The violent forces of a crash and traumatic blows that a car occupant can suffer often result in a wide range of neck injuries, including sprains, strains, herniated discs, fractures, and spinal cord damage. However, many car accident victims who suffer neck injuries often have difficulty recovering compensation for their medical expenses and lost income arising from their injury.
Turn to a car accident attorney to secure financial relief if you suffered a neck injury in a crash caused by another driver. A car accident lawyer can walk you through your legal options, prepare you for the claims process, and advocate for your rights when insurers refuse to compensate you for your injury.
According to a recent study, approximately 869,000 auto accident-related cervical spine injuries occur annually in the United States.
Those car accidents can cause these neck injuries:
The traumatic forces involved in a car accident can cause neck injuries in several ways. First, a violent collision can force a car occupant’s head and neck to rapidly jerk back and forth or side to side. This jerking motion can cause strains and sprains, inflammation that leads to pinched nerves, or whiplash injury.
A car occupant may also suffer a neck injury in a car accident if their neck suffers a hyperextension or a bending of the head-neck joint beyond its usual range of motion.
Hyperextension may occur from the impact of an airbag, from hitting one’s head or neck on a side pillar, or in a rollover accident where the car lands on its roof and causes an occupant to fall out of their seat and land on their head and neck. Hyperextension might also occur if the car accident crushes the vehicle, trapping occupants inside with their heads and neck twisted in an awkward position.
A traumatic force or impact on the neck can also cause injuries such as broken vertebrae or spinal disc herniation.
Finally, a car accident can cause a neck injury if an occupant experiences a penetrating injury. Flying debris or a piece of the car may pierce an accident victim’s neck and cause tissue damage.
Symptoms of neck injuries will vary depending on the type and severity of the injury.
If you suffered a neck injury in a car accident, you might experience:
Treatment for a neck injury caused by a car accident will begin with acute care focused on stabilizing your neck to prevent further damage. For example, paramedics who respond to the accident scene may put a neck brace on you or place you on a flat board to keep your neck and spine straight.
After that, treatment will depend on the nature and severity of your neck injury. Doctors may perform diagnostic testing to confirm the damage, including physical examination and imaging tests such as X-rays, MRIs, and CT scans.
For most soft-tissue neck injuries, treatment options may include:
For more severe neck injuries, doctors may recommend surgical intervention. Neck injury victims may undergo surgery for acute injuries such as fractured vertebrae or after more conservative treatments have failed to relieve pain or restore strength and range of motion.
Examples of surgical procedures for neck injuries include:
A cervical spinal cord injury will usually result in permanent paralysis, often in the form of quadriplegia. A person with quadriplegia will require intensive lifelong care and assistance with many tasks of daily living.
To preserve your legal options for recovering compensation after suffering a neck injury in a car accident:
Depending on the type and severity of neck injuries, you may have the right to recover compensation for expenses incurred after the car accident.
Financial relief in a car accident case can provide you with money for:
Many neck injuries, including strains, sprains, and whiplash injuries, don’t appear on diagnostic scans such as X-rays or MRIs. As a result, insurance companies often treat car accident neck injury claims with skepticism. Many insurers believe that car accident victims either exaggerate a neck injury’s severity and debilitating effects or have not suffered an injury. Insurers frequently deny or minimize compensation for neck injury claims.
Some of the strategies that insurance companies use to avoid liability for neck injuries after a car accident include:
You can protect yourself against the insurance company’s efforts to avoid compensating you for your neck injury by working with an experienced car accident lawyer.
An attorney can help you secure the financial recovery you need for your injury by:
Under Connecticut’s statute of limitations on injury claims, you must file your car accident lawsuit against the at-fault driver or other liable parties within two years of the accident. The court can dismiss your case without considering the merits of your claim if you file a lawsuit after the deadline, and you could lose your right to seek compensation in civil court.
You may have a shorter deadline to file if you get into a car accident with a state or local government vehicle. Depending on the government agency involved, you may have a year or less to file a notice of your claim. Timely notify the government of your car accident claim to ensure you retain your right to recover compensation for your neck injury.
Because you have limited time to pursue your neck injury claim, you should speak with a car accident lawyer as soon as possible to ensure you can file your claims in time.
Car accident victims who suffer neck injuries often find it difficult to recover fair compensation for their medical bills, lost income, and other personal losses. Although you may have little objective medical evidence of your neck injury, you deserve a financial recovery when your injury has a debilitating effect on your ability to work and your quality of life.
Understanding your legal rights for pursuing compensation after a car accident will put you on the right track. An experienced personal injury lawyer in Connecticut can advocate for your financial recovery and demand accountability from an at-fault driver or the insurance company.