.
- Acute Mechanical Back Pain – As opposed to movement of the spinal discs, mechanical back pain is a musculoskeletal injury due to damage to spinal joints, discs vertebrae and soft tissue. This also is very painful and requires much medical treatment
- Muscle strain – This happens when the muscles responsible for moving the spine are injured. In the majority of cases, the strain is in the lower back, but this can also affect the neck. When these muscles are strained, movement can become difficult, leading to pain and reduced flexibility. Many times these strains can be treated with pain medications and proper rest. However, if the strain remains debilitating after one week, a doctor may recommend further medical treatments.
- Neck sprain – This happens when the ligaments are injured. This is one of the most common neck injuries after a slip and fall or a trip and fall. Basically, the sudden movement overstretches the joint. Symptoms include pain, reduced flexibility and swelling. Sprains can range from mild to severe. Those who have a severe neck sprain should immediately be immobilized and emergency medical assistance should be pursued. With moderate or minor sprains, ice and rest are generally sufficient, as well as over-the-counter medication.=
What Are The Symptoms of a Back or Neck Injury After a Car Accident Or a Fall?
Symptoms vary widey depending on the severity of your injuries. The only way to know for certain the severity of your injury is by seeking medical treatment. Medical professionals will diagnose your symptoms and prescribe the appropriate course of action. Back and neck injury symptoms may be present immediately or days after the car accident or the fall. You should seek treatment as soon as you feel pain.
- Pain in the neck, back, head, shoulders
- Pain that worsens with activity
- Difficulty focusing, migraines, headaches and vertigo
- Abnormal sensations, such as numbness, prickling, burning, or the feeling of something crawling on your skin
- Sagging shoulder, arm, or joint
- Restricted range of motion
- Inability to lift something or lack of mobility
- A grinding sensation during movement
- Bump or deformity near injury
- Redness, bruising, inflammation or swelling
How Much Compensation Am I Entitled To After An Accident?
The goal of a personal injury claim is to compensate you for all of your losses following an accident. Back or neck injuries can be especially serious due to the long term effects some of these injuries have. Most losses can be broken down into two categories, economic losses and non-economic losses. Adding your economic losses and your non-economic losses will give you the total amount of compensation that you are entitled to following an accident.
Economic Losses: Economic losses include medical bills, lost wages and other out of pocket expenses. In most cases your medical bills will be paid for by some form of insurance. However, any co-payments and unreimbursed medical expenses that you incur are reimbursable through your lawsuit. Also, in some cases you may be required to reimburse your healthcare provider for medical expenses that they have incurred if you receive a settlement. All of this is added up in the total calculated compensation.
Additionally, many people have disability policies that pay them a portion of their salary following an injury. In a car accident lawsuit you are entitled to receive your total lost wages from the defendant. However, you are not entitled to make a double recovery, So, if you receive partial lost wages from a disability insurer, your total claim for lost wages will be reduced by the amount of money that you have received from your insurer. If your insurer is entitled to reimbursement from your lawsuit then you will receive the total amount of lost wages from the defendant and be required to repay the insurer the portion that they paid to you.There are often out of pocket expenses associated with an injury such as travel expenses and cost of modifications to your home or vehicle. This is also the responsibility of the at fault party.
Finally, your economic damages may last into the future and in some cases may be permanent due to the nature of the injury. For example, if you cannot return to work because of your back injury, you are entitled to life-long lost wages. In such situations it may be necessary to hire an economist to figure out your future lost wages so that they can be reimbursed in your lawsuit.
Non-economic Losses: Non-economic losses include your pain and suffering, mental anguish, loss of enjoyment of life and other emotional injuries. Unlike economic damages, non-economic damages are more subjective. Therefore, it can often be difficult to put a financial figure on such damages. The way it is usually done is by comparing people that have suffered similar injuries and seeing what juries have awarded them at trial. However, if a settlement cannot be reached then that amount of money is decided by a jury. This can often lead to a wide discrepancy from case to case. Also, like economic losses, non-economic losses can also be permanent. In such cases that will have to be accounted for in the jury’s verdict or in the settlement.
Finally, perhaps the most important factor in determining the amount of money that you are entitled to following an accident is the amount of insurance the responsible party has to satisfy any judgment you obtain. For example, if your total losses equal $1,000,000 but the responsible party is only insured for $25,000, your only way of recovering the difference will be by personally enforcing the judgment you obtain at trial against the responsible party’s assets. In my experience, most people do not have assets to pay that type of judgment. Therefore, for most accidents, your recovery will be limited by the other party’s insurance. However, there are situations where you can make an additional claim against your own insurance carrier if the responsible party is underinsured.
Is it too late to pursue a case if I didn’t go to the hospital on the day of my accident?
No. In fact it is fairly common following an accident to not immediately feel pain due to the shock and adrenal that you feel in the moments following the car accident. Many of my clients report first experiencing pain in their back or neck hours, and in some cases, days following the accident. So, there is no set time in which you have to see a doctor following an accident.
However, I do recommend that as soon as you start to experience pain, to seek medical attention. Some people tell me that they started feeling pain in the days following an accident, but held off on seeing a doctor because they thought it would go away. The longer you wait to see a doctor the more difficult it is for me to connect your injury to the accident that caused it.
Is My Back or Neck Injury Considered Serious?
While any injury from an accident can completely disrupt your life, New York has a statute called the “Serious Injury” Threshold that determines whether or not a person is able to file a personal injury claim. Here is what the State of New York considers to be a serious injury:
- Significant disfigurement
- Loss of fetus
- Permanent loss of use of body organ, member, function or system
- Permanent consequential limitation of use of a body organ or member
- Significant limitation of use of a body function or system
- Medically determined injury or impairment of a non-permanent nature which prevents the injured person from performing substantially all of the material acts which constitute such person’s usual and customary daily activities for not less than ninety days during the one hundred eighty days immediately following the occurrence of the injury or impairment
Clearly, not all of these types of injuries are straightforward, and a back and neck injury could fall into one or more of these categories. Therefore, it is a good idea to get a free consultation with an experienced personal injury attorney to see if you are eligible to file a claim.
What Should I Bring to My Free Consultation?
You are not required to bring anything to your initial consultation, but the goal of the consultation is to give both you and the attorney as much information needed before deciding whether or not to pursue a case. Therefore, if you have certain information with you, it will make it easier to fully evaluate your case and discuss it in more detail. All documents that detail how you’ve been affected financially, physically, and emotionally can be brought to your case evaluation. The more documentation you have, the more accurate your claim can be evaluated. The items that might be helpful are the following:
- Copies of police reports or incident reports connected to your incident
- Copies of records as well as bills from all medical providers that treated your injuries since your accident, including emergency medical services, physicians, and physical therapists
- Documentation from medical providers that detail a diagnosis/prognosis of your injury
- Any information from insurance companies that detail their coverage of your medical bills
- Any documentation of missed work (due to your injury) and the income you’ve lost due to missed work
- A list of important dates, such as your date of injury, dates of surgeries you needed performed, and dates of medical treatment
- If you’ve experienced emotional distress since your incident and required professional counselling as a result, bring documentation with the names and phone numbers of your therapist or psychiatrist and copies of documents detailing how much they’ve billed you, and dates you were treated
- Copies of claims that have been filed in connection with your accident (such as the No-Fault application)
- Any photographs you may have taken related to the incident, such as images of the scene, property damage, your injury, and anything that may be relevant to your claim or serve as photographic evidence
- Journal entries describing the emotional and psychological impact your accident, treatment, and the pain you’re enduring from your injury
Should I speak to the Insurance company representing the person I was in an accident with?
No. There is absolutely no law that requires you to contact the insurance carrier of the person that you were in an accident with. Nor, are you required to speak to them or fill out accident forms. If your injury was a result of a motor vehicle accident, when the insurance company of the other driver contacts you, they are looking to gather information to protect their financial interests. Even if the accident is clearly the other driver’s fault you should not speak to the insurance adjuster from the other side.
I always recommend contacting an experienced personal injury lawyer before speaking to any insurance companies. The attorney can communicate with the insurance carrier on your behalf ensuring that your rights are fully protected. Even if you don’t hire a lawyer for your case, it’s still not a bad idea to speak to them first for advice on how to deal with the insurance carrier.
What Should I Expect Once I Hire Your Law Firm?
The first thing that my law firm will do is complete a full investigation of your accident which includes gathering all insurance information from the responsible parties, gathering evidence and witness statements, and gathering all medical evidence of your injuries.
After the investigation is complete, we will proceed with initiating a lawsuit against the responsible parties and litigate the case in court by conducting discovery. Once discovery is complete, we will work towards obtaining a trial date. Finally, if the insurance company of the responsible party is unwilling to pay a fair amount of compensation for your injuries, we will try the case and attempt to get a verdict that adequately compensates you for the back and neck injuries that you suffered from the accident. Click here to see our full process.
I Injured My Back/Neck Because I Fell on Someone Else’s Property, Is the Property Owner Responsible?
Property owners are obligated to maintain a level of safety for all patrons on their premises. When a personal injury claim is made for a slip trip and fall, it must be proven that the property owner was negligent in keeping you safe from that injury. In order to do this, three things must be established.
The condition was unsafe. This is where documenting the scene of the accident is so important. Your personal injury lawyer has to prove that it was a dangerous or unsafe condition that caused your accident.
There was prior knowledge of the condition. The attorney would then prove that the property owner must have known about the unsafe condition. This can be established in two different ways. If the property owner has been physically told about the condition, that is considered “actual” knowledge. This means there is clear proof that the owner knew about the condition and neglected to do anything about it. On the other hand, if it was likely that they should have known about the condition, this is called “constructive” prior knowledge, meaning the condition was noticeable and visible for a long enough period of time for the property owner to have noticed and corrected the hazardous area.
Finally, it needs to be proven that the unsafe condition could have been remedied. This means the owner had a reasonable amount of time to fix the problem, but neglected to do so. For example, if someone slipped on someone’s driveway immediately after a snowstorm, they may not be found negligent because they didn’t have sufficient time to shovel their driveway. But if days had passed and it still happened, that they had sufficient time to make it safe.
I Injured My Back/Neck From a Car Accident, How Do I Get My Medical Bills Paid For?
New York is a no-fault state. That means that if you were a driver, passenger or pedestrian involved in a car accident, your medical bills will be paid for by no-fault insurance. The no-fault carrier will be the insurance carrier of the vehicle that you were operating or a passenger in. If you were a pedestrian, the vehicle that struck you will be the no-fault insurance carrier. The only caveat is that you must complete a no-fault application within thirty days of your accident.
That company will be required to provide a minimum of $50,000 of coverage. However, it is possible to purchase a higher no-fault limit. The no-fault carrier will pay all of your medical bills until the policy is exhausted or you are deemed better through an Independent Medical Examination.
Once the no-fault policy is exhausted you can then use your primary health insurance to pay any remaining medical bills. Ultimately there may be some medical expenses that are not covered such as co-payments. Those expenses should be included in any claim that you make against the responsible party’s liability insurance policy. Consulting with an experienced personal injury attorney will help get insight on all of those steps moving forward to get those medical bills taken care of.
Why Hire Palermo Law?
- We always offer a free no obligation consultation.
- We never charge a fee unless we win your case.
- We provide personal one on one attention to every client.
- We handle all no-fault insurance communications and paperwork for you free of charge.
- We have over two decades of experience litigating car accident cases on Long Island.
- We have obtained numerous million dollar verdicts and settlements for our clients.
About Our Suffolk County Car Accident Law Firm
Palermo Law was founded in 1994 as a general practice. In 1997, Steven Palermo joined the firm and by the early 2000’s the law firm shifted it’s primary focus to personal injury law. Steven Palermo focuses his entire practice on Personal injury law, with a large majority of those cases being Suffolk County car accidents. He personally oversees every car accident case that the firm handles. He brings to each case over twenty years of experience, numerous successful trial verdicts and a passion for helping Suffolk County car accident victims in their fight for justice against large insurance companies.
While Steven and his team are proud of their record of achievements in the court room, they are equally excited about how their clients feel about their experiences with the law firm. The firm has over two hundred positive reviews from former clients on various websites such as Google, Lawyers.com, Avvo and Facebook. Palermo Law takes particular pride in the fact that they have some of the best reviews in Suffolk County. If you would like to set up an appointment for a free initial no obligation consultation with an experienced Suffolk County car accident attorney, feel free to call today.
Service We perform
- Identifying all potential sources of recover including no-fault insurance limits and all bodily injury insurance limits.
- Complete investigative services including gathering of all relevant documentation such as accident reports and witness statements, medical records and reports. We often engage the help of experts in the field of accident reconstruction, medicine and economics to help support your claim.
- We will handle all no-fault insurance communications and paper work free of charge.
- We litigate your case. If your case cannot be settled we will litigate it in court. It is always our goal to obtain fair compensation for our clients without the need for trial. But rest assured, if your case does not settle we will be prepared to take your case to trial.
Trial Ready Strategy
Most personal injury lawsuits are settled out of court at some point before a trial. Many personal injury law firms on Long Island don’t fully prepare their cases for trial when anticipating a settlement. This weakens their position when it comes time to negotiating a settlement. At Palermo Law, we always fully prepare every case as if it is going to trial. This level of preparation gives us the leverage to negotiate the highest possible compensation for our clients and puts us in a strong position should a trial become necessary.
Focused on Helping the Injured
We realize that being really well versed in any one area of law takes focus. Personal injury law is no exception. That’s why our Long Island personal injury lawyers only handle personal injury cases. Steven Palermo, our managing partner, has been exclusively handling personal injury cases for the last two decades. We handle all types of personal injury cases for the injured, including car accidents, slip and falls and work related accidents. We have never represented an insurance company and never will. We do what we do because we love helping people.
We offer every potential personal injury client a free, no obligation consultation at any of our five locations throughout Long Island. During the consultation, we will discuss your case in detail and give you our opinion on the chances of success. We will also discuss our potential strategy and our process for handling your case. If after fully discussing your case we feel it is a good fit for our Long Island Personal Injury law firm, we will discuss our fees and give you the option of moving forward with us as your lawyers.
Contact a Long Island Back and Neck Injury Lawyer
We have litigated hundreds of accident cases over the last two decades. As a result, we’ve become very proficient in handling all aspects of accident litigation including no-fault and property damage claims. We know all the ins and outs of Long Island accident claims and will use our experience to make sure you receive full compensation. We handle all Suffolk county accident cases on a contingency basis. This means we never charge an upfront fee and only get paid if we win your case.