Wayne County Auto Accident Neck Injury Lawyer
Many Michigan drivers and passengers sustain neck injuries in vehicle accidents. This area of the body is highly vulnerable to damage and less protected when riding in a vehicle.
Neck injuries are painful and often debilitating, leaving sufferers unable to work and live as they did before an accident. The Wayne County, Michigan, injury attorneys at Sommers Schwartz, PC, will never downplay the severity of a neck injury. We know how to get accident victims the compensation and help they deserve.
Wayne County Accident Statistics
Wayne County is the most populated county in Michigan. It is also busy, with Detroit traffic contributing to the county having the highest overall vehicle accident rate in the state. According to the Michigan State Police, Wayne County recorded 44,017 vehicle accidents in 2020. Of those, 234 involved fatalities, and 10,561 resulted in injuries. Wayne County also had the state’s highest number of motorcycle, truck, pedestrian, bicycle, and alcohol-related accidents.
Common Neck Injuries
The human neck is a highly complex body part despite being relatively small. It contains the uppermost bones in the spine, called the cervical vertebrae, along with discs, muscles, ligaments, nerves, and blood vessels.
The neck is extremely vulnerable during a car accident because it is not protected from the force of a collision by the seatbelt. An impact can cause the neck to snap suddenly forward and back or from side to side, even at low speed. This jerking motion can cause broken bones and soft tissue injuries. The type of collision influences the way the neck moves, which affects the parts of the neck that become damaged.
A few of the most common neck injuries from car accidents include:
- Whiplash – One of the most common car accident injuries is whiplash. It occurs when the neck snaps backward and forward suddenly after an impact. The force of the jerking motion can strain, tear, or bruise soft tissues like muscles and ligaments in the cervical spine.
- Spondylolisthesis – Traumatic spondylolisthesis of the cervical spine is when one of the first seven vertebrae slips out of place after an injury, pinching or damaging the surrounding nerves and tissues. This condition causes pain and numbness that might spread down the shoulders and arms.
- Herniated discs – Discs are spongy cushions between each vertebra and can slip out of place, break, rupture, or bulge. Herniated discs most often cause intense jolts of pain in the neck, radiating pain through the body and causing overall weakness.
- Muscle spasms – Neck muscles that are bruised, overextended, or clenched during an accident will become swollen and inflamed. Painful spasms often develop as the injury heals, which can take days or weeks after the accident.
- Bone fractures – A break in any neck vertebra can cause pain, paralysis, or death.
- Facet joint injury – Facet joints allow the neck to move and support the head. An injury to a facet joint will affect a person’s overall mobility and cause intense pain.
- Pinched nerves – The spinal cord and other nerves in the neck can be pinched, pressed, or rubbed by injured vertebrae, tendons, muscles, and other nearby structures. Pinched nerves can cause pain, numbness, and tingling throughout many parts of the body.
- Sprains and strains – The neck’s soft tissues are susceptible to strains and sprains during an accident. Muscles, tendons, and ligaments can stretch, tear, and be damaged, causing pain and leading to impaired mobility.
- Lacerations – The neck is also home to major blood vessels. A cut to the area can easily lead to life-threatening bleeding.
Treatment of Neck Injuries
Neck injuries are usually excruciating because the area is exceptionally mobile. Injuries may lead to stiffness, weakness, limited movement, headaches, nausea, vertigo, and other problems. Improper or inadequate treatment can lead to permanent impairment or chronic injury-related conditions.
Accurate assessment and diagnosis of a neck injury’s cause and severity is a crucial first step to complete and proper healing. For this reason, it is essential to see a doctor after a car accident for a complete examination, even if you do not think your injuries are severe. Neck injuries can intensify over time as inflammation and damage increase.
Treatment varies depending on the type, location, and severity of your injuries. Doctors may use diagnostic tests like CT scans, MRIs, and X-rays to check for damage. Treatments for neck injuries include:
- Pain medication.
- Braces or collars.
- Steroid injections.
- Physical therapy.
- Chiropractic care.
- Facet and medial branch blocks.
- Radiofrequency ablation (FRA).
- Stem cell therapy.
- Spinal cord stimulator.
Recovering Damages for Neck Injuries
A neck injury can leave you unable to work and in pain, with bills piling up and expensive medical treatments looming. There are many costs associated with a severe injury beyond just the immediate medical bills and time off from work. Consequently, two kinds of damages exist in car accident cases.
- Economic damages include costs that have a documented value, such as medical bills, lost wages, benefits, childcare costs, and loss of earning capacity.
- Non-economic damages, like pain and suffering and loss of consortium, may not have an objective cost but are crucial to being fully compensated after an accident.
An attorney can value a claim accurately and fairly. Be cautious when dealing with an insurance company before speaking to a lawyer. Insurance companies will pay as little as they can and often only offer to pay for the economic damages associated with your injury. Without knowing the total worth of your case, you might accept far less money than it is worth. An experienced attorney will understand how to value your losses properly and negotiate effectively on your behalf.
Contact a Wayne County Car Accident Attorney
If you or a loved one has suffered neck injuries in a car accident, contact an experienced attorney as soon as possible. The accident attorneys of Sommers Schwartz are among Michigan’s best and most successful personal injury lawyers. We are serious about holding negligent drivers accountable. Sommers Schwartz takes pride in helping accident victims and their families recover what they deserve after a vehicle accident.
To speak with a Sommers Schwartz attorney about your rights after an accident, call (800) 783-0989 for a free consultation.