Virginia Auto Accident Neck Injury Attorneys

Physical therapist fixing patient's neckSomeone just smashed into your car, and your mind is racing. While you don’t see any blood, and it appears nothing is broken, that doesn’t mean you haven’t suffered a serious injury. You’re disoriented, your forehead is throbbing, and simply turning your head from side to side sends shooting pain up your neck, down your back, and through your arms. These are classic signs that you have suffered a neck injury, and only trained medical personnel will be able to assess whether it’s serious or not. It’s quite likely that you will not know the full extent of your injuries for days, weeks, or months.

To maximize your chances of being fully compensated for all of the adverse consequences from your neck injury (medical bills, lost wages, pain and decreased mobility, etc.), you should contact the Virginia auto accident lawyers of CHASENBOSCOLO at (703) 538-1138, or contact us online right away, before the other driver’s insurance company tries to bully you into accepting a low-ball offer.

Common Types of Neck Injuries in Motor Vehicle Accidents

Seat belts, airbags, and roll bars all decrease the risk of serious injury in a motor vehicle accident, but none of those devices protect your head and neck against the violent movement that occurs during and immediately after impact. The neck joints, muscles, tendons, and ligaments are sensitive to harsh movement, especially when it happens suddenly and unexpectedly. Simply having the vertebrae shift slightly out of alignment can cause massive discomfort and disruption.

This is no time to take chances about the degree of injury you have suffered. You need expert medical attention, and you need it right away. Every year thousands of vehicle accident victims think they’re fine and leave the scene only to find themselves in crippling pain a few hours later when the adrenaline surge has worn off or after they have been sitting or lying down and their bodies stiffen up.

Our experienced motor vehicle attorneys at CHASENBOSCOLO will remind you that you should never downplay the potential severity of your injuries. Let your medical providers and attorneys assess the impact of the collision over time and work with you to present your claim or case in the best possible light.

How Do I Know if I Have a Neck Injury?

Immediately after the collision, you are most likely to experience the following, which can indicate a neck injury:

  • Neck pain and stiffness that worsens with movement
  • Loss of range of motion in the neck
  • Headaches, dizziness, and light-headedness
  • Tingling, tenderness, or numbness in the shoulder, upper back, and arms
  • Fatigue, stiffness, and general aches and pain in the joints

These symptoms are frequently referred to as “whiplash” because the head and neck whip back and forth during impact. This jolting motion strains the muscles, ligaments, and tendons in the neck and disrupts and inflames the cartilage between the cervical vertebrae in the neck joint. You may experience spasms where the muscles “lock up.” You may also feel sharp flashes of pain that radiate from your neck to your other limbs and spine, both of which indicate that your neck bones may be compressing the surrounding nerve endings. This is what causes a “pinched nerve.”

Whiplash occurs most frequently when the impact to your vehicle is from the rear. The fact that the vehicle that struck you from behind wasn’t even going all that fast doesn’t mean your resulting injuries might not be serious. In rear-end impact accidents, the vertebrae in your neck, your cervical vertebrae, suffer a sudden forceful overextension followed by an equally forceful rebounding motion. Soft tissues between and around the cervical vertebrae become strained or sprained.

Common soft tissue injury symptoms include:

  • Headaches
  • Dizziness
  • Forgetfulness
  • Emotional/psychological disturbances.

Some fortunate individuals recover from these initial symptoms within three to five weeks following the collision. However, up to 50 percent of all whiplash victims develop persistent symptoms. These symptoms are called whiplash-associated disorders (WAD). These WAD manifest at multiple different locations around the head, neck, and shoulder areas and inflict damage to:

  • Facet joints
  • Spinal ligaments
  • Intervertebral discs
  • Vertebral arteries
  • Dorsal root ganglia
  • Neck muscles

Can My Neck Injuries Be Diagnosed Right Away?

Neck injuryNo. In most cases, you will have significant inflammation around the neck and shoulder area that will persist for several days. Your medical providers may decide to stabilize your neck with a collar or other device to provide support for your neck while the swelling goes down. The fluid around the joints can obscure the results of a magnetic resonance imaging scan (MRI) and other diagnostic tests. Damage that may not be readily apparent within the first few days after the collision can still result in substantial long-term complications if not recognized and treated properly.

You may also have bruising, cuts, and scrapes that make you extremely sensitive to pressure, so that your medical provider has to defer parts of the examination until those injuries heal. Although typically less common, you may also experience blurred vision, ringing in the ears, sleep disruption, memory problems, and difficulty concentrating.

High-Speed/High-Impact Collision Complications

If the collision occurred at high speed or otherwise resulted in an unusually forceful impact, and you have trouble swallowing or breathing, cannot move your neck without searing pain, or experience loss of control of any limb, you may have a cervical vertebrae fracture, or a broken neck. This is extraordinarily serious and requires immediate measures to prevent potentially catastrophic outcomes, such as loss of use of limbs and mobility, partial or total paralysis, or death.

With injuries of greater magnitude like this, establishing both the diagnosis and prognosis for your condition is critical. Your sophisticated motor vehicle accident attorneys from CHASENBOSCOLO know which medical experts are best qualified to explain the nature and extent of your injuries and any long-term complications to the insurance company or to the jury.

Get Experienced Motor Vehicle Accident Representation Now

Every head and neck injury from a vehicle collision is serious in its own way. The experienced motor vehicle accident attorneys of CHASENBOSCOLO will work with you to assess the nature and extent of your injuries and diligently pursue the full and fair compensation you’re owed for your injuries and other losses. Call us today at (703) 538-1138 or contact us online to schedule your free initial consultation.