Broken Neck from Car Accident | Common Neck Injuries
Updated: Feb 23, 2022
Car accidents are a leading source of neck injuries, with over 80,000 car crashes involving neck injuries each year.
The impact of a vehicle coming to a screeching halt or getting hit from behind by a motorist who was gazing down at his phone at a busy intersection can cause catastrophic soft tissue damage or even death. Injuries often range from severe neck injuries to minor injuries such as whiplash-associated disorders.
Neck injuries can be life-changing, and some people face permanent disabilities as a result. When adding the lost wages and the cost of repairing a vehicle, the financial strain it can place on families is severe.
This is why claiming compensation from the driver at fault is so important, as it can provide a much-needed financial lifeboat to keep victims from falling under the pressure of financial strain.
However, filing a lawsuit is never easy, which is why victims need reliable, experienced lawyers on their side. Keating Law Firm has a proven track record and can help victims get the compensation they deserve, working to this end while they concentrate on recovery.
Why Neck Injuries Are Common Car Crash Injuries
Although it is a relatively fragile region of the human body, the neck is not well protected in a car accident. Unfortunately, the head and neck are not constrained at the time of impact, even when the body is confined by a seatbelt.
Therefore, it can move back and forth, jolt to one side, or be impacted by flying particles or objects during a crash. The tendons, muscles, bones, nerves, blood vessels, joints, and connective tissue in the neck can be seriously injured by abrupt, fast movement.
Neck muscles will also stiffen in preparation for an impact if a person perceives one ahead of time. They'll have very little give compared to relaxed muscles, which might lead to more muscle strain when the impact occurs.
Understanding the Structures of the Neck
The neck is a delicate and intricate structure that contains seven bones in the vertebral column known as cervical vertebrae.
Intervertebral discs, which are layers of cartilage, separate these vertebrae, and facet joints link them, allowing the head to turn. The musculoskeletal system protects the spinal cord while supporting the head and neck.
Because intervertebral discs are primarily shock absorbers, injuries to these discs are common. The neck also contains other tissue, such as muscles, nerves, connective tissue, and blood vessels. After a car accident, cervical ligaments that have been strained, ripped, or stretched may lead to chronic neck pain.
Facet joints control movement in the neck and are often injured in vehicle collisions due to the whiplash motion, which can limit movement of the neck.
Because the spine is an extension of the cervical spine, back and neck injuries often go together. If a back or neck injury is severe, it could lead to paralysis or chronic pain.
Common Symptoms of a Neck Injury
Common symptoms of a neck injury can take many hours or days to develop following a car accident. If victims suffer any of the following symptoms, they are advised to seek medical attention as soon as possible:
Weakness, tingling, or numbness in the arms, fingers, and hands
Stiffness and pain in the neck
Neck pain that spreads to the arms, shoulders, and hands
Throbbing in the neck
Even if the discomfort seems insignificant, victims should not disregard it after a car accident. A minor neck injury can develop into persistent pain and long-term problems if left unchecked.
What Is a Broken Neck?
A broken neck is a commonly used term to describe a neck fracture or cervical spine damage. Because vertebrae in the cervical spine are bones, they can become fractured during a car accident. A neck fracture is often a serious neck injury, and sufferers are encouraged to seek medical care if they suspect that they may have sustained a neck fracture during a car accident.
Neck fractures are often serious injuries because the broken bone can cause a spinal cord injury, which often leads to paralysis. Back and neck injuries often result in victims not being able to work for several months, while some may never work again.
This is why it is essential to pursue compensation following a car accident that occurred as the result of someone else's negligence.
Other Common Neck Injuries After a Car Accident
Below are some of the most common neck injuries that occur during a car accident.
Soft Tissue Damage
During car accidents, soft tissues in the neck, such as ligaments, tendons, and muscles, can be torn, sprained, or strained. Pain, soreness, and stiffness in the shoulders and neck are common soft tissue injury symptoms. Soft tissue damage can also result in muscle spasms and stiffness in the neck.
Whiplash is caused by an abrupt jerking of the neck and head during impact. Connective tissues, nerves, muscles, and ligaments of the neck are strained, torn, and damaged as a result of this rapid movement. The most prevalent sort of event that causes whiplash is a rear-end collision.
Symptoms may develop shortly after the incident or may take many hours to develop. Many whiplash injuries can be resolved in a matter of weeks if victims receive treatment early.
On the other hand, several other cases result in persistent discomfort, long-term headaches, or memory problems in the months or years following the injury.
Facet Joint Injuries
The cervical spine's facet joints help to stabilize and move the neck and head. These joints might become inflamed and irritated as a result of an auto accident. An accident could cause injury to adjacent ligaments, limiting joint mobility and the range of motion of the neck.
Slipped or Herniated Disc Injuries of the Cervical Spine
During a high-impact crash, cervical intervertebral discs can move out of position between vertebrae. The damaged disc can put pressure on the nerves in the spinal cord as a result of this, causing a pinched nerve.
Weakness, pain, tingling, and numbness in the shoulders, neck, hands, hands, and fingers are symptoms of a pinched nerve.
During a traffic accident, glass, debris, or other objects can become airborne and strike the neck, resulting in cuts, lacerations, abrasions, and bruising. Deep cuts and bruises can damage the soft tissues of the neck.
Treating a Neck Injury
The treatment of neck injuries involves both surgical and non-surgical means. The section below outlines some of the most common medical treatment methods used for neck injuries.
It is important to remember that the type and severity of the injury often determine the treatment method used, and early treatment is key to avoiding long-term complications.
A serious injury, such as a broken neck, often warrants surgery. There are several different surgical methods used to rectify neck or spinal cord injuries. The list below details a few of them.
The outpatient surgery for a broken neck is kyphoplasty
A microdiscectomy is a procedure to remove a disc or a bone fragment from the cervical spine
Fusion surgery is a procedure in which two or more intervertebral discs are fused to stabilize the neck
If a victim's symptoms are less severe, non-invasive methods may be recommended. These also vary depending on the nature and severity of the injury. Here are some of the most commonly used non-surgical methods of treatment:
A neck brace to stabilize the neck following a neck sprain
Pain medication for neck pain
Spinal cord stimulation
Epidural steroid injections
Seeking Compensation for a Broken Neck
When someone suffers a broken because of someone else's negligence, they may be entitled to compensation for their losses.
This doesn't just include current or past medical expenses but also includes future medical expenses. Lost wages may also be claimed in a personal injury lawsuit. Victims can also seek special damages, such as pain and suffering, in certain circumstances.
Those who have a broken neck or another neck injury as a result of a car accident should get legal advice from experienced car accident attorneys in Nashville TN at Keating Law Firm to evaluate a fair settlement amount and determine what damages can be claimed.
Need a Reliable Personal Injury Attorney? Contact Keating Law Firm Today!
Neck injuries can be devastating, altering the lives of sufferers for good in some cases. When the unexpected occurs, victims need reliable legal support to help them get justice.
Those who have been injured in a car accident, such as those who sustained a brain stem injury or bruised ribs, should contact Keating Law Firm to get legal counsel and guidance on what steps to take next. Here are a few reasons to choose Keating Law:
Car accident victims get a free consultation with an experienced attorney
A contingency fee basis means that victims do not need to worry about legal fees until their lawyer is able to obtain a settlement award successfully
Keating Law attorneys have decades of experience in dealing with car accident cases
Contact Keating Law Firm today to book a free consultation and case review by dialing (866) 836-4878.