In nearly any type of accident, a victim can suffer a neck injury. Neck injuries are varied and the type of injury a victim suffers depends on his or her overall fitness level, the type of accident that occurred, and the position of his or her neck and the nature of the trauma that hit it. Victims who are injured in accidents caused by other parties’ negligence can seek compensation for their related damages through personal injury claims.
After an accident, it is important that you seek medical attention as soon as possible. Do this even if you feel your injury is not severe – sometimes, a minor injury left untreated can become a serious injury. In other cases, prompt medical care is the difference between a quick, straightforward recovery and the need for extensive medical treatment.
Types of Neck Injury
Neck injuries can involve bone fractures or soft tissue injuries. Examples of neck injuries include:
- Whiplash. This is an injury to the soft tissue that occurs when the head is violently jerked forward and backward or side to side. Muscles, ligaments, and nerves in the neck can be damaged by whiplash, which is most common in car accident victims
- Disk injury. Along the spine, disks of fibrocartilaginous material sit between the vertebrae, acting as ligaments and cushioning the vertebrae. Damage to one or more of these disks can be quite painful and cause the victim to suffer pain from the neck to the legs. When the fluid inside a disk is released, the victim suffers a herniated disk, a painful condition that can cause nerve problems
- Vertebral fractures. The vertebrae are the bones that comprise the spine. When one is broken, the victim can face paralysis or death due to an injury to the spinal cord, which is contained within the vertebrae and a key part of the central nervous system
- Nerve pinch injuries. Also known as stingers and burners, these are injuries to the nerves that can cause the victim to suffer quick, sharp pains in his or her neck and arms
- Sprains. When a ligament in the neck is stretched or torn, the victim can suffer a sprain. A sprain can lead to bruising or swelling of the affected area
- Strains. Strains occur when a muscle or tendon is torn or stretched. Swelling, muscle spasms and a loss of control of the affected area can accompany a strain
Treatment for Neck Injuries
The type of neck injury a victim suffers determines the type of treatment he or she needs. With a vertebral fracture, the patient needs emergency medical attention. With soft tissue injuries like whiplash, the victim generally needs pain relievers and ice and can benefit from a cervical collar.
Treatment for a neck injury can be simple rest and monitoring or it can require surgery. In some cases, victims need physical therapy after surgery to make full recoveries. If your injury was due to another party’s negligence, you can seek compensation for your medical bills as well as the additional expenses you face, such as the need for a mobility aid or compensation for the wages you could not earn while out on disability.
Long-Term Complications of a Neck Injury
An individual who suffers a neck injury can face long-term complications like:
- Chronic pain
- Inflammation in the affected area
- Stiffness and tightness in the neck and shoulders
- Nerve damage
- Mental health changes, such as anxiety or depression. This can require psychological counseling and behavioral therapy to overcome, sometimes paired with medication
- Muscle weakness
- Low back pain
- Limited mobility
- In cases involving severe injury and damage to the spinal cord, paralysis, paresis, loss of sensation in specific areas in the body, and other permanent disability
A neck injury can have complications felt elsewhere in the body, sometimes for years following the accident. This can be alleviated with chiropractic care, physical therapy and pain medication.
Work with an Experienced Wisconsin Personal Injury Lawyer
A neck injury can cost you thousands in medical bills, lost wages and other costs that might not be immediately obvious at the time of your injury. If you were injured in an accident caused by another party’s negligence, you have the right to seek compensation for your damages through a personal injury claim with the help of an Appleton neck injury lawyer. To learn more, contact our team of experienced Appleton personal injury lawyers at Hammett, Bellin & Oswald, LLC. Contact our team online or call 920-202-8872 to schedule your initial consultation with us.