It is normal to experience some body pain and stiffness after a traffic accident, but you should see a doctor for severe neck pain, limits your range of motion, or lasts more than a short time. You could have a serious injury that requires prompt treatment.
If the other driver caused the accident, you might be able to recover compensation for your doctor visit, diagnosis, testing, treatment, and other related expenses. A car accident lawyer may be able to help.
What Types of Injuries Can Cause Neck Pain After a Car Wreck?
The neck, in conjunction with the upper back and shoulders, stabilizes the head under most circumstances. The head may move back and forth violently in a collision while the seatbelt, airbags, and other safety features hold the body still. This can cause significant injuries.
Neck pain following an accident could indicate:
A Broken Neck
When someone has neck pain after an accident, the immediate fear is often a fracture. A broken neck can vary greatly in severity but require emergency stabilization and treatment. The cervical vertebrae protect the uppermost portion of the spinal cord. If the vertebrae suffer significant damage, the victim could have a spinal cord injury (SCI).
This could lead to partial or total paralysis from the neck, shoulders, or chest down. Even for those who do not suffer paralysis, lasting chronic pain or nerve injuries are possible.
These injuries often require surgery, rehabilitation or therapy, and months of physical recovery. Some people never regain full abilities or return to work.
Whiplash and Other Soft Tissue Neck Injuries
One of the most common injuries that occur in car accidents affects the soft tissues of the neck. It is known as whiplash because the head whips violently back and forth beyond its normal range of motion. This causes strains, sprains, tears, and other injuries to the neck’s ligaments, tendons, muscles, and other soft tissues.
Whiplash usually goes away in a few weeks with conservative treatment, although some people need physical therapy. Unfortunately, it may also lead to a chronic pain condition that can be debilitating for some people.
When a car accident damages a disc, the victim can suffer chronic neck and back pain for years to come. Disc injuries include slipping, bulging, rupturing, or herniation. This is one of the most common causes of ongoing pain in this area. As a result, conservative treatment, surgery, or pain management may be necessary.
What Damages Can I Recover if I Injured My Neck in a Car Accident?
Most states allow injured motorists to hold the at-fault driver responsible for the costs and losses they experienced. However, this requires the victim to demand a payout from the other driver’s auto liability insurance provider or sue the driver for compensation.
The recoverable damages in a car accident claim include:
- Emergency transportation to the hospital
- Emergency department evaluation
- Initial assessment and treatment
- Rehabilitation, therapy, and other care
- Treatment-related costs
- Lost wages and other income
- Diminished earning capacity
- Vehicle repairs
- Out-of-pocket expenses
- Pain and suffering damages
You will need to determine the cost of your case based on the damages you experienced to ensure you receive a fair settlement. Without an accurate valuation of your losses, you may not recover enough to cover your expenses and losses.
How Can an Attorney Help Me If I Was Injured in an Accident?
If you have an injury that required medical treatment, are still undergoing care, or have chronic pain, you may want to consider letting a lawyer handle your claim. You must ensure your rights remain protected and you recover enough compensation to pay for your treatment and other costs, as well as your intangible losses.
A car accident lawyer can:
- Identify the liable party or parties
- Review the applicable insurance policies
- Gather evidence to support the claim
- Value the case based on the damages
- File the claim
- Negotiate with the insurer
- Protect your rights and fight for justice
Most personal injury law firms work based on a contingency fee. Thus, they require no upfront fees and only get paid if they win the case.
There are various deadlines set by state law. If your attorney recommends suing, you could have up to:
- Two years in Alabama (Ala. Code § 6-2-38)
- Three years in Arkansas (Ark. Code Ann. § 16-56-105)
- One year in Louisiana (La. Civ. Code Art. 3492)
- Three years in Mississippi (Miss. Code Ann. § 15-1-49)
However, you may have less time. The attorney can discuss the deadline for your case with you during your consultation.
Contact a Car Accident Lawyer Today to Ensure Your Rights Are Protected
The Morris Bart law firm provides complimentary case reviews for traffic accident victims. We can assess your case and discuss your options with you today. We have 15 locations, and the areas we serve include all parts of Alabama, Arkansas, Louisiana, and Mississippi.
Call (800) 537-8185 to learn more about your next steps in seeking compensation for neck injuries.