Car Accident-Related back and neck injuries can take years and resources to heal correctly; knowing what they are can help protect your rights
No one ever expects a car accident to happen, but more than 55,000 occur every day in Los Angeles and surrounding areas. If you’re lucky, you may be able to walk away from a collision unscathed. But statistics show almost half of all car accidents result in injury. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), motor vehicle accidents are the leading cause of injury in the U.S.
Two of the most common types of injury to be sustained in a car crash are back and neck injuries. Let’s look at the most common types of back and neck injuries reported:
Whiplash is a neck injury caused by force. The force from a collision, particularly a rear-end accident, can cause the neck to move forwards and backward or vice versa. As a result of the neck being “whipped” back and forth, the muscles, tendons, tissue, discs, and nerves of the neck can be damaged.
Most cases of whiplash can be treated successfully, however, it’s not uncommon for some victims to experience long-term complications and chronic pain.
A herniated disc, also called a slipped or ruptured disc is an injury to the backbone. Herniated discs are one of the leading causes of back, neck, and leg pain. Injury to the discs of the backbone occurs most frequently in the neck and lower back.
When a tear or leak in one of the “cushions” layered in between the spine’s vertebrae has slipped, bulged, or moved out of place, a victim can experience debilitating pain. Damage to a disc, which acts as a buffer between vertebrae, can also affect the ease of movement and mobility.
Muscle strains, which are a tear in the muscle, can happen to any muscle located in the back or neck area. Muscle strains are usually graded on a scale of 1 – 3, with 3 being the most serious of strains.
Victims with grade 1 strains may experience mild swelling and tightness but can usually move without too much discomfort. On the other hand, victims suffering from grade 3 strains can experience severe swelling and aren’t able to move without suffering pain.
Soft tissue damage
Injury to the muscles, tendons, and ligaments of the body is usually referred to as soft tissue damage. Conditions like tendonitis and bursitis are considered soft tissue injuries. Tendonitis is inflammation of the tendon connecting the muscle to the bone. Bursitis is inflammation of the bursa, a sac that acts as a cushion between muscles, tendons, and bone. Although both conditions can be caused by overuse, bursitis can also be caused by trauma.
Spinal stenosis occurs when the space in between the spine narrows and puts pressure on spinal nerves. Spinal stenosis can happen anywhere along the four parts of the spine – cervical, thoracic, lumbar, and sacrum – but it’s most likely to occur in the neck (cervical) and lower back (lumbar).
A break in one of the 33 bones of the neck or spine can be very serious. A catastrophic neck or bone fracture can cause paralysis and, in some cases, lead to death. According to statistics, about 160,000 Americans sustain a traumatic spinal fracture every year in the U.S. A large majority of these cases are the result of motor vehicle accidents.
What are the Symptoms of a Back or Neck Injury?
If you’ve been injured in a car accident and you’re experiencing any of the symptoms below, it’s best to see a doctor as soon as possible. Back and neck injury symptoms can vary considerably depending on the severity and type of injury. A skilled doctor can accurately diagnose your condition and prescribe a proper course of treatment.
It’s important to keep in mind: not all injuries present themselves right after an accident, which is why it’s imperative you get medical attention as soon as symptoms appear.
Some of the more common symptoms associated with back and neck injuries include:
- Pain in the neck, back, shoulders or head area
- Unusual sensations like tingling or numbness
- Limited range of motion in the neck, back or shoulders
- Bruising, swelling, and redness in the affected area
- Pain associated with movement
- Unusual headaches or migraines
- Difficulty focusing
Severe neck and back injuries can be costly to treat and result in severe financial hardship for victims.
If you’ve been diagnosed with a back or neck injury sustained in a car accident caused by another person, don’t hesitate to talk to a knowledgeable car accident injury lawyer. The lawyers at Adamson Ahdoot LLP have practiced law in the heart of Los Angeles for over a decade and know how to win you maximum compensation.
Our goal with every case is to see justice served and see you fairly awarded for injury damages. Throughout the years, we have secured millions for accident victims like you. Some of our case results include a $3 million rear-end settlement and a $2.9 million auto vs. trailer claim.
Contact our office today to learn how we can help you get financial compensation for lost wages, medical costs, and pain and suffering. It costs nothing to talk to us, and we can help guide your next steps towards peace of mind.