What Does Neck Pain Mean After a Car Accident?

Posted On November 3, 2021 Car Accidents
Car Accident Neck Pain | The Flood Law Firm

The neck is one of the areas most vulnerable to injury in a car accident. Neck pain and loss of mobility in the neck can persist for weeks, months, or even longer after a crash, significantly impacting your quality of life.

Victims may not start to experience neck pain until a day or more after the accident. You should seek medical attention promptly if you start to experience pain or immobility in the neck. These could be symptoms of a number of injuries.

If you suffered a neck injury in a car accident, The Flood Law Firm can help. Contact our attorneys in Middletown, Danbury, Bridgeport, or Waterbury today for a free case review.

Potential Causes of Neck Pain After an Accident

Pain in any part of the body should always be taken seriously after a car accident. The symptoms of many serious injuries may not be immediately apparent in the wake of the crash, and you do not want to wait for the pain to become unbearable or for complications to arise.

Some of the neck injuries in a car accident that can cause pain and other issues include:

Whiplash

In addition to being one of the most common car accident injuries, whiplash is the most likely cause of neck pain after an accident. Whiplash occurs when the neck is whipped back and forth by the force of the collision, straining and hyperextending the soft tissues.

Your neck may hurt and feel stiff after suffering whiplash. The pain may get worse when you try to move your neck.

Pain and other symptoms of whiplash generally subside over time with no long-term effects. However, if you suffer severe whiplash, you may experience chronic neck pain and diminished range of motion in the neck.

Slipped Discs

Discs are the sturdy but flexible tissue that lie between the vertebrae in the spine. The rubber-like exterior of the disc encases a gelatinous inner core.

The force of a car accident can cause vertebral discs to herniate. When this happens, the inner material in the center slips out of the damaged casing of the disc. Disc herniation (also known as a slipped disc) can result in a pinched nerve, leading to pain, weakness, and other symptoms in the affected part of the body.

Slipped or herniated discs in the cervical spine (the portion of the spine that resides in the neck) are most likely to lead to neck pain after a car accident. The pain from a pinched nerve in the neck may also radiate to other areas, such as the back, shoulders, and arms.

Cervical Facet Joint Injury and Dislocation

The facet joint is another key component of vertebral anatomy. Vertebrae are connected by the facet joint, enabling the forward and backward movement of the neck and back.

Injury to the soft tissues in a car accident (such as whiplash) can damage the ligaments that allow facet joints to operate correctly, causing pain and limiting range of motion. The joint itself may also be dislocated.

Dislocation of a facet joint in the neck can lead to chronic pain, numbness and tingling, muscle spasms, and difficulty moving the neck. Cervical instability – an incapacitating condition that significantly limits function and range of motion in the neck – may also occur. Individuals with cervical instability are at an increased risk of fracture in the event of further trauma.

Cervical Spine Fractures

A fracture of one of the cervical vertebrae is a serious injury. Unlike the injuries discussed above, a cervical fracture is often apparent right after a car accident occurs. If you immediately experience severe neck pain, stay still and wait for emergency workers. Paramedics and firefighters will evaluate the injury and determine the safest way to move you.

Cervical fractures can result in spinal cord injury. Professional intervention at the scene and prompt medical treatment in an emergency room are both crucial for reducing the risk of injury to the spinal cord.

Treatment for a fracture of the cervical spine will depend on the seriousness of the injury. Minor cases may be treated with a neck brace, while more severe fractures may require surgery and/or traction. The recovery period can be lengthy and intensive.

When to Contact a Lawyer If You Experience Neck Pain After a Car Accident

Many car accident victims are frustrated by the slow progress of recovery from a neck injury. In addition to physical pain, such an injury can make it difficult to perform household tasks, reduce job performance, and adversely impact the quality and enjoyment of life.

If someone else is responsible for the car accident that caused your injuries, you may be entitled to compensation. An experienced car accident lawyer can review all of the ways that a neck injury has affected your life after the crash and discuss your legal options.

Neck injuries can involve financial burdens as well as physical, mental, and emotional challenges. It is important to tell your lawyer all of the ways that the pain and dysfunction of the neck injury has impacted you. Along with economic damages related to medical care and lost wages, you may be able to recover compensation for pain and suffering and other non-economic effects of your injury.

Start Building Your Car Accident Injury Claim Today

Trauma to the neck from a car accident can range in severity. Many law firms only accept cases involving catastrophic injury, such as a broken neck or damage to the cervical spinal cord.

The attorneys at The Flood Law Firm, however, believe that all injured individuals deserve quality legal representation. From whiplash to cervical fractures to paralysis, we have the experience and resources to handle all types of car accident injury cases. Our results speak for themselves, and we pride ourselves on fighting for the outcome each of our clients deserves.

For a free consultation, please call The Flood Law Firm at (860) 346-2695 today. Our car accident lawyers serve injury victims throughout Connecticut from offices in Middletown, Danbury, Bridgeport, and Waterbury.

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