Have you recently been in a car accident in California? Are you experiencing neck pain?
Neck pain after a car accident is not uncommon. Even car crashes at speeds as low as 10 mph can generate enough force to cause the occupants of a vehicle to suffer significant neck injuries.
Minor acute neck pain is most commonly caused by injuries to the soft tissues in the neck. These types of injuries may heal within a few days or weeks with treatment.
A significant neck pain, where you are experiencing severe pain and very restricted movement or some form of paralysis, is often caused by a neck fracture or a herniated disc.
Diagnosing Neck Pain After a Car Accident
When you have neck pain after a car accident and seek medical attention, the doctor usually first checks to see if you have suffered a neck fracture.
If you haven’t had a neck fracture but your pain persists, the next step is usually to see if you have any herniated discs in your spine. If you are still in pain and don’t have any neck fracture or herniated discs, you likely have a soft tissue injury.
A soft tissue injury is an injury that occurs to muscles, tendons, or other connective tissues in the body. When these injuries occur to the neck, they are often referred to as whiplash or a neck sprain or strain.
Whiplash After a Car Accident
Whiplash is very common after car accidents, especially those involving rear-end collisions. Whiplash usually occurs when the body is moving in one direction, then is suddenly forced to move in another direction, causing the muscles, tendons, and ligaments in the neck to be stretched or torn.
You may feel the effects of whiplash immediately after the accident. But in most cases, pain and other symptoms of whiplash don’t begin to appear until 12 – 24 hours after the accident.
Common symptoms of whiplash include:
• Neck pain;
• Severe headaches;
• Blurred vision;
• Jaw pain;
• Ringing in the ears; and sometimes
• Numbness in the arms and legs
The severity of these symptoms will heavily depend on the harshness of the accident and how soon after you receive treatment.
Recovering Compensation for a Neck Injury After a Car Accident
Soft tissue injuries to the neck, like whiplash, can be just as painful as a neck fracture or herniated disc. And can be even more long-lasting. Unfortunately, soft tissue injuries are much harder to prove to an insurance company. This is because insurance companies want to see your injuries in black and white.
A neck fracture can be seen on an x-ray or CT scan. A herniated disc can be seen in an MRI. Whiplash, on the other hand, is typically not visible on any type of film or scan. For that reason, insurance companies are notoriously hard on car accident victims with soft tissue injuries. They simply won’t pay for what they cannot see.
To get a fair settlement for a neck injury after a car accident, you have to give the insurance company something to look at. Some soft tissue injuries will result in bruises and swelling. So, make sure that you take photos of any signs of injury after a car accident.
However, the best way to get fair compensation for any neck injury after a car accident is to get appropriate and consistent medical treatment for your injury until you are healed. The records of that treatment will likely be the most important evidence in your claim. When a doctor’s professional observations are combined with your truthful reports of pain and discomfort, your medical records can become the best proof of your suffering.
That is why you should see a doctor right away after a car accident. And then you should continue to see that doctor as often as you need until you have reached maximum medical improvement (MMI). This is the point when your doctor says your injury is as healed as it is going to get. You may still be in some pain when you reach MMI, but medical treatment isn’t going to make your condition any better.
Contact an Experienced California Car Accident Attorney For Assistance
If you are suffering from neck pain after a car accident, you can get full compensation for your injuries. But, if your neck pain is caused by a soft tissue injury, such as whiplash, you will need to seek appropriate and consistent medical treatment to receive the compensation you deserve.
Before the other driver’s insurance company disputes your neck injury or offers you a low-ball settlement for your car accident claim, you need an experienced California car accident attorney to fight for you. Call eAccidents today at 844-400-0123 and speak with one of our attorneys today.