Possible Neck and Back Injuries After a Car Accident
When you’ve just been in a car accident, there are lots of things going through your mind. Everything seems like a priority, but the most important thing to do is to make sure you’re okay physically.
One of the worst things you can do is downplay any discomfort or symptoms that you’re having. What might seem like minor issues can allude to larger problems down the line. Neck and back pain following a car accident is something you should definitely pay attention to.
Possible Neck and Back Injuries
There are many different types of neck and back injuries you can sustain. In any situation, a myriad of factors can play into what injury occurs. From impact type (side, front, back) to whether or not you’re wearing a seatbelt, there are many things that can go wrong.
If you are experiencing discomfort in the neck and/or back, you should address it right away. Given the sensitivity of the spine and its ability to control the rest of your limbs, it’s imperative that you double-check any discomfort with a doctor. Here are a couple of the most common neck and back injuries caused during car accidents:
Herniated Discs: The spine has squishy discs in between the vertebrates that protect them from damage. Any harsh force (like the kind caused by a crash impact) can cause a disc to slip out of place and cause mild to severe back pain.
Spinal Fractures: Fractures in the spine are typically caused by the seatbelt. If the force of the impact is hard enough, it can pull on the spinal column while the seatbelt pulls down, resulting in fractures. These injuries can cause bladder issues, weak muscles, and shooting pains (among other symptoms).
Whiplash: This is a more difficult injury to notice right away. Whiplash causes soreness in the neck muscles and can be quite painful, although symptoms sometimes don’t present until days after the initial trauma.
Spinal Cord Injuries: Trauma to the spinal cord can cause injuries to the neck, back, legs, arms, etc. because it extends from the brain all the way to the lower back.
It is not always certain when you will experience pain as a result of neck and back injuries. Neck pain or back pain may come even years after the accident. Because these areas are so sensitive, the slightest agitation can change the severity of the pain. While some injuries are immediately apparent following an accident, others can take weeks, months, or years to present.
While they may not be obvious right away, it’s good to know what types of pain to look for. Neck and back injuries can manifest as pain in any other area of the body, as the nerves in the spine feed into all the limbs. Still, there are some telltale signs that you’ve suffered a neck or back injury following a car accident.
Symptoms of Neck and Back Injuries:
Neck and back injuries are so important to recognize and treat right away because they can lead to the impairment of almost every other region of the body. Here are some common symptoms to look out for:
- Swollen or stiff back
- Inability to control bladder
- Weak/tired feeling in muscles
- Trouble breathing, standing or walking
- Leg and arm pain
- Heaviness in the neck or difficulty rotating head from side to side
- Immediate headache
- Numbness, tingling or burning sensation in any part of your body
Delayed Symptoms of Neck and Back Injuries:
- Decreased hearing or vision
- Headaches up to a few days after an accident
- Tingling or numbness that doesn’t go away
- Swelling, bruising or tenderness
- Pain and pinching sensation in your neck or back
The best way to stay safe following an accident is to seek medical treatment at a hospital as soon as you can. Even if you don’t feel any major issues, you want to make sure that there are no underlying internal injuries that will be catastrophic to your health. It’s not enough to wait for symptoms to show—some neck and back injuries have no initial symptoms and can only be diagnosed with CT scans or x-rays. The pain in your neck and back may last anywhere from several days to even years if not addressed properly.
For insurance and legal purposes, it’s also to document the extent of your injuries if you’re at all able. You want to have evidence of any physical damages should you need it for a legal battle at any point following your car accident. There are many types of documentation you can secure.
In the case of injuries, a picture really is worth a thousand words. As some injuries heal quickly, it’s important to get photos right away. You’ll also want to take photos throughout the recovery process. These will help you show the extent of your injuries.
Write it Down
Whether you’re in the hospital or not, keeping a written record of your emotions, physical pain, or anything related to injuries is beneficial for both insurance companies or legal teams. It’s important to create both a visual and written account of all the damages you’ve incurred since your accident.
Another thing you need to document or keep track of is your medical bills, treatments, or doctor’s visits. This would include the cost of prescription drugs, office visits or checkups, co-pays, or insurance bills.
What to Do After an Accident? -Seek Legal Help
Neck and back injuries may present themselves sometime after the initial accident. As such, it is not always easy to know right away if you need legal help to recoup physical damages. Although it may not feel like it, some of the smallest injuries can turn out to be devastating later on.
Through the process of documenting your physical, emotional, and mental struggles following a car accident, you can set yourself up for an easier legal battle. Traumatic neck and back injuries that cause months or years of pain may mean you’re entitled to legal damages.
Legal Help in Florida
If you live in Florida, you should consider contacting the SteinLaw team to see if you have a legal case to make. The mission at SteinLaw is to always seek the highest amount of financial recovery for any case.
The founder of SteinLaw, Brandon Stein, has built the law firm around the client experience. As one of the premier legal firms in Florida, SteinLaw provides the highest level of client care. Apart from competitors, clients at SteinLaw have a direct line of communication with their attorneys. Each lawyer at SteinLaw is dedicated to ensuring that their clients are updated throughout every step of their legal battle.