Whiplash & Neck Injury in Austin, TX
Legal Help for Victims of Whiplash & Neck Injuries
Whiplash and other types of neck injuries are among the more common injuries victims suffer in car accidents. Any type of neck injury can be serious and may cause a victim to live with pain and complications for months, years or even a lifetime.
The Texas car accident attorneys at The Bob Richardson Law Firm understand how whiplash or other neck injuries can impact a victim physically, emotionally and financially. We are committed to helping victims by striving to obtain compensation for the injuries they have suffered in accidents caused by others.
If you suffered whiplash or another type of neck injury in a car accident, you could be entitled to compensation. We represent car accident victims and their families from Austin and Waco as well surrounding communities. Contact us today for your free case evaluation by calling (800) 880-5100, or fill out our online contact form.
Types of Neck Injuries
The most common neck injuries suffered in car accidents include:
- Whiplash – A car accident can push the neck beyond its normal range of motion, causing a whiplash injury. Imagine cracking a whip. That is what can happen to a victim’s neck in a car accident. That violent back and forth movement can stretch and pull the muscles, tendons and ligaments in the neck to the point where they are injured.
- Sprains and strains – When the muscles or tendons in the neck are injured, it is referred to as a strain, whereas an injury to the ligaments is referred to as a sprain. These can be very painful and may cause impairments that last for months.
- Spinal cord injury – An injury that completely severs the spinal cord can result in death, and an injury to the cervical spinal cord can cause paralysis. Because the nerves that extend outward from the cervical spine are responsible for controlling the upper body, a cervical spine injury often results in multiple-limb paralysis. While an object can penetrate the spinal column and cause an injury, the more common scenario is a disc that presses on the spinal cord or a vertebra that fractures and cuts the spinal cord.
- Disc injury – The spine is the boney structure that runs down the center of the back and protects the spinal cord. It is typically composed of 33 vertebrae, seven of which are located in the cervical (neck) spine. Between the vertebrae are soft discs whose function is to cushion the vertebrae and provide flexibility to the spine. These discs have a harder outer shell and a spongy center. Sometimes a car accident will cause a disc in the cervical spine to bulge, or herniate, putting pressure on the nerves that extend from that section of the spinal column and causing pain and numbness.
Recognizing a Neck Injury
Recognizing a possible neck injury in time can mean the difference between at least a partial recovery and lifetime paralysis or even death. Because the spinal cord itself is so delicate, a victim who is suspected of having sustained a neck injury should not be moved by anyone other than trained rescue workers unless there are emergency threats, such as a fire.
The symptoms of whiplash or other types of neck injuries could appear immediately after the crash or might not appear for several days after the crash. If you have been in a car crash, some of the symptoms you should watch for if whiplash or another neck injury is suspected include:
- Pain in the neck or arms
- Soreness or stiffness in the neck
- Tingling in the arms or hands
- Numbness in the arms or hands
- Loss of strength in an arm or hand
- Burning sensation down the arm
More than 3 million people suffer whiplash injuries in the United States every year. Disc injuries and direct spinal cord injuries are not as common as whiplash injuries, although over 12,000 people suffer a paralysis injury every year in the U.S., with many of those injuries being the result of a motor vehicle collision.
Treating a Whiplash or Neck Injury
Precisely how a whiplash or neck injury is treated will depend on a number of factors, such as the exact nature of the injury, the victim’s age and overall health and any previous spinal injuries.
For strains and sprains, the most common course of treatment is to prescribe anti-inflammatory medications, muscle relaxants and possibly steroidal medications, along with ice to reduce the inflammation. Chiropractic massage or adjustment may also be ordered. Some strains and sprains heal completely within a few months, others persist for longer or never completely resolve.
A whiplash injury may take longer to heal. About 10 percent of all whiplash injury victims suffer residual pain long after the injury should have healed. A whiplash injury may be treated with the same medications and treatments as a strain or sprain, with the addition of pain medications as well as steroid injections to reduce swelling.
Treatment for a disc injury could include at-home traction, steroidal injections and a variety of anti-inflammatory and pain medications. Some disc injuries heal completely with conservative treatment, while others require surgery to replace the injured disc. Although surgery may replace the herniated disc, permanent damage may have occurred to the surrounding nerves.
Unfortunately, there is no cure for an injury that causes paralysis. Although research is being done to find ways to regrow nerves or repair damage to the spinal cord itself, at the present time treatment is aimed at making the patient as comfortable and independent as possible despite the paralysis injury.
Find Out How Our Texas Accident Lawyers Can Help You
For more than 30 years, The Bob Richardson Law Firm has used hard work and determination to assist victims who have suffered whiplash and other neck injuries in car accidents throughout Austin, Waco and surrounding Texas communities. At The Bob Richardson Law Firm, we conduct intense investigations of all car accident claims, use the latest technology and consult with a network of highly qualified medical, engineering and accident reconstruction experts to determine the cause of a crash and the extent of the damage. To learn how we can help you with your car accident case, and to receive a free case evaluation, call us today toll-free at (800) 880-5100 or complete our online form.