Neck pain is one of the most common complaints after an accident. While whiplash-type injuries are common after rear-end vehicle collisions, neck pain is also a common problem after slip and fall accidents. Because neck pain is so common, it is easy to assume that it will go away on its own or that it is not very serious, particularly if the pain is not very severe. After all, most minor aches and pains resolve themselves without medical intervention. However, ignoring neck pain after an accident can be a serious mistake, because even minor neck pain can be linked to much more serious long-term injuries and conditions, particularly those involving the back, arms, and legs. It is always wise to seek immediate medical attention after an accident that may involve the neck.
Minor vs. Serious Neck Pain
The two most common reasons for neck pain are muscle strain and compressed or pinched nerves. It can be difficult to distinguish between the two, particularly if the pain occurs sporadically. If the pain is linked to certain activities, it may be easier to isolate the cause, but even then, pain may travel to other parts of the body, such as the back, arms, or legs, obscuring the true root cause.
Nerve compression is particularly difficult to diagnose since it often mimics strained muscles in its early stages. Neck aches, upper back pain, and soreness in the shoulders have all been linked to both minor neck sprains and early signs of serious nerve damage.
Delaying Treatment Can Lead To Serious Consequences
Delaying treatment of neck sprains or pinched nerves can often lead to unanticipated consequences. After the initial, relatively minor pain subsides, victims often develop severe, shooting pains that radiate down through the body. This can lead to agonizing back pain, chronic and debilitating cramping or muscle spasms, or even paralysis of the arms, hands, legs, or feet. Eventually, the damage can become permanent, causing a lifetime of chronic pain, inability to work, and, in some cases, total disability.
Unfortunately, many victims are encouraged to ignore the warning signs and dismiss minor pain as something to be gotten over quickly. Insurance companies are particularly eager to have victims sign settlements in accident claims while their pain and injuries still seem very minor before major consequences become obvious. These victims are discouraged from seeing medical advice and offered tempting settlements with quick payouts, only to find out too late that the amount is, after all, too small to cover their ultimate medical bills and costs.
At Barber & Associates, we have many years of experience in helping victims of neck injuries seek justice and a fair settlement for their claims. We can help you determine the true value of your case and how much you will ultimately need to pay for your medical care. Give us a call today to learn more and to discuss your neck injury case before you settle with an insurance company.