California Facet Joint Injury Lawyers
The human spine is the hub of our nervous and muscular systems. It houses our spinal cord, which allows the brain to communicate with the rest of the body. A healthy spine is necessary for simple, every day motions, like walking, bending, and turning. Because the spine is critical for essentially every movement we do, an injury affecting the spine can be extremely serious and life altering.
Damage to the spine’s facet joints is the most frequent back injury, especially after an accident. These joints provide important stabilization that help with posture, circulation and overall health. An injury to this area can affect your ability to earn a living and enjoy time with your family, while decreasing your emotional wellbeing. Additionally, the harm can lead to expensive medical costs. Costly long term rehabilitation and treatment may be necessary to relieve pain and restore your health. Anyone facing the aftermath of a facet joint injury should find an experienced lawyer with the resources and track record to handle these complex cases.
Facet Joint Injury Statistics
- 80% of people will have some form of back injury and pain in their lifetime.
- 50-60% of whiplash victims have suffered a facet joint injury.
- 40% of the time, a facet joint injury is not diagnosed immediately.
Facet Joint Injury Symptoms
Of the 240 million Americans who experience back problems during their lifetime, pain caused by one of these injuries is the most common. Facet joints are small joints located between and behind the vertebrae. These joints provide stability to the spinal column and are necessary for movement. Most injuries to facet joints occur in the neck (cervical) or lower back (lumbar) areas of the spine. Sudden trauma, like being in a car accident, can cause the joints to be damaged or extended beyond the regular range of motion.
At first, a facet joint injury may feel like a regular back or neck ache. As your condition worsens, however, the pain may occur more frequently and last longer. The timing and degree of pain may be unpredictable and may cause you to think that the pain is “all in your head.” If you have any of the following symptoms, see a doctor immediately.
Cervical Vertebrae (Neck) Injury Symptoms
- Neck Pain
- Pain Radiating to Upper Back, Shoulders, and Upper Arms
- Tenderness at the Injured Area
- Sleep Apnea
Lumbar Vertebrae (Lower Back) Injury Symptoms
- Lower Back Pain
- Pain Radiating to Buttocks, Groin, and Upper Legs
- Tenderness at the Injured Area
- Loss of Flexibility
- Difficulty Bending or Walking
- Pain Worsened by Sitting
Causes of Facet Joint Injuries
Most injuries are a result of trauma sustained in accidents like:
Steps to Take After a Facet Joint Injury?
It is hard to contemplate that a back injury could happen to you. But if it does happen, it is important to take the correct measures that will put you on the path to healing. The following suggestions will help you deal with the injury while getting you the help that you need.
See a Doctor Right Away: A back injury can be very serious because it can affect your mobility. If necessary, avoid walking or other movements that can put stress on your back. Have someone take you to a hospital or call 911 and have an ambulance come. Paramedics will immobilize you and quickly get you to a doctor. Make sure to ask for thorough testing that includes not just your back but also your head and spine. Even if you don’t need to go to the hospital, see your primary care physician as soon as you can.
Gather Evidence: Immediately after an accident, you should attempt to understand how you were hurt. Try to pinpoint who caused the accident and the factors that led to you being injured. If your accident involves vehicles, call the police. Ask the officers to photograph the site before evidence is cleared away and request that they give you a copy of their police report. Make sure to give this report to your lawyer.
If you are hurt while at someone’s business, like at a shopping mall or hotel, ask the building manager or owner to write up a detailed account of the accident. Request a copy of this report.
If you are hurt on the job, let your boss know about the accident and immediately file a workers’ compensation claim. If there is evidence at the site that you think is important, photograph the scene and share the photos with your attorney.
Let Your Attorney Do the Talking: If you could be held at least partially responsible for the accident and your injury, do not discuss the case with insurance companies or investigators. Instead, schedule a meeting with an attorney and let the attorney handle these discussions.
Consult a Personal Injury Lawyer: Facet join injuries can be very serious because of the risk of major, long-term injury. This means that it is very important for you to have an excellent facet joint injury lawyer representing you. A skilled personal injury attorney will know the exact steps to take to get you the most compensation for your injury.
Compensation for a Facet Joint Injury
Once you have met with an attorney, your attorney will analyze the facts and put together a case to win you compensation for your injury. “Damages” are the dollar value of what the accident has cost you and can include physical, mental, and financial costs. Your attorney may be able to have you compensated by the responsible party for the treatment of your injury, lost income, pain and suffering, and other damages that are connected to the accident’s impact on your normal life.
Choosing the Best Legal Representation
The Reeves Law Group has successfully won compensation for thousands of accident victims and has earned the firm a reputation for vigorous and caring advocacy. If you have suffered a facet joint injury, contact our office for a free case review. We can be reached at 800-644-8000 or through our website.
Call (213) 271-9318 or contact us via our Quick Response page for a free and immediate case evaluation. For your convenience, we make home and hospital visits.
[Written by Derek Pakiz. Article updated on 2022-11-28]