Serious trauma to the neck can require hospitalization, surgery and extended time off work. At the Los Angeles-based Salamati Law Firm, our personal injury lawyers understand the magnitude of pain and suffering that neck injuries impart on victims and their loved ones. If you sustained traumatic neck injury in a preventable accident, our legal team can advise you on the best course of action for financial recovery.
In our two decades of litigation experience, we have witnessed the hardships and physical limitations that severe neck injuries create, whether suffered in a read-end collision or an inadvertent fall. Put our resources and expertise to work for in the event you qualify for neck injury compensation.
Neck injury causes
Neck injuries run the gamut in terms of severity and long-term prognosis. Minor trauma will improve with time, while more serious injuries can lead to life-altering consequences.
The following neck injury causes may give rise to personal injury litigation:
- Whiplash injuries in motor vehicle accidents
- Bicycle crashes
- Improperly lifting heavy objects
- Sports-related accidents
- Falls from heights
- Assault with a weapon
- Construction accidents
- Slip, trips and falls
Types of neck injuries
Common neck injuries that involve muscles, ligaments, tendons and bones include:
- Muscle strain
- Herniated disc
- Cervical spine fracture or broken neck
- Cervical dislocation
- Nerve damage
- Penetrating neck injury, usually from assault
- Laryngeal trauma
- Blunt neck trauma from vehicle accidents or sports injury
Neck injury symptoms
Did you know that severe trauma to the neck – and back—can lead to permanent disability in some cases? One Danish study found that whiplash victims who experienced severe grades of pain and stiffness immediately following their accident were most likely to be physically disabled one year later.
Considering that serious trauma to the cervical column can lead to spinal cord damage, it’s imperative to know early symptoms and seek an accurate diagnosis as soon as possible.
Neck injury symptoms may include, but are not limited to:
- Localized tenderness and swelling
- Stiffness in the neck
- Severe headache
- Dizziness, vertigo or blurry vision
- Reduced range of neck motion
- Jaw pain
- Ringing in the ears
- Pain that radiates to the back or shoulders
- Numbness or tingling in the arms and shoulders
- Weakness or paralysis of the legs
- Muscle spasms along the cervical vertebra
Long term consequences of neck strain & neck trauma
Frequently, the neck trauma patient may seem stable and totally asymptomatic, only to discover injury to the muscles, ligaments, vertebra or vascular system days or even weeks later. By delaying proper diagnosis and neck injury treatment, patients are at greater risk for complications that can undermine health. The response time in receiving medical care plays an instrumental role in the long-term consequences of neck strain and trauma.
Diagnostic testing for neck trauma will include a comprehensive set of X-rays, and in some cases, CT or MRI scans of the cervical spine to help identify damage to soft tissue structures. Whiplash, which is one of the most common types of neck injury observed in car accident cases, is usually manageable when treated early. Muscle relaxants, corticosteroid injections, physiotherapy and acupuncture are often successful in resolving painful symptoms and increasing mobility. Severe whiplash, in certain instances, can take several years to fully heal. Researchers have found that neck trauma that includes cervical fracture has been linked to osteoarthritis and spinal stenosis.
Unfortunately, some neck injury patients will invariably suffer complications that limit their ability to work, enjoy leisure activities and other normal aspects of life. This, in turn, has a domino effect that can negatively impact a person’s emotional, physical and financial well-being.
How to value a neck injury for an insurance claim or settlement
Rear-end accidents, falls and construction mishaps are some of the most prevalent causes of neck injury claims. Experienced personal injury lawyers are adept at helping assign a “value” to these cases, which estimates a potential financial recovery through an insurance settlement or court award. A lot will depend on the strength of the plaintiff’s case, and if their legal counsel can prove that the defendant is wholly liable for the injuries sustained, whether through negligence, failure to warn or other transgressions. The severity of the claimant’s neck injury will also parlay into the settlement amount, depending on whether ongoing therapy, surgeries, medical treatment or other financial hardships are anticipated.
Generally speaking, “hard” injuries like cervical fractures tend to garner higher payouts compared to “soft” injuries like a strained tendon or whiplash. The reasoning behind this logic is that insurance companies can verify broken bones or trauma that is easily diagnosed through medical tests and examination.
Filing a claim for a whiplash neck injury
Individuals who are diagnosed with whiplash after a workplace mishap, car crash or other kind of accident may be eligible to file a claim for whiplash injury. While it may seem straightforward to file a claim for damages, insurance carriers rarely offer fair compensation. Adjustors want hard evidence of all injuries and related losses, so the first step is keeping accurate records of all medical treatments, prescriptions, loss of earnings, etc. and contacting a reputable attorney. Due to the preponderance of “low-ball” settlement offers for whiplash claims, victims may need to file a personal injury lawsuit in order to recover monies that adequately account for losses.
Car accident neck injury settlement amount
The amount of personal injury compensation available is different in every case. Because no two neck injury claims are identical, settlement amounts can vary tremendously.
The following will have a direct effect on potential settlement amounts:
- Type and severity of neck injury – was it a hard or soft tissue injury?
- Costs of past and future medical costs, out-of-pocket expenses and lost income
- Diminished earning capacity due to permanent disability
- Mental anguish and emotional distress – how has the injury affected your lifestyle and wellbeing?
- Loss of consortium
Plaintiffs who have complete medical records that show the severity of the injuries, the length of recovery as well as evidence that supports how the injury diminished the quality of life tend to secure higher settlement amounts.
Neck pain after car accident, fall or other mishap? Speak with a lawyer
Attorney Sean F. Salamati remains dedicated to achieving justice and maximum compensation for his clients. If you are experiencing neck pain after a car collision or accident, take advantage of a free case evaluation with a neck injury lawyer Los Angeles trusts. There are no upfront costs as we only collect our payment when we win or settle your claim. Call 888-259-4060 today!
Traumatic neck injury resources
- MedlinePlus, Neck Injuries and Disorders https://medlineplus.gov/neckinjuriesanddisorders.html
- com, Cervical Spine Injury https://www.verywell.com/most-common-neck-injuries-described-296664
- Journal of Emergency Medical Services, Recognizing and Managing Traumatic Neck Injuries http://www.jems.com/articles/print/volume-39/issue-4/features/recognizing-and-managing-traumatic-neck.html
- EMedicineHealth, Neck and Back Injuries http://www.emedicinehealth.com/wilderness_neck_and_back_injuries/article_em.htm
- PatientInfo, Whiplash and Cervical Spine Injury http://patient.info/doctor/whiplash-and-cervical-spine-injury