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Neck, Back or Spine Injuries – Automobile Accidents

Author / Coordinator: Schwebel, Goetz & Sieben
March 2007

Neck injuries are very common, especially to those involved in rear end automobile accidents. The main reason it is so common in vehicle accidents is that the vehicle headrest on the back of car seats limits the range of extension in one’s neck. A person’s head often is jerked back and forth rapidly sometimes forcing the muscles in the neck and back to stretch, swell and cause severe pain.

Although vehicular accidents are the most common cause of neck injuries, a blow to the head, face, or chin, uncontrollable episodes of coughing or falls can also cause these injuries.

These injuries are extremely painful and can be persistent. Chronic pain is common if medical attention is not sought immediately. Neck injuries are among the fastest growing health problems today because of congested roads and highways, the speeds at which we now travel and more powerful engines and breaking systems.

Often neck injuries may not be felt right after an accident. Injuries to the neck usually don’t become apparent for about 12 to 24 hours after the accident. Pain can also involve the back, shoulders, and arms. Headaches are frequent complications to a rear end auto accident neck injury.

Other Symptoms of a rear end auto accident:

  • Headache
  • Neck pain and restricted movement
  • Tiredness and feelings of nervousness
  • Trouble with balance, equilibrium
  • Ringing in the ears
  • Nausea
  • Inability to sleep and excessive sweating

Most strain and sprain injuries can be resolved with physical therapy or chiropractic treatment. A small percentage of these kinds of injuries, however, produce chronic neck and/or back pain. If you have had a neck, back or spine injury, and pain is still present even after therapy, you may have a serious and more permanent kind of injury. Your injury could involve nerve damage, and you may need to have an EMG/Nerve Conduction Test to properly diagnose the problem.

A serious neck or back injury can also involve the disks in your spinal column. Typically, you would have an MRI test or a cat scan to identify any potential disk damage. Typically, you would have an MRI test or a cat scan to identify any potential disk damage.

The disks in your spinal column are plate-like structures that are found between your vertebrae in your back and your neck. If one or more of these disks are herniated or ruptured, it can put serious pressure on the spinal nerve roots causing significant pain.

Any of these injuries could require surgery. If you need surgery, surgery is expensive. Follow-up medical care and physical therapy can also be expensive. And you can count on the insurance companies to try to pay the bare minimum.

If you are suffering from a rear end automobile accident because of the negligence of another, you may be entitled to compensatory damage for your injury and losses. Schwebel, Goetz & Sieben, P.A. can help you determine the compensation in which you are entitled. Damages may include medical costs, lost income, future lost earnings, pain and suffering, mental anguish and disability. Please contact Schwebel, Goetz & Sieben, P.A. right away if you think you are experiencing pain from an automobile accident.

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