After being in a car accident, it may take some time before you display symptoms of a neck injury. Many accident survivors think the only neck injury they should worry about is minor whiplash, but this is not accurate. If you were in an accident, you should know the symptoms of other serious neck injuries that indicate you may have a problem.
Neck Injury Symptoms After Car Accidents
According to San Jose Inside, more than 8,000 accidents occurred in intersections between 2003 and 2017. The result was more than 10,000 people suffering injury. Chances are, many of these people were unaware of the symptoms that may indicate they suffered a neck injury.
Never overlook pain after a car accident, but watch for other signs, including:
- Vision changes – See a doctor if you have blurred vision, flashing lights in the line of vision, and pressure behind your eyes after a car accident. These could signal that you suffered some form of a severe neck injury.
- Unexplained pain – Have a doctor evaluate pain in the jaw, unexplained back pain, pain between the shoulders, or swelling in the neck and throat area. A doctor should also evaluate any difficulty with breathing or swallowing since a neck injury could cause those symptoms, too.
- Problems moving – Should you suddenly lose any range of motion, suffer from spasms, tightness in the spine muscle, or have numbness in your limbs, contact your doctor immediately. These problems could indicate you have suffered compression of the discs in your neck or other areas of your spine.
- Balance issues – Often people with a neck injury will suddenly feel nauseated, have a headache that will not go away, feel very tired, find they have problems maintaining their balance, or suffer from dizziness. These could indicate that something more serious is occurring. Be sure a qualified physician addresses any unexplained issues.
People with a neck injury could also find they have numb body parts or may develop unexplained infections or abscesses. Address any changes in your health after a car accident to ensure you did not suffer an undiagnosed injury.
Common Injuries Suffered in Car Accidents
Whiplash is the most common neck injury a person may suffer as a result of a rear-end collision or a side collision. Getting an immediate diagnosis and treatment of whiplash when it involves severe injury may prove difficult, because oftentimes the symptoms may not appear for a day or more after an accident. Other car accident injuries may restrict a person’s range of motion or cause pain. Car accident survivors often suffer aches and pains in the days immediately after an accident. Vigilantly follow up with a qualified physician once you identify them to make sure your injuries aren’t more serious than you think.
Monitor Your Physical Health
Anyone who was in a car accident has likely suffered some form of soft tissue damage. This may mean they notice soreness or stiffness a few days or even a week after a car accident. You may have deep tissue bruising, or you may have damaged your tendons or ligaments in the crash.
If a window broke during the impact of a car accident, you may have suffered apparently minor cuts or abrasions. Monitor these carefully due to the risk of infection. Keep all wounds clean and if you notice any sign of infection, contact a doctor immediately. In addition, remember that any deep wounds could have damaged ligaments or tendons.
Patients who experience muscle spasms in the neck, back, or tingling or burning anywhere on their body need to have their doctor verify they are not seriously injured. Keep in mind, these could be symptomatic of a strained ligament, herniated disc or other nerve damage. Patients should monitor for any difficulty speaking or swallowing, as they may have damaged their vocal cords during the accident.
Naturally, have a doctor evaluate any changes you experience to your physical or mental health at any time they occur. However, if you were in a car accident, act as soon as possible. The last thing you want to do is ignore symptoms of potentially life-altering injuries, particularly injuries to the neck or back. Failure to pay attention to signals your body is sending after a car accident can have long-term health implications. Do not take any chances while you are recovering from your injuries. Returning to work or school too soon or failing to follow up on recommended care can cause future health issues.
Your Rights After a Car Accident
If injured in a vehicle collision, you can try to resolve the case without litigation by filing a claim with the responsible driver’s insurance. This can present challenges, because insurance companies are rarely on the side of the injured. Additionally, your injuries may exceed the insurance limits. You should consult with an attorney before filing a claim for recovery with the other driver’s insurer. In many cases, drivers will purchase the minimum coverage, which in California is $15,000 for injury to one person. Therefore, in order to be fairly compensated the best option is to file a personal injury lawsuit to recover their additional financial losses.
To file a personal injury lawsuit, you will want to work with an attorney who has experience dealing with car accidents. The more serious your injury, the more likely you are to need a car accident lawyer. Drivers who were under the influence, distracted, or driving in a careless manner regularly cause accidents on San Jose county roadways. You have the right to seek fair compensation after an accident that was not your fault.
After a car accident, learn your rights by seeking the guidance of a car accident lawyer who understands personal injury law. Since most attorneys offer free case evaluations, you have nothing to lose by discussing the accident, your injuries, and your financial damages with an experienced car accident attorney.