Some injuries in a car accident may not necessarily be serious but can still result in chronic pain and impairment. One example is a cervical strain, which can also cause stiffness and make it difficult to move the head or neck.
Overview of a Cervical Strain Injury from a Car Accident
A cervical (neck) strain is also called whiplash. A common cause for this type of injury is a rear-end accident. When struck from behind – such as in a fender bender while sitting at a light on 6th Ave in Aurora – the muscles in the neck can stretch as the head snaps forward and back. Even a low impact crash can strain on the neck.
Short- and Long-Term Impact of a Cervical Strain
Sometimes accident victims don’t immediately feel pain from a cervical strain after an accident, or it appears to be a minor ache. This can cause someone to believe that the only harm suffered was some damage to the vehicle. But it’s important to get a full medical evaluation before filing in case the injury is more serious.
Whether the pain occurs right away or gets progressively worse, it’s important to seek treatment. Oftentimes a doctor will provide a soft cervical collar to support the neck while healing. Rest, restrictions on certain activities and pain medication could also be part of the treatment plan.
Recovery typically takes several days. An individual might only have to miss a few days of work. Medical costs may not be significant, but there can be long-term consequences of a cervical strain that affect an individual physically and financially.
In a more severe injury it might take several weeks or even months to recover, especially if there has been damage to the discs, ligaments or joints in the neck, in which case treatment will likely be more extensive. There might be ongoing pain and it could become necessary to undergo rehabilitation in order to strengthen the muscles in the neck. This could result in a longer period away from work.
Talking to an Attorney if You Experience Neck Pain from a Car Accident
After a car accident it’s important to establish who was at fault. If the other driver is at fault, accident victims can file a claim with that person’s insurance company.
To successfully receive payment for a car accident claim, you must furnish evidence that establishes fault:
- a copy of the accident report;
- photographs of the accident scene/damaged vehicle; and
- statements from witnesses.
Typically an attorney isn’t necessary when filing a claim with the insurance company for minor injuries. But when there is difficulty proving fault, the injury is more severe, or there are significant damages, it’s usually a good idea to seek legal advice.
There can be challenges in establishing damages with a cervical strain injury, especially if the recovery period is lengthy. Don’t hesitate to consult with legal counsel. D.J. Banovitz provides legal assistance to accident victims in the Aurora area, so call (303) 300-5060 or contact us online to set up a consultation about your claim.