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Car Accident Neck Injuries

A person’s neck is highly vulnerable in a car accident. Although seat belts restrain a person’s chest, nothing restrains the neck, which can extend forward when a car suddenly comes to a stop. One risk is that a person’s head will then whip back, leading to whiplash. This is a serious injury we see in many rear-end collisions and T-bone collisions. The good news is that most motorists should carry liability insurance which can cover an accident.

In addition to whiplash, accident victims can suffer other injuries, which cost them time and money. Call Stewart Miller Simmons Trial Attorneys if you were injured in a car accident. An Atlanta car accident lawyer can meet to discuss how the accident happened, as well as the current prognosis for your injuries. Below, we highlight some of the most common neck injuries and how to calculate the value of your claim.


Whiplash is the term given to a collection of injuries people suffer when their head whips back and forth or from side to side. This dramatic motion can stretch soft tissue until it tears. You might injure ligaments, tendons, muscles, or nerves in this violent back-and-forth shaking.

Whiplash has some common symptoms:

  • Neck stiffness and aches
  • Shoulder pain
  • Reduced movement in the neck
  • Sharp pain when you try to move your head
  • Migraines
  • Numbness in arms and hands
  • Dizziness or vertigo
  • Anxiety

Whiplash varies in severity. Mild whiplash might cause symptoms for only a few weeks before slowly getting better. More serious whiplash could cause pain for over a year. Fortunately, whiplash rarely injures the spinal cord, so a full recovery is possible for most victims.

Treatment will depend on the extent of the injury, but rest and icing your neck are critical. You might also manage your pain with over-the-counter medication and light massage. Ultimately, the goal is to begin slowly reintroducing movement to the neck so that you can turn your head in a pain-free manner.

Cervical Fracture

The vertebrae in your neck are called cervical vertebrae. You can fracture one of them in a car accident. This fracture can lead to intense pain but also instability in your neck. A fracture could make you feel as if your neck is pulling apart because the vertebrae become disconnected.

Fractures carry many complications. Any bone fragments could nick or slice into the spinal cord, which is a catastrophic injury. Doctors treat fractures by trying to hold the bones in place until they heal.

Herniated Disc

The vertebrae have pads in between them for cushion. These pads prevent the bones from rubbing against each other and provide additional stability for the neck. Unfortunately, violent accidents can damage the discs, which have a soft center. The softer material can push out through the outer shell of the disc and press against nerve roots or the spinal cord.

Neck pain is intense. You might need to have a doctor block the nerve from sending pain signals to your brain. Although conservative treatment (like steroid injections) can help many people, others will need surgery. A surgeon might remove the disc and replace it with an artificial one or implant bone graft and fuse two vertebrae together.

Spinal Cord Injury

The spinal cord plays a critical role in virtually all movement, connecting the brain with other parts of your body. Signals run up and down the spinal cord, which allows people to move their hands and feet but also feel pain. Any damage to the spinal cord can result in impaired sensation or movement (or both).

Neck injuries can damage the cord. A bone fragment could slice into the cord, leading to serious disabilities. Or a herniated disc could press against the cord, resulting in pain or numbness.

Spinal cord injuries vary in severity. If the cord is cut into two pieces, then you will be paralyzed below that site. This is how people end up as quadriplegics. If the spinal cord is only bruised or nicked, then neurological signals can still traverse your body, although you will likely suffer from impairments on at least one side.

Treatment will first focus on removing anything that is pressing against the cord, like a bone fragment. Then a doctor can assess your limitations once your condition has stabilized. Someone with an incomplete injury will likely need rehabilitation and physical therapy to regain movement. It’s a tough journey.

Compensation for Your Neck Injury

Neck injuries can happen in the blink of an eye, but victims suffer the repercussions for years. Due to pain or physical limitation, many victims cannot return to work. They might need months off to recover, and their income takes a nosedive.

Other expenses include car damage and medical bills. Although some injuries require only conservative treatment, others warrant surgery. Surgical expenses have exploded over the past 20 years. Even those with health insurance might be unable to cover the full cost of their medical treatment.

Let us review how much compensation you can receive. We can submit a claim on the negligent driver’s car insurance for:

  • Property damage (like car damage)
  • Medical bills (surgery, rehab, pain pills, etc.)
  • Pain and suffering
  • Lost income

A driver who is at fault should have liability insurance. This coverage pays for bodily injuries an insured causes in any type of crash. Our lawyers are prepared to negotiate with the at-fault driver’s insurance provider for a settlement. Contact us as soon as possible.

Suffered a Neck Injury in a Car Wreck? Call Us

Car accidents sideline thousands of Georgians each year. You deserve fair compensation whenever you suffer a bodily injury through the fault of another motorist. Give Stewart Miller Simmons Trial Attorneys a call. 

We are a team of highly experienced car accident lawyers who can step in and negotiate a settlement for you. You should not suffer from financial stress when a careless driver is to blame. To find out more about whether we can be of service, please contact our firm today to schedule a free consultation by calling (404) 529-3476.

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