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Why Does My Neck Hurt After A Car Accident?

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So, you were just in a collision. You may have felt fine initially, but days later, you start experiencing aches, pains, and symptoms that seem out of the ordinary. A neck injury after a car accident can be devastating and have a long-lasting impact on your life.

If you’ve been injured in a crash, get a Premier Neck Injury Car Accident Lawyer on your side to handle your case. They’ll protect your rights every step of the way and fight to secure adequate compensation on your behalf. To learn more, contact a neck injury attorney near you for a free case evaluation.

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You may be asking yourself, why was there a delay in when I felt neck pain. Delayed neck pain after a car accident can appear within hours or days following a crash. During this time, inflammation and muscle tension can increase, leading to pain and discomfort. However, the time it takes for neck pain after a car accident to appear varies from person to person.

If the delayed neck pain is related to whiplash, symptoms typically start within 24 to 72 hours. Whiplash-related neck pain may be accompanied by stiffness, headaches, and reduced range of motion.

If nerve compression or irritation occurs due to the injury, it may take some time for nerve-related symptoms to become apparent. This can include radiating pain, numbness, or tingling in the neck and arms.

Causes of neck pain after an accident

After a car accident, neck pain can be caused by different factors. The neck is easily injured because car accidents can cause sudden and forceful movements.

Whiplash is one of the most common causes of neck pain after a car accident, particularly in rear-end collisions. Whiplash happens when the head is quickly jerked back and forth, straining the neck's muscles and ligaments.

A sprain involves damage to ligaments, while a strain involves damage to muscles or tendons. Both can occur in the neck during a car accident, leading to pain and inflammation.

A car accident can potentially cause a bulging disc in the neck, often referred to as a cervical bulging disc or cervical disc protrusion. When a vehicle collision occurs, especially rear-end or high-impact collisions, it can subject the neck to sudden and forceful movements.

The impact and jolting motion can cause the discs between the vertebrae in the neck to compress and bulge outward. This can lead to pressure on surrounding nerves and potential symptoms such as:

  • Neck pain.
  • Radiating pain into the arms.
  • Numbness.
  • Tingling.
  • Muscle weakness.

Can a car accident cause a herniated disc in the neck?

The cervical spine is particularly vulnerable in car accidents, especially in frontal or rear-end collisions. The sudden forceful impact can put excessive pressure on the spine. The cervical discs, which act as cushions between the vertebrae, can be forced out of their normal position.

If the outer layer of the disc tears, the inner materials can protrude out. The herniated material can press on the spinal nerves or the spinal cord, leading to pain, numbness, or weakness in the arms, shoulders, or neck.

A car crash can make neck arthritis worse, especially if it hurts the neck. Neck arthritis is a condition that happens as you get older and affects the neck. Car accidents can make neck problems worse, especially if they're already degenerative.

Car accidents can cause sudden and intense compression and extension on the neck. These crashes include rear-end collisions and high-impact crashes. This can speed up the natural damage to the discs, joints, and surrounding structures in the neck.

Car accidents can cause herniated or bulging discs in the neck. This can lead to instability and inflammation in the cervical spine. Over time, this can contribute to the development of neck arthritis.

How long does neck pain last after a car accident?

How long neck pain lasts after a car accident can vary by the type and severity of the injury. Acute neck pain usually gets better in a few days to weeks with treatment and self-care. If you have whiplash, your neck pain can last a few weeks to a few months.

Minor sprains or strains in the neck can often improve within a few weeks. Resting, managing pain, and doing physical therapy can help with this.

If you have a herniated disc or a fracture, your neck pain may last for many months with treatment and rest. Sometimes, neck pain can last for six months or longer, turning into chronic pain.

If you have neck pain after a car accident, it's important to get prompt medical treatment. A doctor can diagnose your condition and create a treatment plan that is right for you. Neck pain treatment may include:

  • Rest: Initially, you may need to rest your neck to avoid further strain and allow healing to begin. 
  • Pain management: Over-the-counter pain relievers may help alleviate pain and reduce inflammation. Your healthcare provider may also prescribe stronger pain medications if needed.
  • Physical therapy: A physical therapist can develop an exercise program to improve neck strength, flexibility, and range of motion. Physical therapy may include gentle stretches, posture correction, and strengthening exercises.
  • Heat and cold therapy: Applying heat and cold packs can provide relief from pain and inflammation. 
  • Neck brace or collar: In some cases, a soft cervical collar may be recommended for a short period to support the neck and limit movement. 
  • Surgical intervention: In severe cases where conservative treatments are ineffective, surgical options may be considered. This may include cervical disc replacement or fusion.

What is the average settlement for a car accident back and neck injury?

The average settlement for car accident back and neck injuries can vary. There is no fixed amount for neck and back injury settlements, as each case is unique. 

Only an experienced attorney can determine how much money you’re entitled to. They’ll use a neck injury settlement calculator by including the following factors into your settlement amount:

  • Severity of injuries: The more severe and long-lasting the back and neck injuries, the higher the potential settlement. Injuries that require extensive medical treatment, rehabilitation, or surgery may result in larger settlements.
  • Medical expenses: The cost of medical treatment, including surgeries, hospital stays, physical therapy, and prescription medications, can impact the settlement amount.
  • Lost wages: If your injuries lead to missed work or a reduced ability to work, the lost income is factored into the settlement.
  • Pain and suffering: Compensation for physical pain, emotional distress, and reduced quality of life may also be factored into your settlement amount.
  • Liability: The determination of fault in the car accident can affect the settlement. If the other driver is clearly at fault, the injured party may be entitled to a higher settlement. If you were partially at fault, your settlement amount can be reduced if you’re in a state that uses the comparative negligence rule.

Handling a neck injury claim alone is risky. Any mistake in the claims process could result in your compensation being reduced, delayed, or denied. When you get a Premier Car Collision Lawyer on your side, they’ll act as your advocate from start to finish.

Your attorney will thoroughly investigate your crash to determine liability, place an accurate value on your claim, and fight to maximize your compensation. Best of all, you don’t need to afford a lawyer to get legal representation. Our verified attorneys operate on a contingency fee basis. They only take a certain percentage if you’re fully compensated.

To get started on your neck injury claim, contact a Premier Lawyer near you and set up your free legal consultation.

Injured? Call Now
Talk to a LAW.COM Premier Attorney today!

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Injured? Speak to a LAW.COM
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