Each year, car accidents cause close to 40% of neck injuries sustained by the American public. What’s even more shocking is that 50% of vertebral fractures to the cervical spine are also caused by car accidents.
Most people take it for granted, but your spine is one of the most important yet vulnerable parts of the body. And it’s no secret that both neck and back pain can be completely debilitating.
Learn more about neck injuries from car accidents in this blog and whether you have the right to compensation.
Neck Injuries From Car Accidents: Getting the Facts Straight
If you’ve been in a car accident and sustained a neck or back injury, you may be able to make a claim for your suffering. But your personal injury case is dependent on negligence.
First off, how do you know when you’ve suffered real damage to your neck?
How to Tell If You Have Soft Tissue Damage
A neck injury sustained through a car accident is often whiplash and can have a debilitating effect on your health.
Basically, whiplash occurs when an abnormal amount of force gets applied to the neck, extending the spine further than its natural range-of-motion.
As a result, this pulls and strains the neck muscles. It tends to worsen over time if not properly cared for with treatment.
Some of the most common symptoms of serious neck injury include:
- Difficulty moving, nodding or rotating your head
- Abnormal swelling in the neck or shoulder area
- Persistent headaches
- Tenderness at the back of the neck, head and along the shoulders
- Issues with chewing your food
While whiplash is a serious and painful condition, neck injuries can take a number of forms which range from mild whiplash, severe whiplash, disc herniation, vertebral fracture, and more.
What’s most important to keep in mind is that a neck injury is not always apparent from the get-go. All too often neck injuries and whiplash tend to show up over time.
A neck injury can cause serious health issues over time, leading to chronic, debilitating pain, migraines, and immobility.
If this is the case, you may be able to recover compensation for the pain, suffering, and money you’ve spent on correcting a neck injury.
How to Qualify For a Personal Injury Claim
Before you dive in head first, you’ll need to remember one key word when it comes to a personal injury claim: negligence.
Before you receive damages, you have to establish negligence. Negligence of whom? That of the other driver in your accident or anyone who could have caused the accident due to irresponsible actions.
Responsible care refers to the actions of others and how they should act in a safe, prudent manner to not injure another, especially when driving.
So, if you can prove negligence in the absence of responsible care, your personal injury claim could have a leg to stand on.
To prove a case of negligence, you must establish the following elements:
- The defendant owed the plaintiff (you) a duty of care
- The defendant breached the duty of care owed to the plaintiff (you)
- The defendant’s breach was a direct cause of your car accident and injuries sustained by the plaintiff (you)
As with most states across the U.S., you have a limited time-frame in which you can file a personal injury claim within the civil court system. This window is usually limited to three years from the day of your accident. This is the Statute of Limitations.
Keep in mind that if you fail to file your claim within this three-year window period, you could lose all claims to compensation.
Looking For an Expert Accident Lawyer?
At Barnes Law Firm, neck injuries from car accidents are one of our specialties. We pride ourselves on representing all individuals injured through the negligence of others throughout Texas and the rest of the U.S.
Believe you have a valid claim for compensation? Contact us today for help and support!