Neck injuries can inhibit your movement and leave you in pain as you handle your daily activities. If you suffered a serious neck injury due to another party’s negligence, you may deserve compensation for your injuries and the challenges they impose on your daily life.
Trauma from auto accidents and slip and fall accidents can quickly cause serious neck injuries. However, repetitive stress can also lead to painful neck injuries. If you have questions about your right to compensation following a neck injury, get in touch with an experienced personal injury lawyer to learn more about your right to compensation.
Common Neck Injuries
Between your vertebrae, you have rubbery cushions, or discs, that help protect your spine. Sometimes, trauma can cause the soft nucleus of that disc to press out through a tear in the rubbery exterior.
Rear end accidents, t-bone accidents, and side swipe accidents all may cause herniated discs. As a herniated disc causes radiating pain, tingling and numbness down your arms and into your fingers because the disc material presses on your nerves.
Some people have herniated discs that cause relatively little pain. When the disc presses on a nerve, however, it can cause increasing pain or even weakness in the affected area. The severity of a herniated disc could also lead to a much more severe condition, paralysis.
Spinal Cord Injuries
When direct injury to the spinal cord occurs high on the spine, in the neck, it can cause devastating paralysis. Depending on the severity of the injury, the victim may suffer full or partial paralysis in the arms and legs. Spinal cord injuries may also result in a loss of feeling below the site of the injury. Furthermore, spinal cord injuries can negatively impact the function of the organs located below the injury.
Victims of spinal cord injuries may also notice that function deteriorates further over time. While people with incomplete spinal cord injuries may have some odds of healing, victims with complete spinal cord injuries may recover relatively little function below the injury.
Whiplash occurs from a rough back-and-forth movement of the neck, usually involving the head jerking around. Whiplash commonly occurs in car accidents, but victims may suffer whiplash from physical abuse, falls, and other types of trauma.
Victims with whiplash often have a hard time moving their necks. They may suffer from ongoing stiffness or loss of mobility. Whiplash can also cause extreme pain in the neck, which may worsen with movement and activity.
Sprains and Strains
When the ligaments, tendons, or muscles in the neck get damaged, it causes a muscle strain or sprain. Often, sprains and strains cause considerable pain. If the victim allows them to stiffen, it can lead to ongoing pain and complications.
Frequently, the victim may suffer from ongoing pain due to the sprain or strain, which may not resolve quickly. A victim who continues to engage in normal activities may also continue to increase the symptoms of pain and weakness.
A pinched nerve often occurs because bone, tissue, or tendons push on the surrounding nerves. This may cause immense pain whether the victim remains still or movies in a particular direction. Sometimes, pinched nerves accompany other types of injuries, including sprains, strains, and herniated discs.
Complications Related to Neck Injuries
Neck injuries can cause a wide range of complications in the victim’s everyday life and work habits. Frequently, patients with serious neck injuries suffer from ongoing pain that can inhibit usual movements.
Victims With Neck Injuries May Have Difficulty Turning the Neck.
Many activities require the victim to move the head regularly, and turning the neck helps provide better visibility and range of motion. However, victims of neck injuries may suffer from increased stiffness, which can make it hard for them to turn their heads quickly, or they may suffer pain when they move, which could discourage the victims of serious injuries from engaging in those movements.
Some patients with serious neck injuries may even need to wear a neck brace that inhibits movement. Sometimes, these braces can help decrease pain and make it easier for the victim to engage in normal activities. Other times, however, neck braces can further increase stiffness and make it more difficult for the victim to get back to normal.
Serious Neck Injuries Can Prevent Victims from Functioning Normally at Work.
People who spend most of their days sitting behind a desk, on the other hand, may notice that sitting still for a long time makes neck pain worse. Raising the hands to type can also increase neck pain, which may worsen considerably when a victim must remain in that position for a long time.
Often, victims with neck injuries will need to take a leave of absence from work, especially if the workplace cannot accommodate those specific injuries or provide alternatives so the victim will suffer less overall pain. Frequently, victims with neck injuries may suffer a loss of income while they deal with those implications.
Some Types of Neck Injuries Can Cause Weakness in the Arms and Torso.
Some people notice that neck injuries cause weakness in the arms and legs. Whiplash and herniated discs, for example, can both cause numbness, tingling, or a general loss of strength, either on one side or both sides of the body. Neck injuries can even cause weakness in the legs, depending on which nerves the injury impacts. That weakness can interfere with many areas of a victim’s life.
Some victims find it hard to raise their hands long enough to brush their hair or engage in other basic self-care tasks, like putting on makeup. Others may have a hard time lifting and carrying children until the injury resolves, which can pose a particular challenge when that parent acts as the primary caregiver for a small child. Weakness in the arms and legs can also be dangerous while driving or engaging in physical activities.
Neck Pain Can Interfere with Leisure Activities.
Many people live very active lives. They may regularly engage in sports or enjoy spending time with friends while engaging in physical pursuits, from tennis to golf. Neck injuries can interfere with those activities, making it difficult for victims to get out of the house and enjoy themselves.
People who enjoy more stationary activities, however, may still face complications from neck injuries. Neck injuries can make it difficult to find a comfortable position while watching television, reading a book, or playing video games. Staying in one position for a long time can increase neck pain and weakness, which may cause victims to give up on many of those activities.
Neck Pain Can Interfere with Sleep.
Many patients with neck pain use special pillows to help aid in getting a good night’s sleep. Nevertheless, they may have a hard time falling asleep at night or finding a comfortable position. Patients may find themselves tossing and turning or waking more often. Waking to more stiffness or pain in the morning may become increasingly frustrating.
That lack of sleep can impact victims in many ways. Some victims may struggle with overall focus and concentration. Others may become increasingly irritable, especially if they continue to lose sleep for a long time or struggle with pain.
Neck Injuries Can Also Lead to Tension Headaches.
In addition to the pain left in the neck from a serious neck injury, many neck injury victims note increasing headaches, as well. Headaches may come along with brain fog or difficulty concentrating, or they may prevent the victim from engaging in work tasks or activities they would normally enjoy. Lingering headaches can cause many victims to lose their zest for life or to struggle to engage in normal activities, including spending time with loved ones.
Some Neck Injuries Can Lead to Substantial Medical Costs.
Depending on your neck injuries, you may have substantial medical costs ahead of you. Spinal cord injuries, of course, cause some of the highest medical costs: patients who suffer complete spinal cord injuries that originate in the neck may find themselves facing hundreds of thousands of dollars in medical bills each year for the rest of their lives. In the first year after the accident alone, spinal cord injury victims may pay over $1 million in medical expenses.
Other types of neck injuries can lead to considerable medical expenses, too. Sometimes, you may take medication to help alleviate neck pain or use injections to help block the pain and help you function more normally. Those pain management techniques may lead to considerable costs, especially if your insurance does not cover them.
Some victims of neck injuries may also go through physical therapy to help reduce pain and increase flexibility in your neck after your accident. While physical therapy can help immensely with the neck pain suffered after an accident, most victims will have to pay for every physical therapy session, which may leave them with massive medical bills, especially after insurance runs out.
Recovering Compensation After a Neck Injury
Sometimes, you may have the right to compensation that can help pay for the medical bills and other losses associated with your neck injury. If you believe that your injury occurred because of someone else’s negligence, get in touch with a personal injury lawyer near you as soon as possible to help protect your rights.
Compensation Through a Personal Injury Claim
If your neck injury occurs because of another party’s negligence, including a slip and fall accident, auto accident, or construction site accident, you may file a personal injury claim. A personal injury claim is made when another person’s negligent actions caused your injuries. As part of a personal injury claim, you can claim compensation for both the financial losses you suffered because of your neck injury and the pain and suffering you had to deal with.
Most personal injury claims include compensation for medical expenses, lost wages, and non-financial losses. Should you hire a personal injury lawyer if you are filing an injury claim?
Do You Need to File a Personal Injury Claim After a Neck Injury?
If your neck injury occurred due to the negligence of another party, a personal injury claim can help you collect the compensation you deserve. You don’t know what you don’t know. Do not let an insurance company take advantage of you.
Contact an experienced personal injury attorney who has dealt with neck injuries in the past to get a better idea of how much compensation you might deserve and how to best protect yourself and move forward with your claim.