Attorney Doug Goyen is a Dallas personal injury lawyer who has been handling car accident injury claims since 1997. Attorney Goyen is committed to getting you the care and compensation you deserve for your injury. In car accident injury cases, whiplash and neck injuries are the most common types of injuries. Attorney Goyen has treated thousands of traffic crashes resulting in whiplash and neck injuries, and he has recovered millions for his clients. Call 972-599-4100 if you have been involved in a car accident, truck accident, or some other kind of personal injury event. We provide free case evaluations. We are not paid anything until we win!
Head and neck injuries are an all-too-common result of a variety of accidents. These injuries can have long-term consequences. If you have suffered a head or neck injury as a result of someone else’s recklessness or negligence, you may be able to seek compensation to help with medical and other expenses. If you are looking for a neck injury accident attorney an experienced personal injury attorney can assist you.
Neck Injuries from Car Accidents
The vertebrae, spinal cord, nerves, discs, windpipe, esophagus, muscles, ligaments, tendons, and blood vessels make up the neck. Any of these parts of the neck can be injured as a result of a car accident.
Neck injuries are commonly caused by the following factors:
Auto accidents, falls, sports, penetrating injuries such as a gunshot, external pressure from assaults such as direct blows or strangulation, and diving into shallow water are the most common causes of acute (sudden) neck injuries.
Common neck injury symptoms
Common neck injury symptoms include difficulty turning the neck or head, decreased range of motion, muscle spasms in the neck and shoulders, neck pain, stiffness in the neck, weakness in the legs, arms, hands, or fingers, fatigue, difficulty concentrating, headaches, bleeding from the neck area, neck bruising, pain with movement, pain and tingling that spreads to the shoulders and arms, and sleep disruption.
Serious neck injury symptoms
A change in consciousness or alertness or unresponsiveness, clammy and pale skin, loss of bladder or bowel control, paralysis of any kind, uncontrolled bleeding, breathing problems such as shortness of breath, labored breathing, wheezing and choking, severe headache, deformity or swelling in the neck or head are all signs of a possible emergency.
Neck injuries that are common
Whiplash – Whiplash is a neck injury caused by a sudden, back-and-forth movement of the neck. It is most commonly caused in rear-end collisions. Sports injuries, assaults, falls, and other types of trauma can also contribute to it. Sprains and strains are common whiplash injuries. A person who suffers from whiplash may also suffer from other types of neck injuries.
Strains and Sprains – Neck sprains and strains are common types of neck injuries. The vertebrae in the neck are made up of seven spinal column bones connected by ligaments. A sprain occurs when the ligaments are torn or stretched as a result of a sudden strong head movement. Muscles are pulled and/or torn during a strain.
Herniated disc – Discs in the spine act as a cushion between each vertebra. The exterior of the disc is tough, and the interior of these discs is jellylike. A tear in the disc wall may allow some of the disc’s interior to protrude or escape. This can put pressure on the nerves that run through the spine, causing pain and numbness, as well as radiating pain to the extremities such as the arms, legs, hands, or feet.
Pinched Nerve – A pinched nerve occurs when pressure is applied to a nerve by muscles, tendons, surrounding tissue, or bones.
Fractured cervical spine – Auto accidents are the most common cause of cervical spine fractures, followed by diving, sports, and firearms. They include upper (occiput-C2) and lower cervical spine fractures (C3-C7). The most common complications of cervical fractures are nerve and spinal cord injury, fracture malunion, and surgical infections. Cervical spine fractures can be fatal if not treated properly.
Common non-surgical neck injury treatment
Common surgical procedures for neck injuries
If conservative treatments are ineffective at relieving chronic neck pain, surgery is often considered as a last resort. Not all causes of neck pain necessitate surgical intervention. However, in some cases, surgery may be the best option, especially if less invasive treatments have not been effective. Herniated disks and bone spurs in the neck can form as a result of injuries and degenerative changes. This can put pressure on your nerves or spinal cord, causing pain, numbness, or weakness.
The following are some of the most common neck conditions that may necessitate surgery:
→A pinched nerve (cervical radiculopathy) occurs when excessive pressure is applied to one of the nerve roots in your neck.
→Spinal cord compression (cervical myelopathy): The spinal cord becomes compressed or irritated in this condition. Some common causes include osteoarthritis, scoliosis, or a neck injury.
→A broken neck (cervical fracture) occurs when one or more of the bones in your neck break.
Injections – For acute or chronic neck or back pain, injections are a non-surgical treatment option. They are used to treat spinal pain after other nonsurgical options, such as medications and/or physical therapy, have been exhausted but before surgery is considered. Injections can provide pain relief and aid in determining the source of a patient’s discomfort.
Injections are frequently referred to as a minimally invasive procedure. They are frequently used to avoid more invasive surgical procedures. Despite the fact that spinal injections are not considered a surgical procedure, the majority of spinal injections are performed in a surgical center or a hospital. Injections may be minimally invasive, but they are still invasive, which is why I classify them as surgical.
Types of injections for neck injuries – The injections listed below are commonly used to treat neck injury pain from injuries that do not resolve with non-surgical care such as physical therapy, chiropractic care, and other non-surgical care:
Injections of steroid into the epidural space – The epidural space is the area surrounding the dura. The dura is a sac that contains cerebrospinal fluid, the spinal cord, and nerves and surrounds the nerve roots. Injections into this region of the spine deliver medication to coat the nerves in this region. Nerve pain, compressed nerves causing pain in the neck or upper back, herniated discs, spondylosis (age-related wear and tear), radiculopathy (any condition or injury causing nerve damage), and spinal stenosis are all indications that epidural steroid injections may be necessary (a narrowing of the open space in the spine resulting in the spinal cord and nerve pressure that causes pain and numbness – can be caused by herniated discs and car accident trauma to the neck which causes swelling).
Selective nerve root block injections – A selective nerve root block injection is referred to as (SNRB). It is an injection used to treat a swollen spinal nerve. It can also aid in diagnosis. Typically, an anesthetic or steroid anesthetic is injected near the spine nerve where it exits the bony opening between the vertebrae. The medication numbs the nerve and reduces inflammation. Fluoroscopy or ultrasound guidance is typically used to guide this type of injection. It has a reported 57 percent success rate for patients up to 6 months. The effect of the injections can be delayed for days or even weeks, so even for those who eventually get relief from the injections, there may be no immediate relief. These injections are used to treat inflamed nerve roots caused by herniations, spinal stenosis (a narrowing of the open space in the spine resulting in the spinal cord and nerve pressure that causes pain and numbness – can be caused by herniated discs and car accident neck trauma that causes swelling), and radiculopathy (any condition or injury causing damage to the nerves).
Facet joint injections and medial branch blocks – These injections are used to treat as well as diagnose pain.
Facet joint injections – A facet joint is surrounded by a synovial membrane tissue joint capsule that contains nerve innervation. This joint becomes painful when it becomes inflamed. Anesthetics and steroids are among the substances injected into this joint. The injection relieves pain by reducing inflammation. The medication reduces pain by making pain receptors less sensitive.
Medial branch blocks – Medial branch nerves emerge from the dorsal rami of the spinal nerves from C2 and below. A steroid injected near the medial branch nerve may suppress the nerve’s pain signal. Fluoroscopy or ultrasound guidance is used to precisely guide the needle, and contrast dye may be used to improve visibility. According to studies, facet joint injections and medial branch blocks are effective in 92 percent of patients and last 1-4 weeks. The symptoms may or may not reappear.
Radiofrequency ablation (RFA) – used to treat chronic neck and back pain. RFA creates a heat lesion by heating a portion of the nerve transmitting pain with a radiofrequency needle. The lesion prevents the nerve from transmitting pain signals to the brain. This treatment is typically used to relieve pain for longer periods of time, ranging from 6 months to 2 years. It can help improve range of motion through physical therapy, reduce the need for medications, and avoid more invasive surgeries. This is typically considered for neck and back pain, cervicogenic headaches, occipital neuralgia (a chronic headache caused by a pinched nerve at the C2 or C3 level), or sacroiliac joint or posterior pelvic pain. According to various studies, the success rate ranges from 45 to 86 percent. According to studies, repeated RFA treatment provides relief to 85 percent of patients.
Cervical spinal fusion – A major surgery used when there is neck instability or when the motion of the neck causes pain. Cervical spinal fusion is a surgical procedure that joins or fuses the bones in the neck (the vertebrae). The fusion is created by grafting bone from somewhere in your body or from a bone bank.
Anterior cervical discectomy and fusion (ACDF)– This is a major surgery used to treat a pinched nerve or spinal cord compression. It removes a damaged disc to relieve pressure on the spinal cord or nerve roots, thereby alleviating pain, weakness, numbness, and tingling. The disc is removed, relieving pressure on the spinal cord and nerve roots. The procedure alleviates pain, numbness, tingling, and tingling. As it relieves pressure, it is a type of decompression. When the disc is removed, the vertebrae are fused together with a bone graft or implant to provide stability to the area. This surgery is used to relieve symptoms caused by herniated discs, disc disease, and bone spurs.
Anterior corpectomy and fusion – A major surgery used to treat spinal cord compression. The cervical spine’s vertebrae and discs are removed during this procedure. This procedure is used to treat injuries caused by herniated discs as well as spine degeneration. It can also be used in other cases where the spine has been damaged by trauma, tumors, or deformation. These conditions cause the spinal canal to narrow and place pressure on the spinal cord. After physical therapy, injections, and pain medication have failed to alleviate the symptoms, surgery is performed. It takes 6 to 8 weeks to recover. During the recovery process, physical therapy is usually involved.
Laminectomy – A major surgery performed to relieve pressure on the spinal cord and nerves. The lamina is removed in order to increase the size of your spinal canal. The lamina is a vertebra that covers the spinal canal. Because it relieves pressure on the spinal cord and nerves, a laminectomy is also known as a decompression procedure. When physical therapy, injections, and medications have failed to relieve the symptoms, a laminectomy is performed. In order to reach the herniated disc, some herniated disc cases necessitate a laminectomy. Following surgery, physical therapy is usually used to improve the patient’s strength and flexibility.
Laminoplasty – A major surgery performed to relieve pressure on the spinal cord and nerves. The lamina, a piece of bone, is removed from the spinal canal. The lamina is located at the canal’s top or roof. This surgery is used when conservative treatment has failed to relieve symptoms caused by disc herniations, fractures, and degenerative changes in the spinal canal. To relieve pressure on the spinal canal, hinges, plates, and bone struts are used, as is a type of decompression.
Artificial disk replacement (ADR) – A major surgery used to treat pain caused by a pinched nerve. Is where the disc is replaced due to herniation or degenerative changes that cause pain, numbness and tingling, radiating pain, and weakness. If the symptoms are only in the neck (no radiating symptoms), this surgery is usually not recommended. To relieve pressure on the spinal canal, the damaged disc is removed and an artificial disc is inserted.
Posterior cervical laminoforaminotomy – This is a surgery that is commonly used to treat pain caused by a pinched nerve. This surgery is classified as minimally invasive. The lamina is shaved with extremely fine instruments, and any disc fragments or bone spurs are removed. It is used in the neck to relieve pressure on nerve roots and the spinal cord. Cervical disc herniations can necessitate this type of surgery. Radiating symptoms into the arms, hands, and shoulders are caused by pressure on the spinal canal. When physical therapy and medication have failed to provide relief, it is used. Recovery time is 2 to 4 weeks.
Treatment for a neck fracture
Neck fracture treatment options include spinal immobilization such as halo traction, a stiff neck collar and braces, and surgical fusing with rods, plates, and screws.
Long-term complications of neck injuries
Long-term neck injury complications include chronic pain, neck weakness, stiffness in the neck, shoulder, or arm, chronic fatigue, death, paralysis, decreased range of motion in the neck, and permanent disability.
Preventing neck injuries
Maintaining a healthy weight, regular exercise, strength training for the back and core, a healthy diet, ergonomic chairs and pillows, posture awareness while standing and sitting, and exercising caution when lifting, twisting, and turning are all ways to avoid neck injuries.
DAMAGES YOU MAY BE ABLE TO RECOVER FOR A NECK INJURY
If you sustain one or more of the following types of injuries, Texas (and most other states) law allows you to recover money to compensate you for the harm caused by the negligent conduct (or the damage that was caused, or harm that was caused, or loss that was caused). If you have proof of the claimed damage or injury, the person or company responsible for the accident or injury may be forced to pay for the following injuries or damages.
→Past and future medical bills: The amount of medical bills required to treat your injury in the past and in the future.
→Earning capacity lost in the past and in the future: The amount of money you could have earned if you had not been injured.
→Physical impairment in the past and future: How you have been physically impaired in the past as a result of your injury, and how you will be physically impaired in the future.
→Past and future mental anguish: How your physical injury has caused significant mental anguish, to the point where it is more than disappointment, resentment, embarrassment, or anger, and how it will continue to do so in the future.
→Past and future pain and suffering: Compensation is allowed for past and future pain and suffering based on a jury’s common sense, knowledge, and sense of justice. In terms of settling a claim, determining the value of pain and suffering is done by imagining what a jury – who does not know anyone involved – will think the value is.
→Loss of consortium (spouse, parent, child/filial): If the injury was severe enough that you no longer enjoyed the companionship of your family members, you are entitled to compensation for the harm done to your family relationships.
→Loss of services: If a husband or wife is unable to perform their normal household duties as a result of the injury, they are entitled to compensation.
The Law Office of Doug Goyen has devoted decades of his practice to assisting people who have suffered neck injuries as a result of car accidents. Attorney Goyen has been a member of the State Bar of Texas since 1997 and practices personal injury law in Dallas, Texas.
During that time, Attorney Goyen has handled a wide range of personal injury cases, including car accidents that result in neck injuries. The following types of injuries are common in personal injury trauma cases, and Attorney Goyen regularly represents clients with these injuries. Contact our office if you need an attorney for a neck injury caused by a car accident or any other type of accident caused by negligence. (972) 599 4100 is our phone number. The following information is provided for your convenience.
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