Neck Injury Attorney

Neck Injury Attorney

If you are suffering from a neck injury, you are not alone. Chronic neck pain is the third most common chronic pain condition in the United States. Many of these neck pain cases are related to external factors that are outside your control, through slip and fall trauma, accidents in the car, or workplace accidents. No matter the cause, the physical suffering of neck pain and injury can be severe. The spinal systems have extensive connectivity to other parts of the body, and just one tiny spinal misalignment can have extremely significant impacts. Apart from limited mobility, pain, and challenges managing everyday tasks, there are other negative aftereffects to neck injuries. Many people experience anxiety or depression following a harmful accident and may have trouble sleeping or focusing when awake. Plus, rest and recovery time necessitate by neck injury often demand missing work and life obligations, leading to financial, familial and other personal life stresses on top of medical concerns.

Thompson Law is dedicated and driven to provide the best personal injury legal services to clients who are dealing with just these issues. We understand the difficulty that comes with managing a treatment plan and fighting the insurance companies and at-fault parties while you are in pain. This is why we offer a variety of convenient ways to connect with you after your injury: via the web here, or we can even send a specialized legal counselor to you to work through your claim together. If you or someone you love has been the victim of a serious accident resulting in a neck injury or another trauma, please reach out today. We are happy to help you with the hard work and fight for your deserved compensation, so you can focus on healing and recovering.

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Causes of Neck Injury 

Events, Risk Factors, and Resulting Injury Types 

Understanding the causes and complexities of neck injuries can be exceedingly difficult. The variety of damaging events, particular physical risk factors, and frequency of opportunities for injury for a given individual create a unique and complicated basis for the diagnosis of each case. Additionally, the prevalence of late-onset symptoms adds to the difficulty in assessing the physiological, environmental, and circumstantial factors that were present at the time of the injury, and thus the root cause. The most common causes of neck pain include pulled or torn muscles or ligaments. These types of injuries can occur from the normal course of life activities, particularly due to the flexible nature of the neck muscles and their constant support for the weight of the head. Often though, a serious accident event occurs resulting in pain and damage. A few of the major contributing factors to neck pain and neck injury are listed and described below:

Catalytic Events

  • Slip and Fall: Slick flooring, icy surfaces, deteriorating stairs, broken walkways, poor lighting, etc.
  • Workplace: Falls from heights, crush injuries beneath or between objects, fire & explosions.
  • Automobile Accident: Cars, trucks, and 18 wheelers, motorcycles, scooters, and more.

Risk Factors

  • Age: 30-50 is the range when neck pain often first occurs, risk increases with aging.
  • Genetics: Family history of injury or disease to the spine and related systems.
  • Body Composition: Changes to weight, especially rapid changes.
  • Sex: Females make up 59% of healthcare visits for neck pain and cervical disorder, and 62% of visits for neck injury generally.
  • Fitness Level: Loss of muscle mass through illness or lifestyle restrictions.
  • Occupational: Heavy lifting, dangerous workplaces.
  • Backpack: Heavy loads to carry, especially for smaller, less developed bodies of children.

Types of Neck Injury

Neck pain is extremely common, accounting for 21.4 million patient visits to doctors and ERs in 2013. With this prevalence and the wide variety of causes, there is naturally an array of neck pain injury types. Most fall into two main categories and one subcategory:

  • Acute: Short term, lasting a few days to weeks. Typically, this type is related to mechanical injuries, meaning it is caused by issues or disruptions in the way that the musculoskeletal and nervous systems in the neck, back, and spine work together.
  • Subacute: Specifically defined as pain lasting 4-12 weeks.
  • Chronic: Longer term, specifically lasting 12 weeks or longer. It is also technically considered more persistent as it may continue past the treatment of the pain’s source or cause. Around 20-40% of those who suffer acute neck pain report development into chronic neck pain at the one-year mark.

The specific injuries to the muscular, skeletal, and nervous systems which fall into the above categories have been identified and studied extensively by the medical community, though there is much farther to go before we have comprehensive and definitive understandings of these systems and the related pain. Neck pain can be caused by various other conditions and diseases, but the injuries most related to personal injury claims are those which are mechanical in nature (affecting the spine and its components, nerves, and muscle). These are the types of injuries that often result from the causes and risks of the previous section (motor vehicle accident, workplace injury, etc.), and some particular examples include: 

  • Sprains: Very common for acute neck pain, caused by tearing or overstretching ligaments, usually through overexertion via twisting or heavy lifting.
  • Strains: Also very common for acute neck pain, with similar actions as the root cause, and are the result of tearing in the muscle or tendon.
  • Pinched Nerve: Compression of a nerve of the spinal cord in the neck area, resulting in pain traveling down arms.
  • Herniated, Bulging, or Ruptured Disc: Related to compression and damage of the cartilaginous discs between the vertebrae, including displacement, bulging or rupture. Can result from overuse fatigue or impact injury.
  • Radiculopathy: Inflammation, compression, or injury to the nerve root, sometimes from a herniated or ruptured disc. The resulting pressure causes tingling, numbness or pain out into the areas of the body related to that nerve.
  • Spondylolisthesis: Occurs where a vertebra of the spine slips out of alignment, pinching nerves, causing pain and numbness.
  • Spinal Stenosis: Occurs where the spinal column narrows, putting pressure on the nerves and spinal cord, resulting in numbness or pain, and often more complicated sensory issues over time.
  • Traumatic Injury: A loose category of damaged tendons, ligaments, and/or muscle, often from the type of events named above, and resulting in pain, weakness, numbness, and other side effects.

Symptoms & Complications of Neck Injury

Please follow the advice of your doctor or medical advisor with any neck injury consult, particularly if you are experiencing, new, worsening, more severe symptoms and/or any of the complication warning signs that follow. Especially if you are experiencing muscle spasms or are unable to touch your chin to your chest due to neck pain and stiffness – consult a doctor immediately. Thompson Law’s ultimate desire for every case and the claim is the fullest possible recovery and the best possible compensation. The chances of this success are much greater if you carefully follow the advice of medical professionals and your attorney. If you are in need of any advice or assistance on matters of your recovery and rightful compensation, feel free to reach out anytime, 24/7. Thompson Law legal experts are standing by to help you.

Symptoms 

  • Stiffness, tightness, aches, pressure
  • Muscle spasms
  • Shooting pains in the neck, sometimes down into shoulders and arms, or up into headaches
  • Stabbing pains in the neck, similar patterns as above
  • Pain radiating outward in the body
  • Pain that becomes worse with bending, lifting, sitting
  • Pain that improves with reclining
  • Secondary side effects could be trouble sleeping, headaches, nausea, or trouble focusing

Complications & Warning Signs

  • Fever
  • Severe headache
  • Bowel or bladder issues
  • Pain does not improve with rest
  • Area of pain spreads or increases
  • Auxiliary injuries, i.e. a slipped disc causes a pinched nerve or muscle strain
  • Weakness, tingling, numbness or other new/increased sensations begin
  • Nerve damage
  • Opioid pain medication dependence
  • Depression, anxiety, trauma and insomnia

Diagnosis & Treatment of Neck Injury

While there remain many mysteries to unravel about the nervous system and spine, diagnoses of neck injuries can often be successfully accomplished by utilizing available resources like physical examinations, medical history, and current technology. Some of the more frequently used types of tech and testing for these diagnostic investigations include:

  • X-Rays
  • Computerized Tomography (CT) scans
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRIs)
  • Supplemental technologies to these types of scans include myelograms and discography, which utilize ink injections into the spinal canal or into specific discs to more clearly articulate the extent of the damage on the resulting imagery.
  • Relatedly, bone scans involve a controlled amount of radioactive material being injected into the bloodstream. The body is then scanned for abnormal areas of blood-flow and irregular pooling delineated by the injection material.
  • For issues of the muscles, electrodiagnostic can be used to test the stimulation of different nerves and muscles. Types of electrodiagnostic include:
    • Electromyography (EMG)
    • Evoked Potential (EP) studies
    • Nerve Conduction Studies (NCS)
  • Testing for distinct responses with these procedures can help specialists determine the origin and severity of the injury at hand.
  • Ultrasound imaging also can show damage to muscle using sound wave mapping inside the body to create visualizations.
  • Blood tests are also used on occasion, largely to rule out types of infection, inflammation, or other sources of pain.

Fortunately, there are a number of therapies and treatments to cure, or at least significantly ease acute and chronic neck pain. Because the spine and its related systems are so intertwined with other structures of the body, mobility improvements and decreased neck pain often leads to other positive side effects and life improvements.

  • Self / Home Care: Alternating ice packs and heat packs, rest, recline, over the counter (OTC) pain relievers.
  • Therapy: Physical therapy, chiropractic, massage, acupuncture, behavioral therapy.
  • Transcutaneous Electrical Nerve Stimulation (TENS): Electrodes are placed near the pain points, delivering relief via tiny electrical impulses.
  • Short Term Immobilization: Soft collar to rest muscles.
  • Traction: Weights and pulleys apparatus gently stretches the neck, often targeted to relieve nerve root irritation.
  • Medication: Including muscle relaxants, NSAIDs, and tricyclic antidepressants.
  • Surgery: Typically necessary for very severe cases where other treatments have not succeeded, relating to structural issues, i.e. spinal stenosis or slipped discs.
  1. Anterior Cervical Discectomy and Fusion
  2. Cervical Artificial Disc Replacement
  3. Spinal Decompression
  4. Anterior Cervical Corpectomy
  5. Posterior Cervical Laminectomy
  6. Posterior Cervical Laminoplasty
  7. Posterior Cervical Foraminotomy
  8. Cervical Laminectomy

Financial Impacts of Neck Injury

Financial costs of neck injury are extremely significant because chronic neck pain is the third most common chronic pain condition in the United States and the fourth most common cause of disability globally. Medical expenses missed work, insurance costs, and more add up to astounding dollar figures on local and global scales. US costs associated with pain and pain management are estimated to be between $560 and $635 billion (in 2010 dollars), and 15% of reported pain is associated with the neck. This would mean neck pain in that year accounted for $84-$95.3 billion of the total.

  • More than 650,000 spinal surgical procedures are performed annually in the United States.
  • The average hospital stay in the United States costs over $10,700, and the 7th most common reason for this type of stay is spinal problems including spondylosis and intervertebral disc disorders.
  • Between 1995 and 2005 there was a 65% increase in year-over-year costs related to chronic neck pain, with the total cost in the last year of the study totaling about $86 billion.
  • Cervical disorders made up the majority of neck pain related to healthcare visits in 2013. And cervical disc disorders were responsible for just about a third (32%) of hospitalizations.
  • In an article from a Texas Orthopaedic Spine Surgeon, the costs of spinal surgeries were illuminated – and jaw-dropping:
    • Herniated Disc Procedures: $20,000 – $50,000
    • Laminectomy for cervical spinal stenosis: $50,000 – $90,000
    • Spinal Fusion for slipped vertebrae or spinal instability: $80,000 – $150,000+
    • These costs are for surgery alone, not including recovery time with lost wages, plus recovery equipment and medications, physical therapy, and more.

At Thompson Law

We provide neck injury victims with dedicated and tenacious legal representation, ensuring that you get fair value for your claim. Our Dallas accident injury lawyers will build a strong case with supporting evidence so that you recover the money that you deserve.

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Treatment and Recovery After a Whiplash Injury

In some cases, symptoms can be managed by home treatments to help with pain, discomfort, and disorientation. In others, doctors and chiropractors may prescribe specific medical treatments or therapies. Advised treatment is based on the severity of the neck damage, body composition and tolerances, age, health, prior or concurrent injuries, medications, and patient preferences.

Standard recommendations for treatment across the medical community include:

  • Ice applications for the first 24 hours
  • Cervical collar, with limited use (less than 3 hours at a time)
  • Gentle, active movement after 24 hours
  • Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medications
  • Muscle relaxing medications
  • Physical therapy

Still, some disagreement exists in the medical community around whiplash, and particularly around the treatment that should take place in the first 24-48 hours after the injury is sustained. The core of the debate has to do with how much motion is advisable in this period. Some experts maintain a belief that wearing a soft collar and limiting movement protects the neck from further damage, while others suggest that some muscle movement is beneficial to a quicker and easier recovery.

Fortunately, for most people whiplash pain is corrected or resolved within a couple of weeks to a few months. Still, lingering pain may persist for longer. There is a lack of consensus in medical research as to the duration of symptoms and injury. Some studies have indicated that 25-40% of patients experience symptoms through the 1-year mark, and others indicate about 40% of patients experience pain past the 7-year mark. Around the measurables of these studies there are a lot of remaining questions about what patients can expect in their journey to recovery.

Despite the ongoing scientific study, it is extremely important to trust the advice of your doctor and follow their guidance for your specific recovery, and it may be helpful to keep in mind that there is a chance that your injury may be more impactful and long lasting than initially anticipated. While you focus on your health, turn to your compassionate and expert legal team at Thompson Law. Your Thompson Team will fight the insurance companies and your accident’s at-fault parties for you. Their commitment to the optimum outcome and your maximum rightful compensation drives everything they do. Being patient with the recovery process and taking good care of yourself is essential.

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How Thompson Law Can Help You

Have you suffered a neck injury from an automobile, slip & fall, workplace, occupational, or another type of accident? Thompson Law deeply understands the frustrating, expensive, and highly painful implications that these injuries can have on your body and your life. Our expert legal consultants are standing by 24/7 to speak with you about your accident and resulting injuries.

When you reach out to Thompson Law Injury Lawyers following your neck injury accident, your accomplished attorney and team will guide you every step of the way through the claim and case process. They will carefully investigate every detail of the events surrounding your injury. Armed with the best information, your tenacious team will fight for every penny of your rightful compensation and the very best possible settlement. Our results speak for themselves, and our passion to seek justice for our clients is limitless.

Suffering a traumatic neck injury after a serious accident can make a full-time job of recovery and healing. Take care, really focus on your health, and leave the hard work of battling those at-fault and the insurance companies to your trusted lawyer at Thompson Law.

Thompson Law’s Guarantee

Thompson Law offers free case reviews to every potential client so we can help you determine the best legal approach to pursue. We receive no attorney fees and you pay no legal expenses unless you get compensated for your accident.

Thompson Law’s personal injury lawyers and their legal teams treat every client with respect, empathy, and compassion. We understand that there is no one-size-fits-all approach, as every case is unique and different. Our firm won 10 of the top 50 settlements in Texas in 2020, including the 2nd and 3rd largest personal injury settlements in the State. We can help you, too.

State law limits the time to file a claim following a personal injury accident. If you have been injured, call now for the help you need.