Neck Injuries in Rear-End Accidents
I’m Ed Smith, a Car Accident Attorney in Sacramento. There are many different types of car accidents. The most common injury we all hear about is the dreaded neck injury. Cervical sprains, more commonly known as whiplash, can result from a rear-end car accident. This injury can be very painful. It can also lead to complications down the road.
Mechanism of Injury
There are numerous traumatic injuries that someone could sustain in a car wreck; however, a neck injury is one of the most common. When someone is driving down the road, they have likely noticed that people follow too closely from time to time. While it is foolish to think that tailgating someone will lead to a shorter trip, the rule that people should follow is to leave one car length between cars for every 10 MPH of speed. Tailgating increases the likelihood of winding up in a rear-end auto accident. When someone collides with another vehicle from behind, the sudden change in momentum could cause someone to fly out of their seat. While the idea of the seat belt is to restrain the body from moving forward, there is no such restraint for the head.
The head, which is heavy, will fly forward before being snapped back against the headrest. The goal of the headrest is to soften the forces received by the neck and head area. Over the years, improvement in these headrests has helped to reduce the severity of the injury. It has shortened the distance that the neck flies while also spreading out the forces across the head and neck area in addition to providing cushion; however, people still have the chance of suffering serious neck and spine injuries as a result of these forces. There are several different treatment options that people should consider.
Treatment of Neck Injuries in Rear-End Accidents
If someone has sustained neck injuries as a result of a collision, it is important to ensure that an accurate diagnosis is obtained. A detailed physical exam looking at the range of motion of the neck is first as well as assessing for any motor or sensory deficits that could have developed from the injury. Those with serious injuries could need an MRI or a CT scan to get a better look at the brain and spine to rule out other injuries. Those who have muscle or nerve injuries could require physical therapy to try and restore the function of their neck back to its baseline. These visits could continue for a while and it could take some time for the range of motion to return and for the pain to resolve. In these sessions, people will work on gradually increasing the range of motion in their neck under the guidance of a trained physical therapist who will know how to gradually stretch the neck without harming the individual. It is important to note that some people may never regain full motion in their neck and others could require long-term medication to control their pain. This is particularly true for people who develop complications of their injury.
Complications can Develop
There are several different complications that people could develop as a result of their neck injuries. In addition to some of the lost range of motion, it is possible that someone could develop arthritis at an earlier time. This arthritis develops as a result of chronic inflammation that occurs in the neck due to the trauma suffered. Other people who have suffered nerve damage may notice shooting pains down their arms and legs depending on the nerves that have been injured. This same nerve damage can also lead to a loss of sensory function in some parts of the body. It can be a challenge to connect a complication that arises in the future to an injury from a car accident in the past; however, this link can be beneficial for families. Those who have questions or concerns about the injury that they have sustained should reach out to an experienced injury lawyer today. A lawyer can help a family to discuss the options that they have in front of them and can help ensure that they have the help that they need during a stressful time. Some of the issues that an experienced attorney can help with include:
Paperwork: These injuries are accompanied by a significant amount of paperwork. This paperwork is related to the gathering of medical records, filing reports related to the accident, and filing claims with insurance companies.
Accident Investigation: Whenever someone sustains this type of injury in an accident, it is important to investigate the circumstances. This can help someone figure out how the accident occurred and why they were injured.
These are only a couple of the many different issues that an attorney can help with. A legal professional can help take some of this stress away, allowing the family to focus on their medical recovery.
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Contact an Experienced Car Accident Attorney in Sacramento
I’m Ed Smith, a Car Accident Attorney in Sacramento. The position of the headrest and the style of the headrest has important implications for neck injuries. If someone has developed complications as a result of neck injuries that they have sustained in a wreck, please get a hold of me by calling (916) 921-6400 for friendly, free advice. Or, call me toll-free at (800) 404-5400.
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Image Source: The image at the top was found first on Unsplash and has been printed here with permission
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