Following a car accident, neck pain is commonly reported. Even collisions that do not seem that serious can result in neck injuries such as whiplash. The duration of the neck pain a car accident victim experiences depends on several factors.
It is important to stay in close contact with experienced medical professionals about your injuries. If you have questions about how you will pay your medical bills or how you will be reimbursed for the damages you sustained due to your injuries, contact a South Carolina car accident attorney with Shelly Leeke Law Firm today for practical advice and guidance.
Car Accident Victims Often Experience WhipLash
One of the most commonly suffered injuries caused by car accidents is whiplash. Whiplash is, as its name implies, caused when the head is thrown forward and backward in a whipping motion.
Whiplash pain typically begins to improve in the first couple of weeks. The most improvement happens early on. Pain should be nearly undetectable after six weeks. If you experience pain past the six-week mark, contact your medical team for further evaluation.
Factors that Impact How Long Neck Pain Lasts
There are a number of factors that impact how long a Charleston car accident victim will suffer neck pain. Some of those factors are listed below:
- The nature and severity of the car accident will play a role in how the injured parties heal.
- The nature of the neck injury will make a difference in how long the pain lasts.
- Where and how the driver or passenger was positioned in the car could impact the direction of impact that the injured party sustained. This could play a role in how long those injuries take to heal.
- The physical condition of the victim prior to the accident will also influence how long it takes for them to heal from their car accident injury.
- The force and speed of the car accident can make a tremendous difference in how badly the victim was injured and how long recuperation takes.
How Collisions Injury the Neck
The neck plays such an important role in your overall health and well-being. A car accident, even one that takes place at a relatively slow speed, can force the victim’s head to move forcefully in multiple directions. Muscles and ligaments in the neck can be stretched, torn, or bruised fairly easily.
Wearing a seatbelt can prevent fatalities and some severe injuries. However, while the torso may be stabilized, the neck is not. This can cause even more stress on the neck due to the impact of the accident. This can also apply pressure to your spine and can cause even more serious injuries.
The neck may sustain even more complicated injuries depending on your position when the accident happened. For instance, if the person on the passenger side had their back to the door and was facing the driver, the whipping motion caused by the accident may cause their head to whip from shoulder to shoulder, causing a more unnatural direction and a more severe injury.
Duration of the Pain Following a Car Accident
Neck pain might not appear immediately. Following an accident, you may experience shock or an influx of adrenaline. That spike in hormones might make you temporarily unaware of the pain connected with your injury. It could take hours or even days to realize the full extent of your neck injury.
You might experience symptoms such as the following:
- Headaches such as migraines
- Your vision may be blurred
- A neck injury could result in dizziness
- You may experience nausea and vomiting
- Fatigue is not unusual following a neck injury
- A car accident victim will likely experience stiffness and soreness
- You could feel tingling in your arms. Your arms and extremities may feel numb.
Speak to your doctor about any symptoms you may be experiencing. Monitoring your symptoms to ensure your injuries do not worsen is crucial.
Another reason to monitor your symptoms closely is to have a paper trail to prove how your injuries have manifested in case a personal injury lawsuit occurs. You want to be able to prove that your condition is a direct result of the car accident you were involved in.
Symptoms Will Normally Begin to Subside within a Few Weeks
In most cases, neck pain will subside a few weeks after the accident. Within a month, most pain will have completely cleared up. If you are still experiencing pain after six weeks, you want to speak to your doctor.
Your injuries could be more severe than you initially realized. Prompt treatment is a must. You may have experienced a typical spinal cord injury that can be very serious.
Neck Injury Treatments
Seeing a doctor promptly following a car accident is crucial to your recovery. Even slight pain can escalate, so it is essential to seek medical attention quickly. Your doctor will usually order tests to diagnose and treat your neck pain.
Your doctor might order X-rays, MRIs, or CT scans after a car accident. Paired with a physical exam, these can usually diagnose the injury and gauge its severity. A course of treatment can then be prescribed.
The doctor might recommend the following treatments, depending on your diagnosis:
- Over-the-counter (OTC) medications for pain and inflammation, such as ibuprofen
- Rest is typically prescribed so you do not overwork the injured area
- Hot and cold therapy can be helpful when managing pain and inflammation
- Your doctor may prescribe you medication like muscle relaxers
- It might be necessary to engage in physical therapy following a car accident
- You could be given a device like a cervical collar to stabilize your neck
Depending on the severity of the injury, you might need surgery. Some neck injuries require long term. Stay in close contact with your doctor about any changes you experience.
Documentation of your neck pain can be a key part of your case if you must pursue compensation due to the damages and injuries you sustained. Your car accident attorney can guide you through the process, but having all the information documented is essential to your case if the accident was the fault of someone else.
Contact Shelly Leeke Law Firm Today
If you have been in a car accident and experienced a neck injury, you may be entitled to compensation. Contact one of the car accident attorneys with Shelly Leeke Law Firm for guidance. We have the experience and skills to ensure you receive the settlement to which you are entitled.
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