Pain in the Neck: Neck Injuries After a Car Accident
Neck injuries are usually ranked as the most common injury following a car accident. Your neck is extremely sensitive, and the impact of a collision can seriously damage your neck.
Neck injuries can range from very minor to extremely severe and debilitating. If you feel any pain in your neck following an accident, you should always seek medication attention immediately.
If you need legal assistance because of your neck injuries contact the Dixon Injury Firm. Chris Dixon, a car accident lawyer in St Louis. Mo, is committed to helping you if you’re suffering after a disastrous car crash in Missouri.
Common Neck and Back Injuries From Car Accidents
A car accident victim could sustain soft tissue damage, such as wrist or ankle sprains and whiplash, a type of neck sprain caused by injury to the tissues, ligaments, and muscles of the neck. More serious injuries could cause broken bones, brain injury, or cervical spine damage, and spinal cord injuries.
Some frequent types of back injuries after a car crash include herniated discs, spinal stenosis, spinal fractures, and spondylolisthesis.
Whiplash: Neck Strain
One of the most common neck injuries in collisions results from whiplash. A whiplash injury is a form of muscle strain or tears that results from pulling or contracting the muscles suddenly or too far.
Medical science still does not know about many of the long-term effects of whiplash.
These injuries are even more frequent in rear-end collisions. However, you may not realize that you suffered from whiplash until hours or even days after the accident occurs.
This is because your body releases more adrenaline and cortisol into your bloodstream shortly after a collision. These hormones help manage pain, so you may not realize that you are hurt until they have completely gone through your bloodstream.
In fact, these hormones are such a great “numbing” agent, that you may not even realize if you have a very serious neck injury.
Once you begin to feel pain, you will likely experience other common symptoms of whiplash associated disorders (WAD), including:
- Shoulder pain or stiffness
- Soreness of the jaw
- Weakness in your arms or hands
- Blurred vision
- Back pain or discomfort
- Dizziness and vomiting
- Ringing of the ears
- Reduced range of motion in the neck
- Muscle spasms in the neck
Cervical Radiculopathy (Pinched Nerve)
Cervical nerves radiate from the spinal cord and into the arm. They provide feeling to the upper arm and shoulder.
They also help control movement. However, when a nerve is damaged, it cannot work properly. A bone spur, bone fragment, ruptured disc, or other types of injuries can also affect the nerves.
When the nerve does not work properly, the muscles in that area may seem weaker, the skin may feel numb, or there could be pain where the nerve is located. These symptoms of a pinched nerve are collectively referred to as Cervical Radiculopathy.
Treatments could include surgery, physical therapy, or visits with a chiropractor.
Herniated Cervical Disc
Like the back, the neck is also made up of vertebrae that are cushioned on either side by discs. When these discs come out of place, there can be serious problems.
This disc movement is sometimes called a herniated disc, slipped disc, or ruptured disc. Part of the disc’s center releases, and it can press against the spinal nerves and cause other problems.
Symptoms of disc herniation include:
- Pain in virtually any part of the body or along the nerve
- Numbness in extremities (hands, feet, legs, arms)
- Muscle weakness along the nerve
Symptoms of Neck and Back Injuries After an Auto Accident
Neck injuries from a car accident may cause temporary or chronic neck pain. Whiplash occurs when the head abruptly first moves first backward and then forward because of the impact of a car slamming into the vehicle from behind.
Whiplash symptoms include pain in the neck, shoulders, arms and back; a sense of vertigo or dizziness; and sensations of pins and needles because of nerve injury.
How Long Does Neck Pain Last After a Car Accident?
Neck and back pain after a car accident may disappear after a few weeks or months. A car accident victim might also develop chronic pain and still have neck pain 2 years after a car accident.
What Should I Do if My Neck Hurts After a Car Accident?
If your neck hurts after a car accident, get immediate medical attention. Even if you feel that you did not sustain severe injuries, x-rays may reveal a different story.
Short-term medical treatment for whiplash may include wearing a neck brace, which is a cervical collar; using pain medications; or getting an epidural injection to block the pain impulses long enough for the tissue to heal. Long-term care might include chiropractic treatments, massage therapy, stretching exercises, and physical therapy.
Filing a Neck Injury Claim
If you decide to file a personal injury claim, then you need to have all your medical records to back up your neck injury claim. While you could file all the legal paperwork on your own and simply represent your own case, your chances of success will improve if you file your claim through a law firm.
After reviewing your medical records, your personal injury lawyer will be able to tell you if you have enough evidence to substantiate your claim.
Statute of Limitations on Claiming a Car Accident Injury in Missouri
According to the statute of limitations, spelled out in the Missouri Revised Statutes, section 516.120, for claiming a car accident injury, you have 5 years from the date of the accident to file a lawsuit.
How Much Is a Neck Injury Worth in a Car Accident?
A car accident neck injury settlement amount depends on many factors, such as your medical records, your medical treatment, and your total medical bills. Other factors considered in the total damage amount could include attorney fees, court costs, and your loss of the ability to earn.
An award can range from $5,000 for a straightforward claim to hundreds of thousands of dollars for a complicated claim—for instance, you needed a complicated surgery like a neck fusion.
How Our St. Louis Car Accident Lawyers Can Help
Our St. Louis whiplash injury lawyers will assist you through the entire process. We will even help you with things that you cannot manage yourself because of your injuries, such as finding the best doctors, making medical appointments, renting a car, and repairing your vehicle.
Get a Free Consultation With a Personal Injury Attorney Today
The important thing to remember is that not all neck injuries have pain in the neck. If other parts of your body have unexplained pain, that could be a sign of something more severe. You should always visit an experienced medical professional after an auto accident.
If you or a loved one has suffered a serious neck injury, call The Dixon Injury Firm as soon as possible. We can help you get the compensation you deserve for your injury. Give us a call at 855-552-2337 for a free case evaluation. We look forward to hearing from you!