Neck Injuries After a Car Accident
Nobody anticipates being injured in a car accident when getting behind the wheel or climbing into the passenger seat of a motor vehicle. However, car accidents do happen, and sometimes vehicle occupants suffer debilitating and life-threatening injuries. Neck injuries vary greatly in terms of their severity, ranging from symptoms of whiplash that may require only limited treatment and will heal completely, to severe neck fractures that ultimately lead to a spinal cord injury and permanent paralysis.
Whether you suffered a mild or a life-threatening neck injury, an experienced car accident lawyer can help with your case.Common Types of Neck Injuries in Motor Vehicle Crashes
Traffic collisions can result in many different types of neck injuries. It is important for anyone who has been injured in a car wreck to seek medical attention in order to be evaluated by a trained healthcare provider and to receive treatment. Generally speaking, the following are some of the more common types of neck injuries that can occur in car crashes:
- Whiplash: According to WebMD, whiplash is a neck injury that frequently results from force and the neck being whipped back and forth (thus the term “whiplash”), yet many people use this terminology more broadly to refer to neck strain. It occurs most frequently in rear-end car accidents, and it involves a sudden force that “stretches and tears the muscles and tendons in your neck.” Signs and symptoms often include pain, decreased range of neck motion, stiff neck, tenderness, and headaches. It can take hours or even days for symptoms of whiplash to appear after a crash, so it is important to seek medical attention as soon as possible even if you are not exhibiting signs of whiplash.
- Herniated Disk: While many herniated disc injuries—or slipped discs, ruptured discs, or bulging discs—often are a result of degeneration over time, car accidents can also result in disc injuries. According to the Mayo Clinic, a herniated disc refers to “a problem with one of the rubbery cushions . . . between the individual bones (vertebrae) that stack up to make your spine.” Some people with disc injuries do not have obvious signs and symptoms, while others may require corrective surgery.
- Broken Neck (Cervical Fracture): The American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons (AAOS) explains that any fracture or break in one of the seven cervical vertebrae in the neck is known as a broken neck. These injuries typically happen as a result of “high-energy trauma, according to the AAOS, and they can affect both the spinal cord and the connection between the central nervous system and the brain. In some cases, a broken neck ultimately results in paralysis or death. Cervical fractures can vary widely in terms of severity.
- Acute Mechanical Back Pain: Many people experience acute mechanical back pain, and it goes by many different names, according to the Cleveland Clinic. Specific trauma, such as in a car crash, can cause acute pain in spinal joints. In other words, acute back pain can also affect a person’s neck area, and sometimes a neck injury can cause acute back pain. If you were injured in a car wreck and have neck or back pain, you should seek a doctor’s opinion.
If you or someone you love suffered a neck injury in a motor vehicle crash, you should discuss your options for filing a claim with an aggressive car accident attorney. An advocate at the Walton Law Firm can answer your questions today. Contact us for more details.