If you sustained a neck injury after a car accident, read on for different types of cervical injuries, symptoms, treatments and tips for your personal injury case. The Bishop Law Firm represents personal injury clients in North Carolina and we do not get paid unless we win your case.

Unfortunately, car accident neck injuries can result in:

  1. Whiplash (Cervical Strain or Sprain) – During your accident, if your head suddenly jerked forward or backward this can result in whiplash. This jerking can result in tears to your muscles and tendons (Via WedMD). Pain with motion, stiffness, and headaches are all symptoms of whiplash. Your symptoms may start immediately or may present themselves in the coming days. Treatment for whiplash can include icing, pain medicine, a neck brace (but these are not recommended for long term use) or massage. Recovery time varies depending on how severe your whiplash is. Don’t assume that you have whiplash after a car accident, if you develop pain see a doctor who can rule out other cervical conditions. 
  2. Cervical Pinched Nerve (Radiculopathy) – If pressure is applied to cervical tissues those tissues can in turn compress a nerve. Nerve compression cuts off communication to the affected areas and can result in pain, numbness, and loss of motion from your neck to your hands. This loss of communication, if not remedied quickly, can result in permanent nerve damage. Nerve  Conduction studies, EMGs, and MRIs are all ways to test for radiculopathy. Time, physical therapy, medication, or surgery to remove the offending tissues can be recommended (Via Mayo Clinic) . As discussed before on this site, x-rays will not demonstrate a pinched nerve and x-rays are the most common type of imaging offered to accident victims. If you begin to experience numbness in your upper extremities, report to the doctor immediately and document when the numbness started. 
  3. Cervical Disc Herniation – Commonly herniated discs begin spontaneously but can certainly happen from trauma. Even a small disc herniation can cause cervical radiculopathy  and severe pain. A MRI or CT scan with a myleogram are used to diagnose herniation. Physical therapy, injections, bracing, disc replacement, a fusion, or a discectomy can be done to help relieve the herniation. Chiropractic manipulation can also help if it is gentle. Aggressive chiropractic manipulation can actually make the pain and neurological damage worse (Via Spine Health).
  4. Cervical Fracture (Broken Neck) or Dislocation – if you have fractured or dislocated a vertebrae, it needs to be immobilized and corrected as quickly as possible to minimize long term spinal cord injury. The longer nerves are not communicating the more damage will be caused. These injuries are going to take substantial time to heal and some form of intrusive surgery will be required. In addition, depending on where you have sustained the break or dislocation, there may be life long implications (Via OrthoInfo). Most insurance companies want to settle cases as soon as possible so they don’t have to pay for any additional medical treatment. Current and future earning loss as well as future medical expenses should be accounted for in your personal injury settlement. 

A neck injury after a car accident can leave you with long term symptoms. Your doctor should be consulted to find out what current and future treatment you may need. If all your current bills and future losses are not factored into your settlement you may find yourself in debt later on. You should not have to pay twice for the negligence of another.

The Bishop Law Firm represents personal injury clients in Raleigh, Durham, Rocky Mount, Wilson, Smithfield, Louisburg, Chapel Hill, Roanoke Rapids, and surrounding areas in North Carolina. We do not get paid unless we win your case! Call us today for a free case evaluation, (919) 615-3095.