Whether you are playing sports or you have gotten into a car accident, there are many ways in which you can injure your neck. Even reaching for something up high can cause a sudden twinge and pain in your neck. Oftentimes such an injury will require rest, ice packs, heating pads, and OTC painkillers until you are able to return to your activities or work.
Neck injuries are a common result of car, truck, and motorcycle accidents, falls (from heights or on level ground), and worksite accidents. With more severe neck injuries, it may take more than a few days to return to something approaching normalcy. Some neck injuries may take weeks or months to heal up, with others causing symptoms for years. Among the most serious are:
- Herniated, ruptured, or slipped discs. Just like shock absorbers on a car, the discs in between your cervical vertebrae act as cushions. When these discs are damaged or slide out of place, the pain can be agonizing, perhaps even debilitating. Symptoms include pain, tingling, numbness, bowel and bladder difficulties, weakness of the muscles, and burning pains. While these injuries may not be life-threatening, they can be life changing if you hurt yourself and are unable to go to work or do your everyday activities.
- Connective tissue injuries/whiplash/sprain. Connective tissue are the joints, ligaments and muscles in your neck and are located between the vertebrae. When these become damaged, it can cause a host of symptoms. The most well-known of this type of injury is whiplash. This injury is often suffered during car accidents but can also arise whenever the head is forcefully whipped back and forth, causing the neck to stretch in dangerous ways. These injuries are not always easy to notice as their symptoms may not appear until hours or days following an event. People who suffer from whiplash usually heal within a few weeks, but some victims may suffer from long-lasting pain and complications.
- Pinched nerves. While a common injury, a pinched nerve is still nothing to ignore. Per Trihealth, “a pinched nerve occurs when surrounding tissue, muscles, tendons or bones place pressure on a nearby nerve. Most of the time, rest and modified activities can relieve symptoms of a pinched nerve.” A pinched nerve may also be a symptom of another injury such as a herniated disc, arthritis, or a larger general injury to the neck. The symptoms of a pinched nerve include sciatica, muscle spasms, pain, and muscle weakness in the area of the pinched nerve. These can require physical therapy, pain and inflammation medicine, steroid injections, and even surgeries.
- Fractured cervical spine. A fractured cervical spine (a broken neck) requires immediate medical attention. One suffers a broken neck when one of the seven bones in the cervical spine is fractured. Not only does this sort of injury affect the neck, but usually the entire spinal cord, and therefore the entirety of your body as the spinal cord is the main highway of your central nervous system. Symptoms of a broken neck include bruising and swelling of the neck, loss of consciousness after injury, pain that spreads through the shoulders and arms and severe neck pain. If you ever find yourself or a loved one with a broken neck, make sure the neck is immobilized and seek immediate medical attention. Treatment requires risky and complex surgery, physical therapy, and ongoing medical treatment. This is the sort of injury that will affect you the rest of your life.
It is important to know what injuries are serious and how they can affect your life. If someone else caused your injury through an act of negligence, then you may have legal options for compensation.
Long-term complications from neck injuries
While there are the immediate (or not so immediate) physical symptoms of these sorts of injuries, there are also consequences that you may not realize are related to that injury. Sleep deprivation from the pain or discomfort of your injury, for example, may leave you disoriented or fatigued, and potentially more likely to get hurt again in another accident. Mental and emotional trauma from the accident, and the ensuing pain and suffering, can leave you unable to work, spend time with loved ones, or even leave the house without fear. Everyday activities and errands could become a struggle that takes you all day to accomplish, if you accomplish them at all. An inability to work would cause additional financial and mental harm on top of the stress from mounting medical bills, the need to seek additional treatments, and other issues directly related to the accident.
Do I need a Tulsa accident lawyer for my neck injury?
If you have suffered a neck injury due to someone else’s negligence or actions a skilled personal injury lawyer can help you evaluate your case and your options. While legal representation is not required it is in every injured party’s best interest to get experienced help. You may file a personal injury lawsuit or seek workers’ compensation benefits, or file a product liability lawsuit if a defective product caused you harm. If you were hurt in a vehicle crash, you can seek compensation from the at-fault driver. As your lawyers, we can help you analyze and choose the right path for you and your case.
At Biby Law Firm, we act quickly to make sure we investigate who is responsible for your injury, and what claims to pursue against any at-fault parties. We also work with your doctors and employers to verify and detail your pain and suffering, your medical bills, your lost wages, and any other income losses such as a diminished earning capacity. If you need help with getting compensation for your neck injury, call our Tulsa personal injury lawyers at 918-574-8458, or complete our contact form to schedule an appointment. Initial consultations are always free.
Jacob Biby has spent his legal career helping folks just like you get the resources they need after an injury. He completed his undergraduate degree at Oklahoma State University and earned his Juris Doctorate from the University of Tulsa in 2008. Jacob is licensed to practice in all Oklahoma state and federal courts, and has limited his career to representing individuals and families who were injured by the negligence of other people or corporations. Learn more about Jacob Biby.