In the wake of an accident, any individuals feeling pain in their head and neck must be treated with extra care. Not every neck injury is serious, but it is easy to cause greater damage to even the slightest neck injury. On the scene, it is best to keep the injured person immobile until paramedics arrive.
It is vital that you seek medical attention for neck pain even if you walked away from the accident. If you wait to seek treatment, and the treatment is expensive, you may waive your right to compensation through insurance or a personal injury lawsuit.
After the accident, it is highly recommended that you seek assistance from a personal injury attorney. Here are a few of the most common neck injuries to be aware of if you or someone you love suffers neck pain after an accident.
1. Muscle Injury (Whiplash)
The most common neck injury in a car crash is whiplash. Often undetectable at first, whiplash can cause inflammation and pain hours or days after the accident. Some cases of whiplash are minor, resulting in neck strains, bruises, or sprains, while other types of whiplash can be more significant. Whiplash is caused when an impact causes the neck and head to swing back and forth abruptly.
Either way, it is always a good idea to consult a doctor and/or chiropractor immediately after an accident. They can perform x-rays and MRIs to determine if there are any major injuries to report to your insurance company and prescribe effective treatment.
2. Herniated Discs
One of the more painful neck injuries is a herniated disc. The spine extends up to the base of the skull and connects each vertebra with a semi-elastic disc. If an injury is severe enough, the disc can become damaged and pinch a nerve.
While severely herniated disks require corrective surgery, most herniated disc injuries can be treated with painkillers, rest, and physical therapy. Untreated herniated disks can cause a person to lose their ability to walk, stand, or even control their bodily functions.
The neck is made up of bones (vertebra), and it is possible for these bones to break or shatter in an accident. Neck fractures are serious and can cause paralysis or death. Less severe cases cause neither, but demand months and years of treatment before full recovery is possible.
Neck fractures can result in a spinal cord injury (SCI) which means that there could be fatal nerve damage. Due to the potential of SCIs after an accident, any neck injuries must be handled with the utmost care.
4. Neck Strains and Sprains
Strains or sprains are common neck injuries that are often considered less serious. This is muscle damage that will heal with rest and physical therapy. However, if left untreated, mere strains or sprains can lead to more serious injury.
5. Nerve Damage
Within the spinal cord are major nerve highways that connect the brain with the rest of the body. Nerve damage is the most serious consequence of a spinal cord injury (SCI) and can result in paralysis and/or death.
Some nerve damage can occur as a result of untreated minor neck injuries. Any nerve damage is serious and must be treated as soon as possible.
If you or someone you love suffers a neck injury after a car crash, it is imperative that you see a physician as soon as possible. You should also consult a personal injury attorney, as you and your family may be eligible for compensation in a personal injury claim.
For more information about how an Indiana accident attorney can help you with your case, contact Stewart & Stewart at 1-866-926-2419 or visit our website.