Neck and Back Injuries After a Car Accident
Cars can crash in many different ways. Depending on the nature of the impact, vehicle occupants can suffer trauma and injuries to many parts of their bodies. In addition to direct trauma, the body can also twist and move in unnatural ways, which can lead to many types of soft tissue damage and other injuries.
Neck and back injuries are particularly common in car accidents. Below are some examples of injuries to your neck or back that result from collisions.
Whiplash refers to soft tissue injuries to the neck that happen when your head snaps back and forth like the cracking of a whip. These sprains and strains to your neck’s ligaments, tendons, and muscles can be painful and result in limited range of motion, headaches, shoulder and arm pain, and more.
You might also sprain the muscles in your lower back, as well as the surrounding soft tissue. This is common after rear-end accidents and can cause lasting pain and difficulty with movement.
Not all neck and back injuries involve your soft tissue. Your spinal cord runs from your neck down the full length of your back, and a car crash can injure your spine in many places. Some injuries impact your discs, which cushion your vertebrae. Disc herniation can cause pain and may require surgery to repair. Spinal stenosis can also result, which pinches a nerve between your discs.
If you suffer damage to the spinal cord itself, it can be a life-threatening situation. Complete spinal cord injuries cut off your neurological messages below the point of injury, which leads to permanent paralysis. You can also lose all sensory abilities and organ function. This is a permanently disabling condition that will completely change your life and can require ongoing care and treatment.
Seeking Medical Treatment After a Neck Or Back Injury
Most people understand that car crashes are traumatic events. Following an accident, you might feel stiff or sore, but you might convince yourself that this is a normal feeling, and you might write it off and simply go home without getting evaluated by a medical professional. Putting off getting medical attention can be a mistake for different reasons.
Always seek a medical evaluation if you feel any discomfort or pain in your neck or back. Doing so will ensure you get a timely diagnosis of your injuries, and your doctors can recommend the proper treatment. This can improve your prognosis and prevent complications. It can also serve as important evidence if you can file an injury claim against the party that caused your accident.
After your health is stable, your next step should be to reach out to an experienced California car accident lawyer. The right lawyer can evaluate your rights to hold another party accountable for your losses and file the proper claims. Your medical records can serve as proof of your injuries, including their severity and the treatment you needed as a result. This can often improve your claims process and help you obtain a successful outcome.