Whether in the workplace, in a vehicle, or another source – neck injuries are something that we may sustain at any time in our lives when we are faced with an untimely accident. When you first think of neck injuries, you may not immediately label them as an injury that would be ‘severe’ but the truth of the matter is that these injuries pose unique dangers and trauma that can leave a lasting impression on someone’s life. For this very reason, when somebody is injured in an accident and suffers an injury, they may wonder what options they have. However, first you should understand your specific neck injury and whether or not you may be covered in a claim.
Various Ways That Neck Injuries Occur
Many neck injuries commonly occur through car accidents. In fact, you may have heard about one of the most common types of neck injuries stemming from car accidents, known as whiplash. Usually these car accidents stem from somebody else’s negligence when they were not using care on the roadways, such as driving too quickly or driving distracted by using a GPS or mobile phone when they were supposed to be watching the road. Whiplash, however, can also be caused by slip and fall accidents and other means like repetitive stress at work.
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Speaking of work, in the workplace is another place where you may receive a neck injury. This can be caused by lifting heavy objects or being hit by a falling object, such as in a construction zone or warehouse setting. Falls that occur in the workplace can cause these unfortunate accidents and injuries as well.
Common Types of Neck Injuries
- Repetitive Strain: If you maintain a poor posture or awkward position at a desk or working on a computer, or doing another repetitive action in the workplace, you may receive one of these strains to the neck.
- Sprains/Strains: These injuries may cause muscle strains and ligament sprains in the neck. When activities are done, these injuries only become more and more aggravated. These injuries will usually heal over time.
- Nerve Pinch Injury: Pinched or compromised nerves in the neck can produce sharp, shooting sensations in the neck and arms. However, these symptoms will also usually fade away quickly.
- Disk Injury: Heavy lifting could result in damage to a vertebral disk. This means that nerves in the neck may become irritated, which can cause pain to travel from the neck to the legs.
- Vertebral Fracture: From an accident, the vertebra in your neck can fracture or even break. This type of accident is always a medical emergency. The spinal fracture may damage the spinal cord, which could lead to paralysis or death.
- Spinal Cord Damage: An accident may be severe enough to disrupt the vertebral bones that protect the spinal cord. Car accidents are likely to cause this to happen more than any other accident.
Whiplash: A Common Neck Injury
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Whiplash, as you may know, is a common type of soft tissue injury. Drivers and passengers involved in rear-end collision accidents are likely to experience whiplash. Whiplash can occur in any type of accident, meaning the car does not need to be traveling fast speeds when it impacts. Even at low speeds, there can be injury to the vertebrae, muscles, and ligaments in the neck. The problem with these unique accidents is that it may take some time for symptoms to evolve. Over the course of a few days, you may experience tightness in the neck, stiffness, serious neck pain like a dull ache, headaches, dizziness, problems with balance, back pain, memory problems, and difficulty with concentration.
Nature and Severity of the Neck Injury
Not all neck injuries are cut and dry, meaning they can be very serious in nature. And, the more long-lasting the injury, the greater the compensation that you may receive if you are involved in a personal injury lawsuit. “Hard injuries” such as fractured bones usually result in larger settlements than “soft tissue injuries” like whiplash or a pinched nerve. These are some of the most important pieces of information to understand in a case.
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First of all, after an accident occurs that leads to a neck injury, you should always seek immediate medical attention. If you have been involved in a collision accident and paramedics were not called in, you should still seek medical attention as soon as you can. Delaying medical treatment could lead to results you don’t want to see! This will help you convince the claims adjuster that you actually received a serious injury.
You should also remember to gather medical documentation. You must be able to establish a paper trail from your medical issues along with evidence. The adjuster involved in your case must see medical proof of your neck injury before you are paid the compensation you believe you deserve. Medical documentation should include things like emergency room visits and records of follow-up treatment.
This brings us to the next point: If you have been injured at work, you may indeed be able to accept workers’ compensation for your neck pain. Workers’ compensation for neck pain is designed to provide compensation for medical expenses, lost wages, and other accommodations. It should also be considered that not all neck injuries will happen directly in the workplace; no, other injuries that apply may be an injury while you were driving a company car, attending a company party or special event, or on your lunch break.
Estimating Damages For Neck Injuries
In the past, many settlements have been won by people who have taken a claim for a neck injury. For instance, a $9,500 trial verdict resulted for a minor rear-end accident. In another incident, somebody required cervical fusion surgery after a car accident, ending in a $537,000 settlement.
It may be up in the air when it comes to how much you will receive for your neck injury. Nothing is set in stone because, in the case of a trial, a jury may decide how much compensation you will receive. Damages like medical bills and lost wages are easier to predict than pain and suffering because they do not require an estimated guess on how much you deserve – the plaintiff can demonstrate on how much they have been paid in the past.
The question asked is this: How does the neck injury affect a particular plaintiff? What happens if you could once play an instrument and now you no longer can because of your neck injury? This could be considered a “loss of quality of life” because you are unable to pursue your hobbies like you once could. However, if you had a neck injury before the accident happened, you may not get as many damages. This is due to the fact that you had a preexisting condition and the defendant’s acts may not have caused the injury in the first place.
If you have been injured in an accident, the first place you should look is for an attorney who understands your case and wants to help you every step of the way. At Maggiano, DiGirolamo & Lizzi, we will do just that. We hope to serve you and your law needs and help you gain the compensation you deserve after you have sustained a neck injury. In the past, we have helped many clients and will continue to do so in time.