A neck injury can substantially adversely change your life, affecting how you lie in your daily life, work, and recreational activities. Neck pain is the 4th-leading cause of disability in the United States. Women are more likely to experience neck pain than men, although an accident can result in neck injury and neck pain for both men and women. Auto accidents often lead to neck pain, including whiplash injuries. When you are in pain, it can be challenging to know what to do. Speaking to a Fairbanks neck injury attorney can make a difference in your daily life and future. Don’t try to face your injury alone. Ringstad Law Office, P.C. is ready to help you through this difficult time.
Why Choose a Fairbanks Neck Injury Attorney from Ringstad Law Office?
Attorney Kenneth Ringstad has been helping people injured due to another’s negligence for more than three decades. Alaska is home to Kenneth—his family has lived in the state for over ninety years. Kenneth was born, grew up, and attended the University of Alaska Fairbanks. This means that Ringstad Law Office has a personal stake in how you recover from your accident.
We don’t work for insurance companies or big corporations—we work for people like you. We are dedicated to helping those in our community get through the aftermath of an accident. Attorney Kenneth Ringstad understands that an accident can leave you feeling confused, frustrated, and even overwhelmed. The insurance claims process can be complex, and when you aren’t feeling your best, it can seem like too much. Fairbanks neck injury attorney, Kenneth Ringstad, will ensure your voice is heard and your rights and future are properly protected.
What Are the Common Causes of Neck Injuries and Whiplash and Typical Injuries?
Whiplash is a neck injury caused by a forceful, rapid back-and-forth neck movement. When one vehicle strikes another, those in both vehicles may experience this snapping movement of the neck, often likened to the cracking of a whip. Other accidents that can lead to a neck injury are slip and fall accidents. Aside from whiplash from a car accident, the following neck injuries can result from an automobile accident:
- Cervical Spondylolisthesis can occur when the force of your car accident or fall causes one or more vertebrae to slip out of alignment—known as “dislocation.” This type of neck injury can be mild to severe, compressing nerves or the spinal cord and causing pain in the back of the head, neck, and shoulders.
- Slipped discs occur following auto accidents or falls; at the time of the impact, the disc could bulge, slip, rupture, or herniate.
- Neck sprains or strains are common following a car accident or a slip and fall. A neck strain causes damage to the face joints, tendons, and tissues that connect bones to muscle, while a neck sprain affects the soft tissues connecting bones to other bones. Sprains and strains cause reduced mobility, muscle spasms, and pain when moving the neck or head.
- Pinched nerves can result from many different neck injuries. When tissue, bone, discs, or tendons slip from their normal place, rubbing against the surrounding nerves, tingling, numbness, and pain can occur.
- Stiff tendons and muscles can result from a neck injury following an accident. This can lead to pain when you move your head or neck.
- Facet joint injuries in the neck prevent your head and neck from moving freely. After a car collision, the facet joints can become inflamed or irritated, resulting in pain.
- Muscle spasms are common neck injuries resulting from car accidents, causing cramps or twinges in the neck, shoulders, arms, and back.
- A fractured cervical spine or broken neck is a severe injury that requires immediate medical care. A neck fracture is a cracked or broken neck bone that can further damage the nerves in the spinal cord.
- Cuts and lacerations to the neck can occur when debris from the car accident punctures the neck. While minor cuts may cause only superficial bleeding and bruising, deeper lacerations may require stitches and can damage ligaments and tendons in the neck.
What Are Some of the Signs You Might Have a Neck Injury Following a Car Accident?
Symptoms of a neck injury following a car accident could include:
- An inability to turn your neck freely from side to side
- A “heavy” feeling in your neck or head
- Neck stiffness
- An inability to look up or down without significant pain
- Headaches that worsen and become more frequent
- Shooting pain in your neck and back
- Unusual fatigue
- Memory issues
- Significant mood changes
- Blurry vision
- Muscle spasms in the neck area
- Trouble with staying focused
Those with prior injuries or trauma to the neck are at a higher risk of neck injury from a car accident, as are those with a history of neck pain or neck arthritis. Older victims and those who smoke are more likely to suffer a neck injury during a car accident.
What is the Average Settlement for a Neck Injury Following a Car Accident
Your settlement will depend on the extent of your neck injury and how long your recovery will take. If you cannot return to work for a period, your settlement will include lost wages and future wages. If your pain is persistent and may never subside, then your pain and suffering damages could be much higher. When pain takes away your ability to enjoy your life, then damages must factor into the amount of your settlement. These costs will factor into your overall settlement amount if you require medical care and future medical procedures or rehabilitative therapies.
Can You Sue for Whiplash?
Unfortunately, as a soft tissue injury that is more difficult to “prove,” whiplash injuries are often discounted, even though they can cause severe pain and difficulties in your day-to-day routine. Whiplash from a car accident is common, but as a soft tissue injury, it does not show up on an X-ray or MRI, so that the insurance company may latch on to the lack of visible injury. A whiplash injury can worsen over time since swelling and inflammation can take time to develop. This can cause the insurer to question whether your pain is related to the car crash or results from a prior injury or underlying condition.
Can Whiplash Symptoms Get Worse Over Time?
Whiplash symptoms can worsen over time. Acute pain from whiplash generally lasts up to six weeks. Sub-acute pain from whiplash can last up to three months, while chronic pain from your whiplash injury can last three months or more. The duration of your neck pain is one of the greatest predictors of your whiplash from a car accident injury.
Hire a Fairbanks Neck Injury Attorney Near You
When you hire a Fairbanks neck injury attorney from Ringstad Law Office, P.C., you have taken the most important step you can take to protect your future. If you are already struggling financially due to your injury, hiring an attorney can be extremely daunting. At Ringstad Law Office, we offer a contingency fee for our work—this means you don’t pay anything until we have collected a full and fair settlement on your behalf. Contact Ringstad Law Office today to speak with attorney Ken Ringstad.