Hit by a car while walking

by Ellen
(Cleveland, OH USA)

Last Thursday I was crossing the street and a car was making a left turn and didn't see me and bang. I got hit on my right side, fell on my left, and then somehow ended up landing kneeling in the street. I was knocked right out of my shoes! This was a public area and someone called 911 and I was taken to the hospital where they took x-rays of my legs and found that nothing was broken thank goodness.

It was the lower speed that saved me. At the time my back didn't bother me it was just my legs that hurt. I don't know if it was the getting hit or the board they laid me on that led to my lower back pain. I have always had some back issues and have spinal stenosis in my neck.

I went to a chiropractor the day after but it is difficult for me to go there because it is almost an hour ride on a bus that isn't too comfy, especially now. My back has now been bothering me just about every time I move much at all. I have to go back to work, I have to go back to class but is there anything you can tell me that might help?

I have tried taking Flexeril but that didn't help much and just made me out of it. I'm taking Naproxen but it isn't helping either. I ice it and take hot baths but nothing seems to soothe it. Besides the lower back pain, sparatic pain in my right thigh and pain when walking are the only other real symptoms.

Only one bruise and one scrape. I'm just wondering if I need to go to a regular doctor again or get an MRI or anything or at least timeline of when you think pain might be getting better.

Anything at all would be helpful. Thanks.

Hi there, Michelle here...

I am very sorry to hear about your accident, it sounds really scary and quite painful!

Normally I would start with talking to you about treatment options. But I think your treatment options would expand and you might have more choices if you started by talking to an attorney. Let me explain.

When seeing a chiropractor or a doctor is a complicated experience due to transportation issues, (a bus ride for an hour one way is very complicated!) you need help with other options!

Here is what I would do:

Speak to an attorney about what your rights are, and whether you can get financial help from the insurance for travel costs for seeing this chiropractor, making it possible to maybe take a taxi. Or ask the attorney what other options exist to help you receive treatment.

The attorney can find out how much coverage for treatment there is available for you through the car insurance and whether or not you have options such as getting reimbursed to take a taxi. (this would be a reasonable expense).

So, on your state page on my site there is a form you can fill out fairly quickly, and an attorney from your local area can reach out to you.

It is no cost nor obligation to you to fill out the form, but it will put you into contact with someone who can help you decide if having an attorney would help your situation. Here is the link:

Pain Relief

Now, lets work on things to do with your pain. Your low back pain can be related directly to the accident. When you were hit, you were hit from the side, an you were hit quite hard...

Your lower back took an enormous amount of that force, imagine a friend standing and you shoving them from left to right... their bodies very first reaction would be to resist the force trying to knock them down. So they would tighten up.

Your body however, when hit by a car, cannot resist the force and would - after tightening up, have to continue on its way to the ground. Then all that forward/sideways motion of being hit by the car would come to a very abrupt stop. The ground has no give in it.

You were moving, then you were not. The sudden stop causes injury as well as the force of the car hitting you.

Further, you may find you also have some symptoms of whiplash, as your upper torso was tossed about and also was moving with force and then came to a sudden abrupt stop.

YES please call your medical doctor, tell her or him where you are having pain, that everything hurts all the time and you have not yet been x-rayed all over and you wonder what needs to happen next.

Do this right away.

Pain pills unfortunately don’t bring about a cure for the pain, they sort of work to mask it, and for someone like yourself who is working and going to school and trying to just get a lot done each day, these drugs can interfere.

Ask your medical doctor if she or he can prescribe you some anti-inflammatories which work on the 4 hour mark, rather than an all day anti-inflammatory.

The reason for this question to your doc is because after years of helping patients I have seen patients who take an anti-inflammatory, every 4 hours (low dose of course) have less pain overall each day than patients who take one mega- anti-inflammatory which is supposed to last 8 hours or even supposed to last 24.

Lower dose is usually easier on the stomach too. Only your doctor can guide you through this, but start there.

At home pain relief is: Ice. Rest. Ice. Rest. Repeat.

You might find laying down flat, with your knees supported on a pillow and a soft towel under you neck will help a little with the pain (if your stenosis will allow this neck position I am not sure).

You can try sitting against ice say on a couch or a chair, with ice right at your lower back. Choose something like frozen veggies which hold the cold, but are soft to lean against.

You may also find a tube of Arnica will reduce pain.

You can pick it up at most health food stores. Arnica can take some of the ache out of your bruises and will help some with low back pain. Wherever you hurt you can use arnica on your legs, and lower back.

So to recap: find an attorney and see what she or he can do to help you get financial coverage for all things related to treatment, including possibly wage help if you need to take work off for medical reasons. See your medical doctor right away, use ice at home, and get a tube of Arnica.

If you want to write back, simply comment and I will receive your comment and can respond back on this same page for you.

Best Regards, hope this helps! M.

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Nov 05, 2012
by: Ellen

Thanks for you advice. Few things though. I'm a college student and my doctor is actually back home in Michigan and I'm not going home until Thanksgiving, already have an appt with doc then. I'd like to avoid attorney stuff because well poor college kid and I'm not planning on suing the girl who hit me. I've never been in this type of a position before so I don't know what my next steps are as far as all the insurance and legal things go. I did some resting this weekend but I have to go to class and I have to go to work, I missed 2 days last week but I have to work to pay rent. I picked up some icy hot patch things today for my back to help me through too.

Hi there, M here

I apologize I was not very clear! Let me clarify. An attorney does NOT sue the girl who hit you, I would rarely recommend that, unless the situation was really different! The attorney helps you by knowing the rules and laws for your state, and working with the Insurance company of the girl who hit you.

Her insurance is there to protect her from issues during accidents, and is available for your medical costs when she hits you. The attorney does NOT charge you, she or he would collect their costs when you make a settlement, from the insurance company only. Not from you and not from the driver personally.

Also, you should see a local doctor. It will help alot. Or go on campus to the health center at minimum and see if they have a doc who can help you until Thanksgiving. Hope that makes sense.

Also, you can talk to an attorney without an obligation, there is no charge for the consultation. Hope that helps a little. M.

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