Personal Injury Attorney for Neck and Whiplash Injuries
Numerous people, including insurance companies, actually believe that neck injuries—in particular, whiplash—are nothing more than a ploy to get a personal injury settlement. In reality, however, neck injuries can be extremely serious and extremely painful. The neck delivers blood and electrical signals to and from our brains to our bodies, and a serious neck injury can affect the health of the entire body. Some of the most common injuries associated with auto accidents are to the neck, despite the fact that headrests, airbags and other modern vehicle safety features are meant to lessen the severity of neck injuries.
The Different Types of Neck Injuries
There are several different types of neck injuries, also known as cervical spine injuries, including the following:
- Soft tissue injuries are injuries to the ligaments, tendons or muscles in the neck, and can include neck strains and neck sprains. Soft tissue injuries can result in pain, stiffness, and muscle spasms.
- Nerve injuries can be minor or quite severe. This type of injury can include herniated or bulging discs, as well as whiplash. The discs in the spinal column are comprised of cartilage, and are the cushioning between the bony vertebrae. When the vertebrae is compressed, the disc can flatten, bulge or rupture. Tingling in the arms, dizziness, disturbed sleep, weakness, numbness and pain are all symptoms of spinal cord or nerve injuries to the neck.
- Neck fractures, caused by a break in the cervical vertebrae, lead to stinging and burning sensations, as well as an electrical sensation in the arm, weakness, numbness and pain.
- Cervical dislocation can occur when the vertebrae in the neck is pushed out of its normal position, creating spinal instability, and requiring a surgical procedure to fix the dislocation.
- A pinched nerve in the neck causes the nerve to fail to work properly. The result can be weakness in the muscles the nerve goes to, or pain in the area where the nerve travels. These radiating symptoms are called cervical radiculopathy.
- Spinal cord injuries are the most dangerous of all neck injuries. These injuries occur when a fractured or dislocated vertebrae damages the spinal cord. Such injuries can cause death, or partial or complete paralysis.
Whiplash injuries are, by far, the most common injury to the neck, particularly following a rear-end car accident. When a car hits another car from behind, the person in the front car experiences an upward force in the cervical spine, compressing your discs and joints. The head moves backwards, then snaps forward suddenly. Even if the head restraint is adjusted properly, it can only reduce the risk of neck injury by 20 percent or less. Depending on the speed of the vehicle which hits the front vehicle, the brain can even strike the inside of the skull, causing a mild to moderate concussion.
In some instances, whiplash symptoms may not manifest immediately, but can come a day, or several days following the accident. Chronic pain in the neck is, of course, the most common symptoms of whiplash, however headaches, from moderate to severe, are the second most common symptom. Other common symptoms of whiplash include pain in the shoulders, hands or arms, reduced range of motion in the neck, numbness, weakness, slower reflexes, and muscle spasms in the neck.
Neck Injuries Can Affect Your Whole Life
A neck injury can easily prevent accident victims from performing basic daily care or working in their chosen profession. Turning your head to drive may be impossible, walking may be painful, even sitting for long periods of time at a desk may be uncomfortable. Neck injuries can also become chronic conditions, especially if not treated quickly and properly. Victims often find themselves taking multiple pain medications just to get through their day, and life as they know it is turned upside down.
Unfortunately, insurance companies are not sympathetic to neck injuries and they will often go to extraordinary lengths to try and prove that you are not as injured as you claim. They will attempt to low-ball you, delay, or even deny your claim all together. When this occurs, you need an experienced Los Angeles personal injury lawyer on your side.
Getting Help for Your Neck Injury
If you have received a neck injury following an auto accident, which was due to the negligence of another driver, you may choose to file a claim in order to receive compensation for your medical expenses, lost wages and pain and suffering It is important that you speak to a knowledgeable Los Angeles personal injury attorney at Glotzer & Leib, LLP who can ensure you are properly compensated for your injuries.