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Cervical Sprain from Car Accident

One of the worst types of injuries that can result from a car accident is a cervical spine injury. These injuries are often serious and life-altering. Some common cervical spine injuries include fractures and subluxation of the neck.

spine injury lawyer

Although the neck is protected by muscles, it can easily get damaged in a high-speed car accident. For instance, in a high-speed car crash, a person can get thrown forward, straight into a stationary object such as an airbag or steering wheel. The impact will cause the neck to snap forward and backward very quickly, which can injure the spinal cord. The cervical spine can also get dislocated (subluxation) or fractured if a person falls to the ground head first.

Cervical spine injuries may also result from the following:

Symptoms and Treatment

The individual may experience a spinal shock immediately after the accident, or he/she may not feel anything below the neck. While in most cases, this situation is temporary, some people may experience complete paralysis from the neck down for the rest of their lives.

The following are other symptoms of a neck injury:

  • Headaches
  • Weakness and numbness in the upper extremities

Numerous medical procedures are available to treat spinal injuries of the neck. However, often, the first step to deal with neck injuries such as subluxation or fracture is the use of a cervical collar. The cervical collar stabilizes the neck and prevents any further damage.

The next line of treatment for spinal swelling is decompressing the spinal cord. Steroids may also be given to help the process. However, if a vertebra is fractured, surgery is often necessary. The surgery would involve fusing the broken parts together. Depending on the severity of the injury, treatment and recovery may be very extensive.

St. Louis woman with neck injury after auto wreck

Prognosis and Future Outlook

The prognosis depends on the severity of the cervical spine injury. Individuals with a fractured vertebra without any injuries to the spinal cord have a good chance of recovering from the injury. However, some patients may also develop arthritis and have limited neck movement.

Recovery from a spinal cord injury is unpredictable, and recovery from subluxation and fracture is often slow. Some people may regain the use of their limbs, but weakness and numbness in areas below the neck may persist. Some people may have to bear the pain of lifelong paralysis. These individuals may have a high risk of developing medical problems such as infections, bowel problems, respiratory problems, and heart problems, among others.

Subluxation or fracture of the neck may require prolonged treatment and therapy. If you have suffered a subluxation or fracture of the neck in a car accident, your medical expenses will likely begin to pile up quickly. You must claim compensation for all the losses you have suffered in the accident, including medical expenses and extended time off of work. An experienced St. Louis car accident lawyer at our law firm can help you at every step of your claim process.

Free Consultation with a St. Louis Car Accident Lawyer

Don’t talk to an insurance claims adjuster before speaking with The Hoffmann Law Firm, L.L.C. We can help you avoid making statements that may affect the outcome of your case. The consultation is free; you don’t pay unless we get you money!

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Updated: May 9, 2024