Car accidents, vigorous sports, and slip and fall accidents can easily result in neck injuries. While it is easy to secure the body using accessories such as seat-belts or protective gear, necks are much more difficult to protect. The occurrence of a neck injury may cause short-term or long-term damage, depending on severity.
There are several types of neck injuries, each with its level of severity. Minor injuries such as shallow cuts may take only a few days to treat. However, serious injuries, including neck fractures, may take years to get under control. If a person acted negligently and caused your neck injuries, you may consult a personal injury lawyer and sue the responsible party for damages.
Type of Neck Injuries and Their Severity
The spine runs the length of the back from the neck to the small of your back. Since the entire body depends on the spinal cord for support and coordination, head and neck injuries may affect any part of the body. A list of neck injuries and their seriousness includes:
If you’ve ever been in a car accident, you know how much broken glass can be involved. While a dull object may only bruise the neck, sharp pieces may lacerate it. The seriousness of a cut is dependent upon its depth.
It may take a few days for a shallow cut to heal. However, deep cuts may take longer and cost more. Debris that plunges deeper into the neck may destroy tendons and ligaments, resulting in a more extended recuperation period.
Soft Tissue Damage
This injury involves strains and sprains of the muscles in the neck. Soft tissue damage may also involve ligament and tendon strains. Most neck injuries involving soft tissue damage are not very serious, and you may recover from them in weeks with therapy. However, grade three injuries may take longer to heal.
Accidents like rear-end collisions can cause the neck to move back and forth suddenly. Unexpected jolts like these are the reason for whiplash. This type of injury may cause ligament damage or a tear of the connective tissue.
You may recover from whiplash in a matter of weeks. However, failing to attend to whiplash in a timely manner may result in chronic pain and headaches that can persist for years after the accident. A victim may even suffer memory loss.
Due to the tremendous force accidents subject the body to, the interior portions of the spinal discs may push against the exterior. Also, the discs may slip out of their place in the vertebrae. Both occurrences can cause pinched nerves. This can result in pain and possible arm numbness.
Herniated disks may take at least four weeks to recover. If symptoms persist, a patient may have to undergo surgery. This can make the recovery time longer.
Neck or Cervical Fracture
Neck fractures are among the most severe forms of neck injuries. They involve the rupture of one or more of the cervical vertebrae that make the neck. An injury of this nature may affect the spinal cord, and it can even cause paralysis.
If a neck fracture is not severe, you may recover within two months. However, severe fractures may make a victim immobile and cause significant short- or long-term pain and injury. An injured person also may not be able to carry out essential activities, such as cooking or going to work.
Claiming Damages After a Neck Injury
If a third party is responsible for your neck injuries, you can always file a lawsuit. A lawyer can help you work out the recoverable damages after an injury, including economic damages due to medical expenses, lost wages, and disabled access home and vehicle modifications if they were necessary. You may also be able to recover the cost of having to hire others to take care of your essential activities for you.