Frequently Asked Questions About Neck Injuries
Q: What types of accidents cause neck injuries?
A: The neck is a very delicate – and very important – part of your body. Virtually any type of accident could damage the intricate structures of the neck – including car crashes, slip-and-fall accidents, workplace accidents, and more. Car accidents, particularly rear-end collisions, are among the most common causes of neck injuries. The force exerted on the body in a rear-end collision may cause over-extension of the neck, damaging the muscles, tendons, ligaments, discs, nerves and other structures in the neck.
Q: What does the term “whiplash” mean?
A: Whiplash is a type of serious neck injury that results from over-extension of the neck, particularly in a rear-end car accident. The force of the collision can cause the neck to violently jerk back and forth in a whip-like fashion. Whiplash frequently involves damage to the soft tissues (muscles and ligaments, for example) surrounding the cervical spine, as well as nerve damage. Symptoms of whiplash may appear immediately after the crash, or they may take hours or even days to manifest.
Q: What are some of the most common symptoms of a neck injury?
A: Neck injuries may present a variety of symptoms – some of which may not be immediately apparent after the crash. Some of the most common symptoms of a neck injury include:
- Neck pain
- Tightness in the neck
- Jaw pain
- Difficulty or pain when turning your head
- Fatigue (feeling tired)
- Dizziness or vertigo
- Blurred vision
- Nausea (feeling sick on your stomach)
- Insomnia (trouble sleeping)
- Numbness or weakness in the neck, shoulders or back
Q: How are neck injuries treated?
A: Neck injuries may be diagnosed using a series of tests, such as an X-ray, MRI or CT scan. Treatments for neck injuries vary depending on the type, location and severity of the injuries. A course of treatment may include:
- Immobilization of the neck using a soft collar
- Neck injections
- Physical therapy
- Chiropractic treatment
- Rehabilitative exercises
- Medication and painkillers
- Therapeutic massage
Q: How long does it take for a neck injury to heal?
A: Some neck injuries resolve within a relatively short period – days or weeks. Many last much longer, causing limited mobility, pain and discomfort for months or even years. Some victims of neck injuries are left with permanent disabilities. Because there is such a wide range of recovery periods, it is important to wait until you have reached maximum medical improvement – or your doctor can assess your prognosis – before you accept a settlement for your neck injury claim.
Q: Can I recover compensation for my neck injury?
A: If your neck injury resulted from an accident that was someone else’s fault, you may be entitled to compensation from that person’s insurance company. In most rear-end collisions, the driver of the car that hits the car in front is presumed to be at fault for the accident. If you suffered a neck injury like whiplash when your vehicle was hit from behind, you may have a good claim for compensation. For a free claim review and advice about your best legal options, contact Scott C. Gottlieb, Injury Law Attorney, now.
Contact Scott C. Gottlieb, Injury Law Attorney today. We will answer your questions and discuss your case.