Healthy people take their necks for granted, but anyone who was ever sustained a neck injury understands how the neck affects everything you do with your body. When you have neck pain, simple things like turning your head, sitting down, or doing any normal thing that people do every day and don’t think about can cause serious pain.
Insurance companies only take neck injury cases seriously if they are afraid that a jury will award a lot of money for the injury.
That is one of the major challenges in the neck injury case. Ultimately, neck injury cases are judged by a jury. If none of the people on the jury have ever had a bad neck or a neck injury, how can we make sure that the jury understands what your neck injury is like?
The good news is if you put your neck injury case together properly, the insurance company will understand that you are ready to bring your case to court in a persuasive way. In these sorts of cases, that means being able to bring the neck injury alive and make it real for the jury.
A Little about Neck Anatomy
There are lots of different kinds of injuries. You can have a fractured bone in your neck, or a muscle sprain, or stretched ligaments, bulging discs or even herniated discs with nerve compression. Different injuries require different kinds of treatment but many neck injuries require surgery and cause a permanent problem. Understanding some basics about the structure of the neck is important.
Doctors and lawyers call the neck the cervical spine. Your cervical spine has several bony vertebrae and between each vertebra there is a “shock absorber” called a disk. That shock absorber has gel and it and it absorbs shocks and allows you to move your neck. The disc also provides space between each vertebra so that nerves can go from your spine out to the various parts of your body so that you can feel and move your arms.
So when there is an injury to the disc, just like a flat tire on a car, the space between the bony vertebrae is reduced and that can cause a nerve to be pinched or impinged. That can cause a lot of pain, tingling, numbness.
Treating an Injured Disc
A pinched nerve in your neck can be permanent which would require surgery, or it could be temporary. Doctors usually start the person with the neck injury on pain medicine and therapy to see if the injury will improve with that conservative treatment. If after 6 to 12 weeks of therapy, there is no improvement, they move on to ordering an MRI. They may order an MRI sooner if your clinical symptoms warrant it.
From there, the doctors usually move to injections to reduce inflammation to see if that will fix the problem. These injections are usually done in a series of three.
Finally, if a herniated disc continues to pinched a nerve, or if an MRI shows that the pinched nerve is dangerous for you, you may have to undergo neck surgery. This could mean a microdiscectomy all the way through the much more serious multiple level fusion of the neck.
What a Neck Injury Means For You
The difference in how you feel – the symptoms and the pain level – between a minor temporary neck injury and a serious permanent neck injury can often be very little. In other words, you will have no idea based on how you feel as to whether your neck injury is going to be temporary or is more severe.
Many people don’t want to make a big deal after a neck injury because they assume that it will get better on their own. But that is not always the case.
That is why I always tell people that whether you have a lawsuit or not, your health has to be number one. If you sustained a neck injury as a result of the fall, car crash, or at work, you absolutely must get to a doctor right away.
The more time that passes between the date of your injury and the date of your medical treatment, the easier time the insurance company lawyer is going to have an argument that you were not hurt in your accident. If you wait two months to see a doctor about your neck injury, the defense attorney will argue that you could have hurt your neck after the crash in any number of ways and you are just looking to cash in on the fact that you had a car or work accident.
I know this sounds outrageous, but these arguments are used in front of juries in Illinois in neck injury cases every day. And these arguments are effective in reducing the chance for an injured person to win their case and or it reduces the chance of the injured person getting fair compensation for their neck injury.
As you can see, it is important for you to talk to and hire someone who knows the ins and outs of neck injury cases.
I offer a free case evaluation if you have more questions.
I truly hope this information has helped you.
Please feel free to call me if you have any questions or need some help.
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Cab Driver, Fall Down