If you have suffered a neck injury in a car accident in California, you may be looking at significant expenses for treatment including physical therapy, medications, medical equipment and sometimes, even surgery. Even if you suffer a relatively minor neck injury such as a strain, you may need to endure pain, get physical therapy and take time off work. If your injuries are more serious, you may be looking at significant financial repercussions.The neck is a part of the body that is vulnerable to injury in a car accident. Each injury case is different. The amount of compensation or the settlement you receive after a car accident could depend on the nature and severity of the injury in addition to other factors. An experienced California car accident lawyer will be able to help you better understand your legal rights and options.
What Should You Do After a Car Accident Resulting in a Neck Injury?
Do: Obtain Medical Attention
If you suffererd a neck injury in a car accident, it is extremely important to obtain medical attention. Even if some time has passed, it's important to treat your injuries.
Do Not: Avoid Medical Attention
You may think it would be better if you do not obtain medical attention, but, for the sake of obtaining compensation for your injuries, this may be the worst thing you can do!If you believe you've hurt your neck in a car accident, it is absolutely vital that you get prompt medical attention, even if you don't think the injury is serious. Knowing what to do after a California car accident is of the utmost importance. Even what appears to be a minor injury has the potential to cause serious damage. We've seen a number of car accident neck injuries where the collision occurred at a low speed or where there was minimal damage to the vehicle.
Be on the lookout for symptoms such as neck stiffness, loss of mobility, headaches, dizziness, tenderness in the neck, chills/fever, pain that moves to the back or shoulder, exhaustion, numbness or tingling, memory issues, blurred vision or ringing in the ears. Do not postpone seeking medical attention. Reach out to a California car accident lawyer who can advise you about your legal rights and make sure all your losses are factored into your car accident claim.
The Severity of Your Neck Injury and How it Can Affect Your Settlement ValueGenerally speaking, the value of worth of your neck injury settlement after a car accident is likely to be higher when the injury is more severe. Our California car accident lawyers have seen cases that are settled for several thousand dollars and others that could hit seven figures. In order to gauge the type of settlement you can receive, it is crucial to gain an understanding of neck injuries and how they can vary in severity. Here are some of the common neck injuries suffered in car crashes:
This is a type of injury that is caused when the neck is whipped back and forth or overextended during a collision. Whiplash is one of those injuries whose symptoms might not surface right sway. However, they can be extremely painful and debilitating. They could lead to symptoms such as severe headaches and neck stiffness that could limit movement.
Slipped or ruptured disc:
When a spinal disc slips or ruptures, it could push the surrounding nerves causing pain and issues with movement.
Neck sprains or strains:
Neck strains might occur when the facet joint, tendons or muscles get stretched. Sprains are torn ligaments (soft tissue that connects bones). This could cause pain when you try to move your head or neck and cause you to experience muscle spasms and reduced mobility.
When damaged tissues, bones, or tendons move out of position and rub against or compress surrounding nerves, you could experience severe pain as well as tingling or numbness. Pinched nerves are commonly associated with muscle strain, sprain or disc damage.
Neck fracture or compression:
A fractured cervical spine or broken neck is a very serious injury that requires emergency medical care. There is also the risk of paralysis or death as the result of a broken neck.
What is Disogenic Pain and Facet Joint Injury?
Discogenic pain usually stems from a vertebral disc that has been damaged due to neck trauma during a car accident. The pain could become worse over time with routine movements such as standing, stretching or bending. If it is not treated right away, discogenic pain may require surgery and other treatment. Physical therapy is usually needed to treat discogenic pain.
What is a Facet Joint Injury?
Facet joints are located in the spine between each pair of vertebrae. These joints allow us to perform movements such as twisting and flexing. Facet joint injuries may manifest in the form of dislocation, fractures, torn cartilage and inflamed joints. Symptoms of these types of injuries include difficulty standing up, pain, stiffness, muscle spasms and chronic pain.Neck injury cases can be challenging to prove because in cases that involve ligament strain and whiplash where the damage may not be overt, insurance companies might attempt to lower the car accident settlement amount by arguing that the injury is not serious enough to warrant the compensation you seek. If you've suffered a neck injury, you can seek compensation for all your current and future medical expenses as well as non-economic damages such as pain and suffering.