As a victim of a car accident, your safety and health should be your top priority. While the physical damage to your vehicle is obvious, the internal trauma to your body may not become apparent for days or even weeks after the collision. Neck injuries, in particular, require close attention as they can lead to long-term issues if left undiagnosed or untreated. When your neck has been subjected to the forces involved in a car crash, watch for telltale signs that you may have suffered an injury. Talk with a Texas Car Accident Lawyer to get started if you feel you have a case.
Understanding Whiplash and Other Common Neck Injuries
Neck injuries are common after a car accident, especially rear-end collisions. The force of impact can cause damage to the soft tissues, muscles, and vertebrae in the neck. Two of the most common types of neck injuries are whiplash and cervical strain.
Whiplash occurs when the neck is violently jerked back and forth, straining the surrounding muscles and ligaments. Symptoms may include neck pain, stiffness, headaches, and limited range of motion. If left untreated, whiplash can lead to long-term pain and disability. Seeking medical attention promptly is critical.
A cervical strain refers to damage of the muscles and tendons in the neck. It is usually caused by excessive twisting, bending, or impact. Indications of a cervical strain include neck pain, muscle spasms, and difficulty turning the head. Applying ice, resting the neck, physical therapy, and over-the-counter pain medication may help relieve discomfort from a cervical strain. However, severe strains may require prescription medication or other procedures to prevent chronic issues.
Other warning signs that could indicate a neck fracture or more serious injury include numbness or weakness in the arms, difficulty walking or balancing, and loss of bladder or bowel control. If you experience any of these red flags after an accident, seek emergency medical care immediately. An undiagnosed spinal cord injury needs prompt treatment to avoid permanent damage.
In summary, any neck pain after a car accident should be evaluated right away. Early diagnosis and proper treatment of whiplash, cervical strain, or other neck injuries can help minimize discomfort, facilitate recovery, and reduce the risk of long-term complications. Consulting with a doctor if your symptoms do not improve or get worse over time is also advisable.
Watch Out for These Symptoms After a Car Accident
After a car accident, it's important to monitor your neck for signs of injury in the hours and days following the collision. Seek medical attention immediately if you experience severe or persistent neck pain, or notice any of the following symptoms:
Loss of Range of Motion
If you have trouble moving your neck from side to side or up and down, or find it difficult to rotate your head, you may have suffered damage to muscles, tendons or vertebrae in your neck. Limiting movement can help prevent further injury until you are evaluated by a doctor.
Numbness or Tingling
Feeling a pins-and-needles sensation, numbness or weakness in your neck, shoulders, arms or hands can indicate nerve damage or spinal cord injury. This requires prompt diagnosis and treatment to avoid potential long-term effects.
Noticeable swelling or deformity in the neck can signify soft tissue damage, fractures or other trauma. Apply ice to help reduce swelling, but seek medical care right away.
Dizziness or Nausea
If you experience dizziness, vertigo or nausea following a car accident, it may be a sign that the vertebrae, disks or muscles in your neck have been seriously impacted. Seek emergency care immediately, as damage or pressure on the spine can have serious consequences.
In the aftermath of a collision, vigilance about symptoms in the hours and days following the accident can make a critical difference in diagnosis, treatment and recovery from neck injuries. Don't hesitate to contact a doctor if you have any concerns about your neck pain or mobility. Early detection and proper care can help promote healing and avoid chronic issues down the road.
When to Seek Medical Attention Right Away
If you experience any of the following symptoms after a car accident in Texas, seek medical attention immediately:
Neck pain or stiffness
If your neck pain is severe or does not improve with over-the-counter pain medication and rest, see a doctor right away. Neck injuries like whiplash or damage to the cervical vertebrae require prompt diagnosis and treatment to avoid long-term issues.
Numbness or weakness in the arms or hands
Feeling numb, weak or losing control of your arms and hands can indicate nerve damage in the neck. This requires emergency care to minimize permanent injury.
Inability to walk steadily or loss of balance can point to spinal cord injury. Call 911 for emergency transport to a hospital equipped to treat spinal trauma.
A severe headache, especially one that worsens with movement, can signal a neck fracture or other internal damage. Seek emergency care immediately.
Experiencing blurred vision, double vision or other visual disturbances warrants an immediate trip to the emergency room. This can indicate damage to the cervical spine impacting the optic nerve.
While most minor neck strains will heal on their own with rest and over-the-counter pain relief, any symptoms involving numbness, weakness or loss of motor control require prompt medical evaluation. It is always best to err on the side of caution in the case of potential neck trauma from an auto accident. Call 911 or go to an emergency room right away for a proper diagnosis and to minimize lasting injury.
Long-Term Effects of Untreated Neck Injuries
Long-term effects of neck injuries can have lasting impacts if left untreated. Severe cases of whiplash or neck strain from car accidents often require immediate medical attention to minimize future complications. However, even minor neck pain should be evaluated by a doctor if it persists for more than a few days.
Chronic Neck Pain
Untreated neck injuries commonly lead to chronic neck pain, stiffness, and loss of range of motion. The neck muscles and soft tissues experience trauma during an accident that can cause long-term inflammation and damage. Chronic pain significantly impacts quality of life and the ability to participate in normal daily activities. Anti-inflammatory medications, physical therapy, massage therapy, and lifestyle changes may help manage chronic neck pain, but the underlying damage cannot be fully reversed.
Headaches are a frequent side effect of neck injuries, especially in the base of the skull. Muscle spasms, pinched nerves, and changes in posture due to pain can trigger tension headaches, migraines, and cervicogenic headaches originating in the neck area. These types of headaches tend to reoccur and intensify without proper treatment and management.
The neck contains critical nerves that control movement and feeling in the shoulders, arms, and hands. Injured neck muscles or vertebrae can compress or impinge these nerves, causing numbness, tingling, and weakness in the upper extremities. If left untreated, permanent nerve damage is possible. Nerve pain and impaired mobility require evaluation by a neurologist to diagnose the underlying condition and recommend a course of treatment before further damage occurs.
Early diagnosis and management of neck injuries is critical to avoid long-term disability and chronic health issues. Any symptoms persisting for more than a few days warrant evaluation by a physician to determine appropriate treatment, which may include medication, physical therapy, surgery, or other interventions to prevent permanent damage.
How a Texas Car Accident Lawyer Can Help if You Have a Neck Injury
Neck injuries resulting from a car accident can have serious and long-lasting effects. If you have suffered a neck injury in a Texas car accident, contacting an experienced car accident lawyer is critical. A lawyer can help in several key ways:
Determine Liability and Build Your Case
An attorney will conduct a thorough investigation into your accident to determine who is at fault. They will gather evidence like police reports, medical records, witness statements, and photographs to build a solid case. Their experience in personal injury law allows them to recognize sources of evidence you may overlook.
Handle Insurance Companies
Insurance companies aim to settle claims for as little as possible. Your lawyer will deal directly with insurance adjusters and aggressively pursue fair compensation for your injuries. They are well-versed in the tactics used by insurance companies to deny or undervalue claims.
Negotiate a Settlement
If liability is clear, your attorney will negotiate a settlement with the insurance company that adequately compensates you for medical bills, lost wages, pain and suffering, and other damages. Their legal expertise and knowledge of average settlement amounts for specific injuries allows them to fight for the maximum amount you deserve.
Take the Case to Court if Necessary
If insurance companies refuse to negotiate in good faith, your lawyer will not hesitate to take them to court. In a trial, they can present the evidence proving the other party’s liability for your injuries in an attempt to win a judgment in your favor. The possibility of a trial also encourages insurance companies to make reasonable settlement offers, since they risk having to pay significantly more in court.
The effects of a neck injury can stay with you for life. Don’t delay—contact a Texas car accident lawyer as soon as possible to understand your legal options and pursue the compensation you need and deserve. They have the skills and experience to handle insurance companies and build a strong case on your behalf. Your health and financial security may depend on it.
Fletcher Law Texas Injury Lawyers Have Experience To Help
When seeking legal counsel after a car accident resulting in neck injuries, it is crucial to find lawyers with experience handling these complex personal injury claims. The attorneys at Fletcher Law have over 20 years of experience helping Texans obtain fair compensation for injuries, medical bills, lost wages, pain and suffering, and other damages related to motor vehicle accidents.
Our firm has successfully litigated hundreds of car accident cases, including those involving:
- Whiplash and other neck strains or sprains
- Herniated or bulging disks in the cervical spine
- Fractures of the cervical vertebrae
- Traumatic brain injuries resulting from forceful movement of the head
We understand how to investigate accidents, determine liability, and build a strong case to pursue damages from insurance companies. Our experience allows us to anticipate challenges that may arise and take appropriate action. We also have established relationships with medical experts, accident reconstructionists, and others who can provide testimony to strengthen your claim.
When seeking a law firm to represent you after suffering neck injuries in a car crash, look for attorneys with a proven track record of success in handling these types of personal injury claims. Their experience and expertise can make the difference in obtaining fair compensation for your injuries. The attorneys at Fletcher Law have dedicated their careers to helping Texans in need after motor vehicle accidents and have the experience to guide your claim to the best possible outcome.
The consequences of neck injuries can be life-altering and permanent. Seeking immediate medical attention and legal counsel is critical to protecting your health and rights. Pay close attention to symptoms like pain, numbness, or weakness in your neck, arms or legs as these can indicate nerve damage that requires prompt diagnosis and treatment. Contact Fletcher Law’s Texas Injury Lawyers for help today.
While no amount of money can undo damage, pursuing fair compensation through a personal injury claim can help pay for necessary medical care and make up for lost wages or reduced earning capacity. Your health and financial security are at stake, so if you experience any signs of neck injury after an auto accident, take action right away.