According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), between 20 and 50 million people are hurt in car accidents each year. While injuries sustained in roadway collisions vary, many result in damage to the head or neck. These injuries tend to be chronic, meaning they cause persistent pain and suffering. If you have sustained a neck or back injury in a car accident that was not your fault, you may be able to obtain compensation by filing a personal injury claim.
Perhaps the most well-known car accident injury, whiplash, is the result of damage that is caused when the head moves back and forth rapidly. When a person is involved in a collision, their neck is violently shaken. The force that initiates this movement is severe, and it often causes tearing in the muscles and tendons of the neck. Whiplash, commonly referred to as neck strain, is commonly confused with neck sprains. In a neck sprain, a person’s ligaments, or the tissue that holds bones together, stretch and tear. It is mainly muscles and tendons that are affected by whiplash.
While you may have heard of a herniated disc, you may not understand the exact injury that occurs. The spinal cord spans the length of the head and torso. It is made up of dozens of individual bones known as vertebrae. Each of these bones is separated by a rubber-like cushion known as a disc. These discs can be separated into two main components: a hard outer layer and an elastic, soft inner layer. When a hole forms on the tough exterior, the soft portion of the disc can poke through. This is what is known as a herniated disk. When the disc herniates, it can put pressure on nearby nerves, resulting in chronic, unrelenting pain.
Another common neck injury that can result from a car accident is Thoracic Outlet Syndrome. This condition involves the compression of blood vessels that run between your collarbone and your first rib (thoracic outlet). When you are involved in a car accident, the tissue surrounding the thoracic outlet swells. This swelling puts pressure on several major blood vessels, causing them to constrict. Other causes of this injury are often traumatic, and include job-related injuries, sports-related injuries, and trip and fall incidents. However, genetic defects, such as being born with an extra rib, can also be blamed.
Thoracic Outlet Syndrome is rarely diagnosed by actually observing the constriction of blood vessels. Instead, symptoms are used as identifiers. The effects of this condition tend to be delayed and can appear weeks or months after an accident. They are limited to the upper half of the body and can persist indefinitely. In many cases, the only effective solution is surgery.
Common symptoms of Thoracic Outlet Syndrome include, but are not limited to:
There is very good chance that the accident you were involved in was not your fault. If this is the case, you may be able to file a personal injury lawsuit in civil court. When making your case, you will be required to prove that the other party caused the accident and that your injury was the direct result of the collision. If you can do this, then you may be awarded funds for certain financial losses, known as damages. By fighting in court, you may be able to gain compensation for the following:
If you are considering taking legal action, you must make your decision quickly. In the state of Alabama, there is a statute of limitations related to filing a personal injury lawsuit. According to state law, you must file a petition within two years of your injury being sustained or discovered. It is for this reason that you must seek legal assistance as soon as possible. Any respectable personal injury lawyer will work hard to expedite your case, but certain components, such as accident reconstruction, take time.
At Belt, Bruner, & Barnett P.C. we understand how difficult your situation may be. With the pain and stress you deal with on a daily basis, the last thing you want to focus on is pursuing someone in court. Our Alabama car accident lawyer will handle the legal aspects of your case while you focus on recovery.
If you or a loved one were injured in a devastating neck or back injury accident, call the serious injury lawyers from Belt, Bruner, & Barnett P.C. at 205-933-1500 or use our online form. We offer a case evaluation free of charge and are ready to help you obtain full compensation for your losses. With offices in Birmingham, Mobile, Huntsville, and Montgomery, our attorneys will quickly travel to investigate your case.