Car accidents can be traumatic experiences, both physically and emotionally. Injuries sustained in a car accident can have long-term consequences on your health, well-being, and financial stability. Neck and spine injuries are among the most common and serious injuries resulting from car accidents, and they can have a significant impact on your daily life. These injuries can cause pain, discomfort, and limited mobility, making it difficult to perform even the simplest tasks.
Neck and spine injuries are particularly concerning because they can be difficult to diagnose and treat. These injuries can range from minor strains and sprains to more severe injuries like herniated discs and spinal cord injuries. Even minor injuries can cause pain and discomfort for weeks or even months after the accident, and more severe injuries can result in long-term disability or even paralysis. It’s important to recognize the signs and symptoms of neck and spine injuries, as well as the available treatment options. This helps those who have been injured in car accidents better understand their injuries and seek the medical attention and legal representation they need.
Common neck and spinal injuries from motor vehicle accidents
Motor vehicle accidents can cause a range of neck and spinal injuries, which can vary in severity depending on the force of the impact and the position of the occupant at the time of the collision. Here are some of the most common neck and spinal injuries that can occur as a result of car accidents:
- Whiplash. This is one of the most common neck injuries resulting from car and truck accidents. It occurs when the head is suddenly jerked forward and then snapped back, causing damage to the soft tissues in the neck. Symptoms may include neck pain, stiffness, headaches, dizziness, and blurred vision.
- Herniated or bulging discs. When the force of a collision causes the discs in the spine to rupture or bulge out of their normal position, it can put pressure on nearby nerves and cause pain, tingling, or numbness in the neck, shoulders, arms, or hands.
- Spinal fractures. A severe impact can cause one or more of the bones in the spine to fracture, which can result in nerve damage, paralysis, or even death.
- Spinal cord injuries. The spinal cord is the bundle of nerves that runs down the center of the spine. When it is damaged in a car accident, it can result in partial or complete paralysis, loss of sensation, or loss of bladder or bowel control.
- Cervical dislocation. This occurs when the ligaments and/or bones in the neck are disrupted or displaced from their normal position, often resulting in severe pain and limited mobility.
- Facet joint syndrome. The facet joints are small, hinge-like joints in the spine that allow for movement and flexibility. When they are injured in motor vehicle accident, it can cause chronic pain and stiffness in the neck.
- Traumatic brain injury. While not technically a neck or spinal injury, traumatic brain injury (TBI) is a common result of car accidents. It occurs when the brain is jostled or shaken inside the skull, causing damage to the delicate tissues and cells. Symptoms may include headaches, dizziness, memory loss, mood changes, and difficulty concentrating.
It's important to seek medical attention immediately following a motor vehicle accident, especially if you believe you may have a spinal injury. You may receive attention at the scene, but if you don’t, visit your nearest emergency room as soon as possible – many spinal and neck injuries can be life-threatening if left untreated.
Treatments for neck and spine injuries
The treatment for spine and neck injuries depends on the severity and type. Here are some common treatments and interventions:
- Physical therapy. This involves exercises and stretches to improve range of motion, strength, and flexibility in the neck and spine. Physical therapy can be used to treat many types of neck and spine injuries, including strains, sprains, and herniated discs.
- Pain medication. Over-the-counter pain relievers like acetaminophen and ibuprofen can help reduce pain and inflammation in the neck and spine. In some cases, prescription pain medication may be necessary.
- Immobilization. Immobilizing the neck or spine can help prevent further injury and allow the injured area to heal. This can be done with a neck brace or back brace.
- Steroid injections. Corticosteroid injections can be used to reduce inflammation and pain in the neck and spine. These injections are typically used for conditions like herniated discs and spinal stenosis.
- Surgical procedures. Surgery may be necessary in some cases to repair or stabilize the neck or spine. This is typically reserved for more severe injuries like spinal fractures or severely herniated discs.
- Alternative therapies. Some people may find relief from neck and spine injuries through alternative therapies like chiropractic care, massage therapy, or acupuncture.
It's important to note that any neck or spine injury should be evaluated by a medical professional to determine the best course of treatment.
When your injuries are severe, you want an experienced legal team
Even with all of these therapies available, your injury may still never fully heal. You may live with chronic pain for the rest of your life. You may not have full mobility or function and need help with everyday tasks. This is why it’s crucial to work with experienced Boston personal injury attorneys; attorneys who understand how to negotiate on your behalf and represent your best interests.
Just a few of our successful results include:
- $1,100,000: Botched spinal fusion resulting in severe nerve injury. Details
- $800,000: Failed spinal fusion with reflex sympathetic dystrophy. Details
If you or a loved one has suffered a spinal injury, it's important to seek legal representation from a qualified and experienced spinal injury law firm. At Breakstone, White & Gluck, we have a proven track record of success in handling spinal injury cases, and we are committed to fighting for the compensation and justice our clients deserve. Our Boston attorneys understand the devastating impact that a spinal injury can have on your life, and we will work tirelessly to hold those responsible accountable for their actions.
Call our office or complete our contact form to set up a consultation today.