Tampa Neck Injury Lawyer
If you’ve been in an accident, or have been the victim of premises or product neglect, a neck injury can be a common outcome of that mishap. Various types of impacts can cause neck injury – from direct blows to the neck, objects falling from a heightened area, or jarring that causes a rapid “snapping” forward and back, or side to side – commonly associated with whiplash.
What Accidents Commonly Cause Neck Injuries in Tampa, FL
Slip and Fall
When it comes to suffering a neck injury from a fall, some victims find that they do not experience serious symptoms at the scene of the accident. Instead, hours or days may pass before symptoms of their neck injury appear and they realize that a significant injury has taken place. There are a number of common symptoms from a fall that might manifest at the time of the injury, or shortly afterward.
- Neck pain and stiffness
- Neck swelling
- Shoulder pain and stiffness
- Weakness, numbness, or tingling in the arms and shoulders
- Dizziness or vertigo
Any time you’re riding in or operating a vehicle, a sudden change in direction, either from a head-on, rear-end or t-bone collision can cause jarring of the body and a neck injury. If you’re driving a vehicle and see the accident coming, bracing your body can sometimes cause an injury on impact if your head snaps back and forth. There are other impacts that can cause a neck injury – so you should not rule it out after an accident – the onset of symptoms can be delayed. We encourage every car accident victim to see a doctor as soon as possible to ensure proper diagnosis and treatment.
While a faulty toaster at home or an ignition switch in your car may not sound like it could cause a neck injury – escaping a kitchen fire as a result of the faulty toaster or getting into an accident because your car’s ignition shuts off unexpectedly can also cause those neck injuries. If you or your children play sports, a faulty helmet or safety padding can lead to neck injuries as well. We purchase products with the expectation that they are safe, and when they are faulty – the manufacturers, designers, and distributors need to be held liable for the failure of the products they create, endorse, and make available to the public.
If you’ve been in any type of motorcycle accident, even the smallest bump from a larger car or truck can cause impact trauma and neck injury. You’re in an unprotected state for the most part as you ride your motorcycle. A helmet and padding will only offer so much insulation against impact with another vehicle, or even the road. The same type of neck injury you may suffer as the result of a car accident or a slip and fall can happen when you’ve been in a motorcycle accident. Ensure your injuries are documented by a physician and don’t be surprised when the onset of your symptoms takes a few days.
Like in a car accident, whiplash or other neck injuries are commonplace if you’re a pedestrian hit by a car, truck, motorcycle, or other larger vehicles. If an accident is bad enough to cause injury of any kind, it’s likely your neck is involved in some manner.
On The Job Injury
Frequently job-related injuries involve the neck and back. Either from slipping and falling at work, being involved in an auto accident while making deliveries, or traveling to remote work destinations. If you work in a warehouse, you may have had something fall from a height and strike you on the head, neck, or back – a neck injury is a common by-product of these types of accidents. If you work on a construction site, being struck by heavy equipment, lumber being moved, or just tripping over unmarked trenches or ditches can cause a neck injury. Ensuring you’re rehabilitated and taken care of after the injury is our job, and we take it seriously.
Common Types of Neck Injuries After Accidents
Car accidents can also be responsible for a variety of other neck injuries that can be considerably more serious. While whiplash is the most talked-about result, there are other injuries that can happen to the neck, caused by a wide variety of accidents. A fracture in the neck is a very real possibility, but if that has been ruled out – the road to recovery inevitably flows along the path of rest and physical therapy to improve pain, mobility, and range of motion.
As Dr. Scott Gray, a Sport & Spine Physical Therapist in Fort Myers, FL shares, “Headache, neck pain, and whiplash injuries are some of the most common complaints patients suffer from after a motor vehicle or an accident on the job. Once a fracture has been ruled out, consider seeing a Doctor of Physical Therapy.
A Doctor of Physical Therapy is an expert in the conservative management of musculoskeletal pain including the neck. Seeing a physical therapist can be life-changing and can help you get back in motion without surgery or drugs, especially after a car accident or incident on the job. They can quickly discern what your next best step is and provide an array of treatments including manipulation, dry needling, Myofascia release, taping, and specific exercises to help your head or neck pain or just feel normal again.“
Neck Fracture (Cervical Vertebrae)
The symptoms of a neck sprain can also be related to neck fractures of the cervical vertebrae. According to the American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons, symptoms of a neck fracture can range from paralysis to swelling. The most common symptoms in conscious patients can be, but are not limited to:
- Severe neck pain.
- Pain spreading from the neck to the shoulders or arms
- Bruising and swelling at the back of the neck.
While less serious than a fracture, a neck sprain can be painful and reflect some of the same symptoms as a fracture. Because this is a pivotal juncture and many of your body’s functions pass through the cervical vertebrae structure, all neck pain should be treated by a physician. The American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons explains that some of the more common symptoms of neck sprain include:
- Neck Pain: Typically located in the rear of the neck and involves sharper pain with movement. Pain symptoms may not appear until a day or more after an accident takes place.
- Neck Stiffness: Decreased range of vertical, horizontal, and/or circular motion.
- Headache: Often radiating from the rear of the head near where the spine meets the skull.
- Arm & Shoulder Symptoms: Possibly include muscle spasms, pain, numbness, tingling, and/or weakness.
- Cognitive Symptoms: Problems with sleep, concentration, fatigue, and mood can also occur.
A Note on Neck Strains vs. Neck Sprains
It’s important to note that a neck sprain is a different type of injury than a neck strain. While a neck sprain involves damage to ligaments and similar soft tissue, a neck strain is caused by trauma to the actual muscles of the neck.
Any type of accident that involves the neck can produce a pinched nerve. Because nerves that travel from the head to the rest of the body pass through the neck, and all sensation and function are controlled by the brain, a pinched nerve in the neck after an accident can cause pain, as well as cognitive and mobility issues. Whether due to the “whiplash” effect of sudden jerking movement or as a byproduct of a neck sprain, strain, or fracture – pinched nerves mainly heal with time, therapy, and rest. This can mean time off work, doctor’s appointments, excessive travel, and other hardships that you deserve to be compensated for.
Arthritis in the neck
The longer-term prognosis post neck injury can be arthritis and continued mobility issues. Many times, a full range of motion never returns, depending upon the severity of your neck injury. Arthritis can take a while to develop and show symptoms. A good personal injury lawyer will factor in the doctor’s reports, and physical therapist’s recommendations and ensure you’re asking for a neck injury settlement amount that will extend beyond immediate care, and into long-term care related to any after-effects of your accident and neck injury.
Whiplash occurs when the neck is moved rapidly back and forth, cracking it like a whip. The most common cause of whiplash injury can be traced to car accidents, but whiplash can happen in an accident where the neck is snapped back and forth harshly. Abusive situations (shaking), pedestrian accidents, sports accidents, and other types of traumatic injury can cause whiplash. Any neck injury caused by that rapid back and forth jerking can be classified as whiplash.
Symptoms of whiplash can include, but are not limited to neck pain, loss of range of motion, headaches at the base of the skull, dizziness, tingling in hands and arms, blurred vision, irritability, lack of concentration, and more. Because the symptoms vary from victim to victim, finding a diagnosis and long-term prognosis can be a challenge. Experience counts when you’re seeking compensation to assist with treatment and recovery from a whiplash injury. Abrahamson & Uiterwyk can help.
“Once a fracture has been ruled out, seeing a Doctor of Physical Therapy should be your next best step to making a complete recovery”Dr. Scott Gray, Physical Therapist – Fort Myers, FL
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Treatment Options for Neck Injuries After an Accident
If you’ve been injured in an accident and have a neck injury – there are a variety of treatments available to assist with your recovery. The options range from rest to surgery, almost always including physical therapy, and supports such as a brace or limiting device to ensure the injury is not aggravated as it heals. Most neck injuries after an accident are termed “whiplash” and the treatment follows a variety of paths. Your doctor and physical therapist should work together to ensure proper and thorough treatment of your pain – your personal injury lawyer can ensure this treatment is paid for.
The saying “time heals all wounds” can certainly apply here. Rest is generally the first recommendation with a neck injury. Ensuring your neck is supported and the muscles are not being overused while you heal is the first step to becoming, hopefully, pain-free.
Along with rest, strengthening and restoring sore and strained muscles and tendons can improve your pain levels and your range of motion. An expert physical therapist can guide you through safe recovery and rehabilitation after an accident-induced neck injury
Depending upon the severity of your injury – surgery may be recommended. Repairing a fracture may require more than just support, rest, and therapy. In these cases, an expert surgeon will be brought into your treatment cycle and will work with your physician and physical therapist to help you through treatment and recovery. Neck surgery can be costly, and bearing the burden without the help of an experienced, highly knowledgeable team – including a good personal injury attorney – can cause more issues in the long term, from financial stress, loss of income, loss of home, and more.
Supports (Such as a Neck Brace)
In nearly every instance, your physician and physical therapist will likely prescribe a brace of some sort to help you support your neck as it heals from the injury. These braces not only support your neck, but can also limit motion to ensure those muscles, tendons, and bones have time to heal.
Long Term Prognosis With and Without Treatment
The recovery and long-term prognosis after an accident-related neck injury can vary based on the severity of the injury. Fractures and pinched nerves in the neck can lead to permanent paralysis and life-long after-effects. Sprains and strains can sometimes lead to long-term impacts like arthritis or chronic pain, but many times people can completely recover with excellent care and therapy. The key to a good outcome may be support and treatment after the accident. From a highly qualified medical staff to your at-home care and physical therapy journey – ensuring you are surrounded by competent treatment is a key factor in your recovery. This may also become a financial burden. Our team of personal injury attorneys can assist in making the process easier for you and your family
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