Do You Have Neck Pain from Your Car Accident?A car accident can put your whole body in harm's way, but some parts are simply more vulnerable, like your neck. Because it is unrestrained at the moment of impact, it can jerk in any direction, causing tremendous strain on the muscles, tendons, and other anatomical muscles that support it. One thing to remember about neck injuries is that they don't always show up right away, especially if you are running on adrenaline after the accident. You should see a doctor right after an accident, even if you think you're feeling fine.
Signs and Symptoms of Neck InjuriesWhile several types of neck injuries are associated with car accidents, they come with common signs and symptoms, including:
- Neck stiffness
- Neck pain that travels down the shoulders, arms, and hands
- Tingling, numbness, or weakness in the upper extremities
Types of Neck InjuriesThe following are common types of neck injuries sustained in a car accident:
- Whiplash occurs when your head and neck jerk forward on impact, then quickly whip back to their original position. Rear-end collisions are common culprits for this injury.
- Soft Tissue Damage causes pain, muscle spasms, restricted movement, and an uncomfortable combination of tenderness and stiffness around your neck and shoulders.
- Pinched Nerves: When the impact from your car crash is high, it could force your spinal discs out of position and pinch the nerves of your spinal cord. This causes pain, weakness, tingling, or a complete numbing from your neck to your fingers.
- A Neck Fracture is one of the most severe neck injuries. Besides being extremely painful, it can lead to paralysis when the spinal cord is injured due to medically unassisted movements.
- Facet Joint Injury: In your cervical spine, facet joints work by stabilizing your head and neck movements. But after a high-impact collision, they can inflame and lose function, become painful, and limit movement
- Cuts: A crash can send sharp objects flying like broken glass and other debris. These objects can hit your neck and cause lacerations that injure underlying tendons and ligaments.
Potential Complications of Post-Accident Neck PainAny neck injury can lead to long-term complications; for example, misdiagnosed whiplash can cause associated disorders that may continue for years after an accident. These can include chronic neck and back pain, constant headaches, cognitive issues like memory loss, and mental disorders like anxiety and depression. As a result, you may have problems with your day-to-day activities like concentrating at work, going to the gym, and even sleeping. With timely treatment, these complications can well be avoided or reduced.
Claiming DamagesThe amount you receive as damages for your neck injury will be a total of the money you paid for your medical treatment and property damage, plus any losses that resulted from your injuries. In particular, your damages should cover:
- Medical expenses (hospital bills, ER services, prescriptions, medical or rehabilitative devices such as crutches, therapy, treatment-related transport costs)
- Lost income and reduced ability to earn
- Pain and suffering
- Car repair or replacement costs