Among the most common injuries in car accidents are neck injuries. Neck injuries from car accidents can often lead to serious medical consequences, resulting in significant medical bills, lost work, and reduced enjoyment of general activities of life.
If you have suffered a neck injury from a car accident, contact our Moncks Corner car accident lawyer to help deal with your case. The lawyers and staff with West Law Firm Personal Injury Lawyers will answer your questions, stand up for your interests in the legal process, and help argue your case.
How Do Car Accident Neck Injuries Occur?
Neck injuries in car accidents arise from the various impacts that happen in a crash. When a car hits an object, the forces from the impact transfer to those inside.
If a seatbelt holds your body back from moving, the forces from the car accident often affect the neck, causing the neck to jerk in various directions. In addition, debris or other objects may hit the neck. Finally, if someone tenses their neck in anticipation of the accident, it may increase the likelihood of injuries.
Injuries to the neck from car accidents may take various forms. The neck bones (or vertebra) may be knocked out of position. The connecting tissue between muscles and bone may be stretched or torn. Nerves may be pinched between vertebrae. Discs between the vertebrae may be pushed out of alignment or even ruptured. In severe cases, the cervical spine’s bones may be broken, or the spinal cord may be severed.
Signs your neck was injured in an accident
One common side effect from neck injuries in car accidents is pain from the damage to the tissues, the bones, the joints or the discs of the neck. Neck pain after a crash may not stop without professional treatment.
Actions taken after a car accident may aggravate the injuries to the neck. Greater activity, significant movement, and ignoring signs of pain may worsen the injuries to the neck. It is important to be checked out for signs of injuries as soon as possible. This may involve a physical exam, a CT scan, X-rays, or an MRI.
What Is Whiplash?
Perhaps the most common neck injury from car accidents is whiplash. Whiplash involves the neck being overly extended in one direction, then overly bent in another. This results in sprain to the ligaments, the tissue connecting the bones of the spine.
In addition, it strains the joints of the spine, resulting in damage and further restriction of movement. Whiplash can lead to complications over time, so it is important that it be treated as soon as possible.
How Are Neck Injuries From a Car Accident Treated?
Perhaps the earliest treatment may be over-the-counter pain medication. This lessens or temporarily relieves the pain. In addition, alternating ice and heat can reduce pain and swelling. In some cases, massages and stretching may reduce the pain and improve mobility. However, all these treatments may only be effective for milder cases.
Chiropractic treatment is commonly used by many people for treatment of neck and back issues, with mixed results. In addition, many insurance companies may not cover chiropractic care.
Physical therapy is often prescribed for neck or back injuries. This involves specialized movement or exercises overseen or directed by a professional to ensure a return to normal mobility after an accident or illness.
Some doctors may prescribe a neck brace to reduce neck movement and prevent aggravating the neck injury while it heals. While it may look uncomfortable, it can prevent a neck injury from becoming more severe.
Some doctors may perform a nerve block, which involves injecting an anesthetic to temporarily deaden the nerves. This reduces the pain from the neck injury and allows for relief for a short time.
A doctor may prescribe steroids or prescription painkillers to reduce the pain from the neck injury. While these may reduce the pain, they do not treat the underlying condition, and should be only used under a doctor’s care, to avoid the potential for abuse.
Several surgical options are available for more severe cases. Ruptured discs may be removed and replaced with synthetic versions. Broken bones may be cemented or fused. Rods may be used to stabilize the neck. All these options require time for recovery. In some cases, rehabilitation from the neck injury may take years.
Costs of Neck Injuries
Medical expenses from car accident neck injuries may run into the tens of thousands of dollars. However, the costs of surgery, examinations, and treatments are only part of the total cost.
Damages you can recover in a car accident claim also include the value of lost time at work, loss of future earnings due to any disability, as well as other damages for pain and suffering or disfigurement.
Insurance may cover the cost of some surgeries, and some medical treatments, but certain expenses may not. It is important that you consult a legal professional following a neck injury to ensure that you have legal recourse for recovering your damages.
What we do to help
After a car accident, our firm can help:
- Find the parties responsible for the accident.
- Defend your interests in negotiations to ensure your expenses are paid.
- Argue your case in court if needed to ensure that you receive the damages you are entitled to.
Contact Our Car Accident Lawyers Following a Neck Injury
Neck injuries may be painful and debilitating, but our firm can help. Our lawyers at West Law Firm Personal Injury Lawyers have many years of experience advocating for car accident victims in the Moncks Corner community.
We will protect your claim and push for a recovery of any damages you are entitled to, so you can begin your recovery. Contact us online today or call us at 843-483-8630 to find more information on how we can help you.