The spinal cord plays an integral part in the functioning of the body and any injuries to the spine can result in long-term impacts on a victim’s daily life, permanent disability, or paralysis. The neck, in particular, is one of the most unprotected parts of the spine and is vulnerable to injury in many types of accidents. If you or a loved one has sustained a neck injury in an accident caused by another party, you may be entitled to financial compensation for that injury.
Neck injuries can range from mild to severe, leaving victims with mild pain to permanent disability and chronic pain. One of the most common neck injuries victims sustain in accidents is whiplash. Whiplash occurs when the head is snapped back and forth, in a jerking motion. The most common cause of whiplash is vehicle accidents but is also seen frequently in slip and fall accidents and sports injuries.
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Sprains and strains to the neck are also common. Sprains affect the necks ligaments, which hold the bones in place. Strains affect the neck’s muscles. The usual treatment involves anti-inflammatory and pain medications to treat the discomfort. If the victim begins to suffer symptoms of tingling or loss of sensation in their arms, they should let their doctor know immediately as this can indicate nerve damage.
Some of the most serious injuries to the neck include:
- Cervical Dislocation: This happens if the bones in the neck move out of position, resulting in ruptured or separated ligaments or damage to the spinal cord. Treatment usually requires surgery.
- Cervical Fracture: If the bones in the neck break, the spine can be seriously damaged. Victims will often need to wear a halo brace in order to keep their head in place so the break can heal.
- Herniated discs: There are discs between each vertebra in the neck and if one should rupture, the victim can suffer burning, tingling, numbness, pain, or weakness in the arms. Sometimes medication and physical therapy will help, but in most cases, the victim needs surgery to repair the injury.
- Spinal Cord Injury: If the spinal cord is injured, the victim will likely be left paralyzed. The amount of paralysis the victim suffers will depend on where on the spine the victim has been injured and whether it will be a temporary or permanent paralysis. If the injury is above the third cervical vertebra of the spine, the victim will be unable to breathe on their own and will need a respirator in order to stay alive.
Contact a North Carolina Accident Attorney
If you have been injured in an accident caused by another party’s negligence or recklessness and would like to talk with a North Carolina personal injury attorney to find out what legal options you may have, call our office today. The legal team from Shapiro & Appleton has been advocating for injured clients since 1985 and will do all we can to ensure you receive the best possible outcome under the circumstances of your case. If you would like to meet with one of our skilled Carolinas injury attorneys to find out how we can help, call us today at 800-752-0042 for a free case evaluation.