Whiplash: A Painful Injury With Delayed Symptoms
After a car accident, it is relatively common for people to suffer spine and neck injuries, including whiplash. However, most whiplash injuries result from rear-end collisions.
Unfortunately, most people dont seek treatment for whiplash injuries, mainly because they dont realize theyre injured. According to Healthline, signs of whiplash injuries usually occur within hours or days after a car accident.
Treatment And Recovery For Neck Injuries
The treatment you receive for your neck injury will depend on the type and severity of your injury.
Many injury treatments start with rest and cold and heat therapy.
A car accident doctor may also prescribe pain relievers, neck braces, or physical therapy to help the whiplash recovery process.
Keep in mind that pain medications should only be a temporary fix because they only mask symptoms without treating the underlying cause.
They also come with a laundry list of side effects.
More severe neck injuries like herniated discs or neck fractures may require more intensive treatment and longer recovery periods.
Sometimes surgical intervention to repair the damage is unavoidable with these injuries.
Severe neck injuries that involve damage to the spinal cord can result in paralysis and often cannot be cured.
Treatment for these injuries is usually focused on helping the injured person learn to live with their disabilities.
What Happens To Your Neck During A Car Accident
Even though your neck is very fragile and vulnerable to injury, it’s not well protected during auto accidents.
Your body is held in place by your seat belt, but your head and neck are left unrestrained during impact.
This causes your neck to jerk back and forth, jerk to one side, or get hit by flying debris.
These rapid movements can cause injury to the muscles, tendons, ligaments, joints, and nerves in the cervical spine.
And if you sense an accident before it happens, your neck muscles will tense in anticipation.
Because they are tensed, they’ll have less give, which can cause increased muscle strain during impact.
You May Like: Foot Injuries Top Of Foot
Should I File A Neck Injury Claim
Seeking financial compensation from the at-fault party may be the only way to pay for all the medical bills you have to deal with. However, it can be frustrating to manage the time and resources for an unexpected injury. In addition, your lifestyle may change dramatically without the proper care and medical services you need to heal.
Youll need the support of medical experts and experienced Denver car accident attorneys who can help fight on your behalf.
Whiplash And 11 More Common Neck Injuries From Car Accidents
The most common car accident neck injury is whiplash. A whiplash injury is often confused with other common types of neck injuries, such as a herniated disc. If youre experiencing neck pain or stiffness after a crash, its crucial to receive immediate medical treatment for a proper diagnosis.
Even though whiplash is the most common neck injury from a car accident, the trauma of a vehicle collision can cause several other types of neck injuries. Neck injuries can range from minor to severe and can have varying degrees of recovery. The best way to safely recover from a car accident neck injury and recoup the expenses youve lost is to seek medical treatment.
If youve recently begun to experience neck pain after a car accident, now is the time to explore your medical and legal options. Take a look at the 12 most common neck injuries from car accidents, and what steps you can take to recover physically and financially.
Don’t Miss: Blood Clot In Leg From Injury
How Should I Handle The Aftermath Of A Car Accident
The key to receiving monetary damages to cover the financial losses produced by a car accident involves proving another party committed one or more acts of negligence that caused the motor vehicle collision. Proving negligence requires the personal injury attorney from Morgan and Morgan to show the presence of the four elements of negligence. The four elements of negligence, which your lawyer describes in more detail during a free case evaluation, consist of duty of care, breaching the duty of care, causation, and financial losses.
Most car accident cases should unfold in the following manner.
Find A Reputable Quality Pain Specialist
Pain specialists are trained doctors at the cutting edge of pain relief. A quality pain clinic will focus on holistic, non-invasive treatments rather than solely prescribed medication. It may seem scary or even drastic to see a pain specialist but finding a pain relief partner should bring you confidence in a more fulfilling life.
When looking for a compassionate pain specialist:
Scheduling your first consultation is a lot less scary when you have confidence in the clinic’s approach, training, and track record.
Read Also: Personal Injury Lawyers In Denver
Prepare An Insurance Claim Or Personal Injury Lawsuit
You may be able to settle your case with the insurance adjusters, and a personal injury attorney can help ensure a settlement is complete and fair before you accept the terms. If it seems as though the other side is digging their heels in and is denying your claim, you may decide to pursue a personal injury lawsuit.
Every state has its own statute of limitations, which is the time limit to file a lawsuit based on the type and date of the incident. If you are unsure of your states statute of limitations and when your deadline is to file your car accident lawsuit, your attorney can make an evaluation based on the specific facts of your case.
Common Car Accident Neck Injuries
While the restraints in your car may protect your torso during an impact, your neck and head will often be exposed to the trauma of rapid movement or impact with loose objects. Some of the neck injuries resulting from car accidents include:
- Vocal cord damage or paralysis
- Cuts, abrasions, or lacerations
- Paresthesia, which is a tingling or burning sensation in your skin for no apparent reason
When the arteries in your neck are injured and blood flow to the brain is restricted, you can also suffer brain injuries. It is also possible to sustain multiple such injuries from a single car accident.
Recommended Reading: Average Settlement For Foot Injury
What Is The Best Treatment For Whiplash
The best treatment for whiplash depends on many factors. The severity of your injury, what caused it and your medical history can all play a role. Treating your symptoms and not straining yourself and making the injury worse might be all it takes for minor whiplash.
You should see a healthcare provider sooner rather than later for more severe injuries. The longer you wait, the more likely youll develop a chronic complication that could linger for months or even years.
A note from Cleveland Clinic
Whiplash is a common injury that happens when a sudden movement change puts too much force on your head, neck and body. That causes those body parts to move at slightly different speeds and with subtle differences in direction, straining and damaging bones, muscles, ligaments and nerves in your head, neck and upper back.
Most people can recover from whiplash within days or weeks, but chronic problems can last for months or even years. Fortunately, there are many ways to treat this problem. While most work best when used sooner rather than later, there are still ways to treat chronic pain and other issues that happen because of whiplash.
Can I Sue For A Car Accident Neck Injury
Yes, you can sue for a car accident neck injury. In the state of Kentucky, accident victims can file a lawsuit against an at-fault driver if the accident caused more than $1,000 in medical expenses or if the victim suffered a bone fracture or permanent injury or disfigurement. Since the medical care for a neck injury is often costly, most accident victims meet the criteria for a neck injury claim.
An accident victim can sue for a variety of costs, including:
- Auto repair or replacement costs
- Medical expenses, including medications
- Pain and suffering, such as chronic pain
- Lost wages, including potential bonuses or tips
- Future medical expenses related to long-term complications, such as home care
If youve been injured in an auto accident that was limited or no fault of your own, a car accident lawyer can help. An attorney can assist you in gathering important documents and totaling the price of your injury costs. If necessary, your lawyer can file a lawsuit on your behalf.
Don’t Miss: Best Personal Injury Lawyer San Francisco
Symptoms Of Neck Injuries After A Car Accident
There are a few neck injury symptoms to look out for after a car accident.
Sometimes you feel pain immediately.
But sometimes, symptoms aren’t apparent for hours or even weeks.
This often leads accident victims to mistake the symptoms for something else.
These delayed neck injuries are dangerous because victims often leave them untreated because they don’t realize they have a neck injury.
You should immediately seek the help of a physician after an accident, no matter how you feel.
Your best hope of recovery is by working with a doctor who specializes in cases of car accidents and neck injuries.
Seek medical help if you experience the following at any point after your accident:
Neck Injuries Whiplash Trauma
Whiplash trauma is one of the most common neck injuries following an accident. Whiplash trauma symptoms can appear in one or more of the following ways: upper back and shoulder pain, fatigue, headaches, and neck pain and stiffness.
If youve been in a recent car accident and are experiencing one or more symptoms of neck injury or whiplash trauma its imperative you seek medical attention. You can go to your family doctor or an emergency physician to have your injuries assessed and treated.
Recommended Reading: M& y Personal Injury Lawyers Yelp
Key Symptoms Of A Neck Injury
Neck pain is a common problem that about two-thirds of the population experience at some point. After all, your cervical spine and supporting muscles and ligaments support a head that weighs approximately 15 pounds. Due to the flexible but complex structure of your neck, its quite vulnerable to injury, both serious and minor. Tracking down the of neck pain and whether injury is present, though, can be difficult.
To help you out, here are several symptoms that can stem from a neck injury.
Don’t Ignore The Signs
Just because you were able to walk away from a car accident, doesn’t mean you are out of the woods yet.
There are several injuries you could have sustained that won’t be detected for several hours or days after the accident.
Be mindful of the symptoms on the list above, and visit your doctor if you start to develop any of them.
When your health is on the line, you need to be extra careful.
If you think you need to see a doctor, click the link below. The experts at The Car Wreck Doctor will help you get started.
Also Check: Best Personal Injury Lawyers In Atlanta
Contact The Appropriate Law Enforcement Agency
Getting law enforcement involved with a car accident case is important for two reasons. First, a team of police officers establishes a perimeter to create a safe scene for investigating the collision. Second, the formal police report represents the most important document reviewed by insurance companies, as well as judges that preside over civil lawsuits. The formal police report includes evidence such as photographs, as well as a conclusion as to whether either party involved in the car accident should assume legal liability for causing the crash.
Symptoms Of Neck Pain
The signs and symptoms for whiplash usually develop within days after sustaining an injury. However, some people may not experience any outwardly visible discomfort until several weeks afterward, when chronic neck pain develops due to cumulative trauma over a long period. The usual symptoms include:
- Paralysis on one side of the body
Suppose you have any of these symptoms within days after an accident. In that case, it is essential to see a doctor immediately because they could be warning signs for more serious problems like bleeding in your brain or spinal cord compression, which can lead to permanent disabilities if not treated immediately.
Recommended Reading: 10 Stages Of Brain Injury Recovery
Meet With A Personal Injury Lawyer
Before you file an insurance claim and/or a civil lawsuit, you should schedule a free case evaluation with one of the highly-rated litigators at Morgan and Morgan. The attorney you meet with reviews the formal police report, as well as any physical evidence that you gathered. Hiring a personal injury attorney ensures the filing of a civil lawsuit before the expiration of the statute of limitations. Getting the legal support of an experienced personal injury lawyer is especially helpful for car accident cases that involve whiplash and/or concussion symptoms
How Is A Whiplash Treated
Your healthcare provider will determine specific treatment for whiplash, based on:
Your age, overall health, and medical history
Extent of your injury
Your tolerance for specific medicines, procedures, or therapies
Expectations for the course of your injury
Your opinion or preference
Ice applications for the first 24 hours
Gentle, active movement after 24 hours
Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medicines
Muscle relaxing medicines
Recommended Reading: What Is An Incomplete Spinal Cord Injury
Neck Injuries Could Mean Compensation For Pain And Suffering
As a result, compensation for neck injuries could be much higher than you think. A car accident attorney knows the value of your claim when you are suffering from neck injuries. Not only are you paid for the pain that you suffer, but the fact that you cannot enjoy your life could also be compensable. Dont forget that neck injuries cause continuous discomfort that could keep you from sleeping or even going out of the house.
For starters, your compensation would include the costs of all of your medical bills. This begins with doctors office visits and any surgical procedures. Neck injuries may also require continuous and ongoing physical therapy and rehabilitation. All of this is covered. In addition, you would also receive money for the time that you missed from work. If you have a job that requires physical labor, neck injuries could make it impossible for you to do your job. You should anticipate that the insurance company may argue that you are still able to work in some capacity.
Muscle And Tendon Stiffness
Cervical muscles and tendons are responsible for supporting, protecting, and mobilizing the neck. Cervical stiffness typically occurs as a result of inflammation caused by trauma to the area and may limit range of motion. Stiff neck from whiplash or other accident injuries may last two to four weeks, depending on the severity of the primary injury.
Don’t Miss: First Report Of Injury Mn
Recovery From Neck Injuries
A victims recovery from a neck injury after a car accident depends on his or her specific circumstances, his or her specific injuries and on the specific course of treatment that was designed for the victim by his or her treating physician.
Keeping in mind how unique these types injuries are for each victim, consider the following observations about prognosis and recovery:
- Although fusion surgery is typically effective at treating broken vertebrae and stabilizing the spine, it is not always effective at eliminating pain and may contribute to arthritis in other vertebrae.
- Discectomy surgery is generally found to reduce herniated disc symptoms in 80-90% of victims who have suffered these types of injuries.
- Laminectomy surgery is generally found to reduce herniated disc symptoms in 60-90% of victims who have suffered these types injuries.
- Car accident victims who have suffered neck sprains or strains can usually expect recovery in nearly 70-100% of cases.
Get Medical Treatment For Neck Pain After A Car Accident
Immediately following a car accident, seek medical care especially if you are experiencing neck pain and injury symptoms.
A physician will evaluate the extent of your injuries and may use X-rays, CT scans or MRI to check for damaged soft tissues that may not be apparent on the surface. They may also monitor you for symptoms of a concussion caused by injury or dysfunction in the neck.
A medical evaluation is important to treat any injuries you may have, including catching those that could continue to worsen without proper care. However, getting a clear and complete diagnosis of your neck injury is also a critical piece of evidence for any injury-related claims you make to an insurance adjuster or in a personal injury lawsuit. Producing detailed medical records that show the type and extent of the medical treatment you received after the car accident will support your claim in recovering your injury-related damages.
You May Like: San Diego Work Injury Attorneys
After A Car Accident: Neck Pain Diagnosis
Immediately following a car accident, you should be checked out by a physician. They may use X-rays, computed tomography scans, or magnetic resonance imaging to check for damaged soft tissues. Since neck injuries may also cause a concussion, doctors may monitor you for concussion symptoms, such as confusion, sleepiness, or trouble talking.
In most cases, a doctor will refer you to an orthopedic surgeon. This is because many symptoms if left untreated, can cause chronic pain. People may experience whiplash-associated disorders for many years after an accident.
S Of The Neck That Could Be Injured In A Car Accident
The neck is a complex part of the spinal column that extends from the base of the skull to the top of the shoulders. Medically known as the cervical spine, the neck is composed of seven small, ring-shaped bones called vertebrae. In between each vertebra are facet joints that connect each bone and intervertebral discs that provide cushioning shock support.
The neck bones are supported by multiple types of soft tissue and fibrous connective tissue, including muscles, tendons, and ligaments. These tissues help give the cervical spine mobility and further protect the spinal cord housed within the spinal column. The spinal cord is one-half of the bodys central nervous system , a network of nerves that controls communication between the body and the brain.
Even though any part of the neck can be injured in a car crash, some structures are more prone to damage than others. Its typically more common to stretch or tear tissue than shatter an entire bone because it takes more force to damage hard bone than soft tissue. Delicate structures will be more vulnerable to injury during a typical accident.
Recommended Reading: Personal Injury Lawyers Dallas Tx