Hawk Law Group | June 28, 2023 | Car Accidents
You’ve just been involved in a rear-end car accident, but luckily you were able to walk it off with just a little stiffness. But a few days go by, and you start having difficulty turning your head or bending over.
If this sounds familiar, you may have suffered a neck or back injury in the wreck and not realized it. These are known as hidden injuries, and they are common in vehicle collisions.
If you realize days after the wreck that you were hurt more than you initially realized, you may jeopardize your chances of a fast, hassle-free settlement from the at-fault driver. Here’s what you need to know about neck and back injuries from a rear-end collision.
Do You Have Neck Pain?
Neck pain is a common symptom of whiplash, the most common type of injury from a rear-end accident. Stiffness in your neck, pain that won’t go away, and headaches can also indicate damage to your middle and lumbar spine.
Even if both cars are moving at relatively slow speeds, the force of a rear-end collision can be quite strong. As a result, the neck whips violently forward and back.
Your head’s weight then overexerts your neck muscles, tearing them and your ligaments and tendons. While muscle tears heal fairly quickly, tendons and ligaments require a longer and more painful recovery process.
Are You Having Trouble Moving Your Back?
Trouble moving your back after a rear-end car wreck can indicate one of several problems:
- Torn muscles or soft tissue injury
- Herniated discs
- Cracked vertebrae or a compression fracture
- Bruising on the spine
Spinal injuries should never be ignored. Left untreated, you could experience partial paralysis or run the risk of re-injury. The same force that causes whiplash also causes similar damage to your back and spine, tearing muscles or ligaments.
Herniated discs are very common after a car accident and can cause permanent damage. Your vertebrae are separated by discs that cushion the surrounding structures. These vertebrae consist of a harder outer layer and a softer inner layer.
The force of a rear-end collision can cause these discs to tear, exposing the interior. When the disc’s interior touches your spine, it can be very painful and impede your movement.
Herniated discs can heal on their own. But if the damage is severe enough, you may require surgery. It’s painful, too, and can require a long recovery time, affecting your ability to work or care for your family.
Do You Have Numbness or Tingling in Your Fingers or Legs?
Do you feel like your hands, feet, fingers, or toes are constantly “asleep,” or are you suffering from painful “pins and needles” feelings in your arms, legs, hands, or feet? Numbness and tingling in these parts of your body often indicate nerve damage, which can happen if the injury to your neck and spine is severe enough.
Lower back trauma can also put pressure on the spine itself, making it harder to move or have full articulation of the spine. You may need an X-ray or MRI to determine the extent of the damage; left untreated, you potentially risk your ability to walk unassisted or walk at all.
What to Do if You Suspect You Have a Car Accident-Related Back or Neck Injury
If you suspect you have a car accident-related back or neck injury, you should visit your primary care provider or an emergency room as soon as you can after the accident. Prompt medical care gives you the best chance for a full recovery.
In addition, your Thompson car accident lawyer needs your post-accident medical records to prove that the collision caused your injuries and to determine the extent of the harm. They’ll use this information as evidence in your case against the at-fault driver.
Contact the Car Accident Lawyers In the Central Savannah River Area at Hawk Law Group for Legal Assistance Today
For more information, please contact the car accident lawyers at Hawk Law Group at our nearest location to schedule a free consultation today.
We serve throughout the Central Savannah River Area and its surrounding areas:
We also serve in Edgefield County, SC.