A neck injury could impact your life for any amount of time—from a few hours to the rest of your life. The injury could be a dull pain that comes and goes, or it could be constant and debilitating and change every part of how you live your life.
If you experience neck pain that requires medical attention, keeps you out of work, or prevents you from doing your regular activities, we encourage you to learn about your rights and why a personal injury lawsuit may be essential to your future.
Accidents That May Result in Neck Injuries
Many different kinds of personal injury accidents can result in severe or tragic neck injuries. The neck is rarely protected in an accident and may be hurt in a:
- Car accident
- Truck accident
- Motorcycle accident
- Pedestrian accident
- Slip and fall
- Sports accident
- Police brutality incident
- Workplace accident
- Negligent security incident
The type of neck injury you suffer depends on the specific circumstances of the accident.
Types of Neck Injuries
Your neck injury may include a:
- Fractured cervical spine. A cervical fracture or broken neck is a medical emergency. A cervical fracture can damage the spinal cord that the cervical bones typically protect. Spinal cord damage in the neck can lead to permanent paralysis of almost the entire body or death.
- Herniated disc. A herniated disc occurs when one (or more) of the discs between the vertebrae tear. The inside of the disc gets pushed out and may press against the nerves resulting in intense pain.
- Pinched nerve. If the bones, tissue, or tendons are disrupted in the accident and press against the nerves, then you may experience a painful pinched nerve.
- Sprain or strain. Your neck ligaments may get stretched or torn during the accident. This type of injury could happen even in a minor accident.
Neck injury symptoms don’t always appear immediately at the scene of an accident.
Accordingly, it’s important to get medical help as soon as possible after your accident. You may go to the emergency room, an urgent care clinic, or your primary care provider. The healthcare provider will examine you and diagnose any neck injuries. A prompt diagnosis may prevent your condition from worsening, help you manage your pain, and provide essential evidence in your accident case.
What It’s Like to Live With a Neck Injury
No two neck injuries are the same. Your healthcare providers will develop a unique treatment plan for you. If you experience a relatively minor injury, then you may heal with rest. In some cases, you may also need mediation and physical therapy. During your recovery, you may be unable to work and need household assistance.
More significant injuries, such as cervical fractures and spinal cord damage, may require expensive lifelong treatment, interventions, and modifications. For example, you may require hospitalizations, surgeries, and round-the-clock care. You may be unable to work and you may miss out on all of the things you enjoy.
Neck Injury Compensation
Your compensation will depend on several factors, including but not limited to:
- Your unique injuries. Your medical record will establish how badly you were hurt. The extent of your injuries is a critical factor in your recovery.
- Who was at fault for your neck injury. You may have been partially at fault for the accident that caused your neck injury. Your recovery may be reduced by the percentage of fault attributed to you. However, you may still recover damages if you weren’t primarily responsible for causing the accident.
- The evidence and arguments you present in your case. You have to prove the value of your damages and convince the insurance company to provide a fair settlement or the court to issue a fair verdict.
Generally, your financial recovery should include compensation for all of your accident-related damages, including but not limited to:
- Healthcare costs. Medical expenses may include but are not limited to surgeries, hospitalizations, medications, doctors’ appointments, physical therapy sessions, assistive medical devices, and other healthcare needs.
- Lost income. Your wages, bonuses, raises, benefits, and income from self-employment should all be part of your fair recovery,
- Out-of-pocket expenses. Any property damage you incurred, household help you need because of your injuries, and other out-of-pocket costs should be included in your recovery.
- Pain and suffering. The emotional pain and physical suffering you experience should also be part of your recovery.
Your personal injury lawyer will help you value your injuries and guide you through the legal recovery process.
Tips for Protecting Your Neck Injury Recovery
You may begin protecting your legal recovery at the accident scene regardless of the type of accident that causes your neck injury. Specifically, you can:
- Report the accident. After a motor vehicle crash, report the accident to the police. Other types of accidents may be reported to the property owner, business manager, or the police, as appropriate.
- Take photos. Your pictures may help prove why the accident happened.
- Gather witness contact information. Witnesses may provide critical information about what caused the accident.
- Get medical help. Prompt medical attention may help with both your physical and legal recoveries.
However, we encourage you not to move and risk further injury to yourself if you experience any pain or you think you may have suffered a severe neck injury. Instead, wait for first responders to come to the accident scene and help you.
Once the accident scene is cleared and you’ve gotten initial medical treatment, we encourage you to:
- Keep up with medical appointments and comply with treatment plans. Otherwise, your injury may worsen.
- Report the accident to the right insurers but be cautious about speaking with insurance adjusters. Insurance adjusters are not on your side and anything you say may be used against you.
- Contact a personal injury lawyer. An attorney can answer all of your questions and represent your interests in settlement negotiations and court.
- Refrain from posting on social media. Anything that you post may be taken out of context and used to dispute the extent of your injuries or liability.
Together, these steps can help you start building a strong personal injury case.
Our Wisconsin, Illinois, and Iowa personal injury lawyers are here to help you every step of the way. Insurance companies know that we mean business and that we won’t settle for less than our clients’ claims are worth. Please contact us any time for a free, no-obligation consultation in any of our 11 Midwest law offices, in your home or hospital room, or by phone or video conference.