A Pain in the Neck | Neck Injuries after a car accident
(Continuing the series about injuries common in workers compensation and personal injury cases.)
A Pain in the Neck
Neck injuries are one of the most common injuries among Americans, and the rate at which they occur in automobile and workplace accidents rises every year. While primarily known to take place during car accidents, neck injuries can also be the result of overexertion, falling, increased stress, and sport-related accidents. Along with neck injuries, however, comes a variety of symptoms, treatments, and opportunities for compensation.
First, one must know the various symptoms of a neck injury in order to specify the exact type of injury they have. Symptoms can include:
- Blurred vision or constantly drowsy
- Headaches and dizziness
- Weakness, numbness or tingling of limbs
- Loss of function
- Muscle spasm or reduced range of motion
- Stiffness of neck and shoulders
Each symptom listed could potentially indicate a larger problem in one’s cervical spine or indicate issues such as herniated disks and whiplash. Symptoms can sometimes take one or two days after the accident to reach full prominence. If you have experienced any of these symptoms, or have recently suffered from a neck injury, make it a priority to see a medical expert to receive a professional diagnosis. Patients always assume the worst, don’t rely on a self-diagnosis!
Types of Injuries
Many neck injuries are the result of damage to the cervical spine. The cervical spine consists of seven vertebrae (C1-C7) which allow a great degree of movement because of their flexibility. These vertebrae often absorb shock during movement, while the surrounding muscles and ligaments support the head and provide stability. Because of the necks great mobility, however, strong rapid movements can pose a threat due to reduced muscular support. Of all the potential injuries to the neck, medical experts report that sprains and strains are the most frequent. Suffering a strain in the neck means the muscles which move the vertebrae are injured, while a sprain indicates damage to the ligaments that support the neck. Another common neck injury type is infamously known as whiplash. Whiplash affects approximately two-million Americans every year and frequently affects those also suffering from neck strains and pains. Whiplash is an example of hyperextension when the neck is quickly snapped forward and back, similarly to the motion of a whip. When the head is rapidly jerked forward and hyperextended, the muscles in the neck are suddenly strained and torn. Whiplash can also occur in incidents outside of car crashes, the most common being accidents involving falling. A rarer, more serious type of injury to the neck would be a cervical dislocation or fracture. The severity of dislocated neck injuries varies greatly depending on the details of the incident, but the worst cases involve the vertebrae being dislocated and stuck in an incorrect position--causing subsequent damage to the spinal cord.
Even if the injury is minor, receiving treatment for a hurt neck is extraordinarily important. Refusal to receive treatment could greatly prolong the pain. In moderate instances of injury, such as minor strains and sprains, treatment could be as simple as anti-inflammatories, rest, and ice. Suffering whiplash, professional consultation is recommended as treatments can include medication, collar devices, and rehabilitation. In serious cases like dislocation and fractures, the damage is already done by extreme trauma so the only deterrent would be preventative measures.
What to do if you’ve injured your neck
Have you injured your neck recently? What happens if you hurt yourself on the job or suffered from a car accident? Are you concerned with medical bills? In many cases, you may be eligible for compensation. If you’ve overexerted yourself and damaged your neck working a job, for instance, you should immediately stop working, communicate with your employer, and contact a worker’s compensation attorney. Afterward, you should consult a medical professional to determine the legitimacy of your case. Being aware of the full details of your injury, as well as the extent of your legal rights in such a situation, is of utmost importance in protecting your interests. In personal injury cases, such as automobile accidents or slip-and-fall incidents, knowing your rights is just as important. For example, did you know that after a car accident, (under the Florida Statutes 627.736) anyone with a Florida automobile insurance policy has already purchased a Personal Injury Protection or PIP policy? Personal injuries often blindside victims, making recovery gradual and difficult. Scheduling a consultation with a personal injury attorney could answer many questions to help you return your life to normal.
A neck injury can be incredibly frustrating and painful. If you are in Gainesville have recently endured a workplace or personal injury, schedule a consultation with us at Carrillo and Carrillo Attorneys at Law. We are dedicated to providing unrivaled service that ensures your needs are met, and you are fully compensated for your injuries. To reiterate, if you’ve suffered or continue to suffer from a neck injury schedule an appointment with a medical professional as soon as possible.