It’s an unfortunate fact that driving is one of the most dangerous things that most Americans do on a daily basis. This is particularly true in Florida, where Florida Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles (FHSMV) reports that around 400,000 motor accidents happen in the state of Florida every year. And although many accidents may be classed as ‘minor,’ there are many that produce injuries, such as neck injuries and whiplash, that may go unnoticed immediately after the accident. The Spine Research Institute of San Diego reported that around 3 million Americans sustain whiplash injuries every year, around 1.5 million of these resulting in chronic pain. It’s very important to seek medical assistance as soon as possible after an accident, no matter how minor your injuries may seem.
If you have been in a car accident in Florida that wasn’t your fault, and it has left you with injuries such as a stiff neck or neck headaches, you should seek medical and legal advice. Neck pain can be a sign of underlying damage to your neck muscles, and if untreated, could lead to chronic neck pain and neck movement loss. We encourage you to seek medical treatment as soon as you can following a car accident, as failing to do so may impact your ability to claim compensation for damages.
Doctor’s appointments, pain medication, and other medical treatment can be extremely costly, but you shouldn’t let this deter you from seeking the medical attention you require. If you believe that your car accident was caused by the negligent actions or behavior of another person on the road, then you could be entitled to compensation to cover these medical costs and other damages caused by the crash, such as emotional distress.
Here at The Law Place, our team of highly skilled lawyers has over 75 years of combined legal experience with neck injury cases just like yours. Call us today to arrange a free consultation with one of our personal injury lawyers. They can offer you obligation-free legal advice specific to your case and advise you regarding the best next steps to take if they believe that you have a viable personal injury case. Call us today to see how we can help.
Our phone lines are open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week for the convenience of our clients. Call now for a free case evaluation at (941) 444-4444.
Why do Car Accidents Cause Neck Pain?
It’s very common for car accidents to lead to neck pain as this part of the body is unfortunately not well protected during a car crash.
Most cars are fitted with safety features such as crumple zones, airbags, and seat belts that are designed to absorb the huge pressure and force that can be inflicted on a body in a traffic collision. They also reduce the risk of the passengers being thrown from the car in case of a collision.
While seat belts will keep the human body from accelerating forwards or sideways in a crash, they do not stop the head and neck from being forced away from the body, which can cause a huge amount of force to be absorbed by the neck. This sudden jerk backward and forwards or side-to-side can result in serious damage to the cervical spine and surrounding nerves, ligaments, muscles, and tendons.
The cervical spine consists of the seven vertebrae at the top of your spine are separated by intervertebral discs, which help to absorb shock and protect the spine. The shock to the neck caused by the forceful impact of a car accident can cause damage to these structures in different ways.
Some of the most common immediate symptoms of back and neck injuries are:
- Extreme pain in the neck, back, or head.
- The inability to move your fingers or toes.
- Tingling, numbness, or weakness in the fingers, hands, or arms.
- An immediate headache.
- Dizziness or a loss of balance.
- Difficulty breathing.
- Finding your body in an unnatural or twisted position.
What Are Some of the Most Common Causes of Neck Pain Following a Car Accident?
During a car accident, the sudden force to the neck can injure the cervical spine in different ways and lead to neck pain ranging from mild symptoms of neck strain to more severe chronic pain. There are many different possible causes of neck pain, one of the most common being whiplash. Sometimes the symptoms can be felt immediately. Other times they do not appear until hours or even weeks following the accident. For this reason, we recommend talking to your medical provider as soon as possible so that a medical professional can check for severe injuries to the spinal cord and surrounding nerves.
- Whiplash injuries – This is one of the most common causes of neck pain. It is caused by a sudden jerk of the head in a crash caused strain to the neck and back muscles. Symptoms of whiplash may not appear immediately and can worsen over time. The symptoms can last anywhere from a couple of weeks to much longer-term, depending on the severity of the whiplash.
- Soft tissue damage – Sometimes, the sudden impact on your body during a crash causes the ligaments that connect your bones in your neck and back to overstretch. This can lead to a neck sprain, neck strain, or torn ligaments.
- Disc injury – Sometimes, the force of whiplash can cause the vertebral discs to be compressed or knocked out of alignment. This is known as a slipped or herniated disc. The treatment will depend on the severity of the damage. You should seek medical attention if you suspect you could have a herniated disc, as it can lead to other degenerative spinal disorders if left undiagnosed.
- Neck fracture – It will quickly become obvious if you have suffered a neck fracture following a car accident, as you will experience extreme neck pain. If you suspect you have a fractured neck or spine, it is very important to not move without medical assistance, as doing so could damage your spinal cord and cause paralysis.
If you are suffering from neck pain or any other type of injury following a car accident in Florida that wasn’t your fault, then you could be entitled to compensation. Our personal injury attorneys have helped countless clients just like you to recover medical costs and other damages. Call us today for obligation-free advice regarding your case.
What Medical Treatment Can I Expect Following a Neck Injury?
The medical treatment that you receive for your neck injury will depend on the type of injury and the severity of the damage. Less severe damage such as mild whiplash symptoms and soft tissue injuries may only require a medical check-up with X-rays and CT scans to rule out spinal cord damage or prescription of pain medication.
Medication and Non-Surgical Options
Some milder symptoms of whiplash, such as headaches or can be treated with over-the-counter pain medication. However, if your neck injury is causing you chronic pain or debilitating pain, then you may be referred to a pain management specialist. To reduce the pain, you could be prescribed nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs or other medication such as acetaminophen, anti-epileptics, muscle relaxants, or anti-depressants. You could also be given intradiscal steroid injections or epidural steroid injections.
Patients with soft tissue or spinal damage may be referred to a physical therapist to help reduce discogenic pain through spinal manipulation of the back and neck. Patients might be given strengthening physical therapy exercises to do at home to help with the recovery process.
Spinal surgery is not usually necessary, but in cases of debilitating pain lasting more than 3 months, patients may consider this option.
Intradiscal electrothermal therapy is a minimally invasive surgery that helps to fuse and kill off painful nerve endings to reduce discogenic pain. Another common discogenic pain surgery is spinal fusion. Be sure to speak to medical professionals to help you to choose the best course of medical treatment for your neck injury.
What Damages Can I Claim Following a Car Accident in Florida?
If you have been in a car accident in Florida, then we understand the emotional, physical, and economic impact that this must be having on you and your family.
Severe neck injuries will require expensive surgeries, medication, and long-time rehabilitation, and even mild neck injuries can force victims to take time off work, leading to lost wages.
If you are suffering from neck or back pain following a car accident that wasn’t your fault, then you may be able to claim compensation for these medical costs, as well as other damages.
If you have been in a car accident, you should seek medical attention as soon as possible, even if you are not in any immediate pain or only have minor injuries. This reduces the risk of further medical complications from injuries you may not notice immediately, such as internal bleeding, concussion, and whiplash. It will also maximize your chances of being able to claim compensation for medical costs and other damages later on.
Florida Statute 627.736 states that in order to claim that an accident caused your injury, you must seek medical attention within 14 days of your car accident. We recommend that you do so as soon as you can to give you the best chance of receiving the economic compensation to help you recover in peace.
An experienced personal injury lawyer can help you to calculate the extent of your damages following a car accident and build a strong case for your right to claim them back. These damages could include:
- Medical expenses – Recovery from a neck or back injury can be costly and take a long time. You may be eligible to claim compensation for all of these costs, ranging from doctor’s appointments to surgeries, medication, and rehabilitation. Be sure to keep records of all medical treatment you received because of your car crash injuries.
- Lost wages – If your neck injury has forced you to take time off work, or it will impact your ability to work in the future, then a personal injury lawyer can help you to calculate these damages.
- Emotional pain and suffering – this could include depression, emotional distress, PTSD, etc.
- Property damage – If your vehicle or personal possessions were damaged during the crash.
- Wrongful death – If a loved one was killed in a car accident, then under Florida Statute 768.21, you could be entitled to compensation for funeral and burial expenses, as well as loss of family income.
What Can a Personal Injury Lawyer Do for Me?
If you have been injured in a car crash, we understand how painful and stressful life can be in the aftermath. Once you have received medical attention for your injuries, the best thing you can do is to contact a reputable law firm to seek legal representation.
Here at The Law Place, we offer our new clients a free case evaluation so that they can discuss the details of their case with an experienced attorney and receive free, no-obligation legal advice. Our personal injury attorneys have an abundance of experience dealing with cases just like yours and in helping car crash victims to claim their rightful compensation.
If you decide to pursue a personal injury lawsuit following the initial free case evaluation, we hope that you will consider allowing us to help you. We operate on a no-win-no-fee payment system, meaning that you won’t have to pay a penny upfront. If your case is unsuccessful, you won’t have to pay at all. You will only be charged if your lawsuit is successful, in which case we will deduct our legal fee from the final settlement.
Our extensive knowledge of Florida’s no-fault laws and experience with cases just like yours put us in the perfect position to fight tooth and nail for your rightful compensation.
Contact The Law Place
Your personal injury attorney will stick by you and guide you through the entire process, building your case using collected evidence and being the point of communication between you and the relevant insurance companies. This will allow you to start your recovery in peace. Facing Florida’s personal injury laws can be daunting, but you don’t have to do it alone.
Call The Law Place today for a free case evaluation with a personal injury lawyer. Our phone lines are open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Call us today at (941) 444-4444.