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What is Causing My Neck & Back Pain after a Car Crash?

neck and back pain after a car accident

Car accidents can be devastating, often resulting in widespread property damage and serious accidents. But even minor accidents can result in less noticeable injuries. Some of the most common examples include internal injuries and injuries to the neck and back. These types of injuries are not always felt right at the accident scene, and it can often take several hours or longer for the symptoms to surface.

One of the reasons you may not feel the effects of these injuries right away is adrenaline.  When you get into an auto accident, it causes an immediate change in state. Your heartbeat accelerates, and your mind goes off into several different directions trying to figure out what all this means and how to handle the situation.

This is not unlike what happens to an athlete that gets injured during the middle of a big game. We often hear about sports figures who continue playing in a game after an injury, then after the game, they find out that the injury was more serious, and they will be out for a while.

The reason the athlete was able to keep playing after getting hurt is because the excitement of the moment and the adrenaline rush that goes along with it masked the pain of the injury. A motor vehicle accident is also exciting, but in a different way. But the same adrenaline rush that masks a sports injury can keep you from feeling the effects of an auto accident injury until much later.

What is the Cause of Neck and Back Pain After an Auto Accident?

If you can begin to experience neck and back pain from a vehicle crash, it is often a sign of whiplash. Whiplash is a soft tissue injury that is caused by a forceful and jerky back and forth movement in the neck and/or upper body. The condition is named as such because the neck and upper body move back and forth in a whip-like motion. 

Whiplash is common in auto accidents, and especially with rear-end collisions. And even collisions that happen at a lower speed and do not cause a large amount of damage to the vehicle can still cause this condition. When properly treated, whiplash can get better within a matter of weeks. However, some cases can result in chronic neck pain and other long-term complications.

Symptoms of whiplash may develop within 24 hours, although it sometimes takes longer.  Common symptoms may include:

  • General neck and back pain;
  • Neck stiffness;
  • Limited range of motion in the neck;
  • Headaches which usually originate in the base of the skull;
  • Tenderness, tingling, numbness, or pain in the arms, shoulder, and upper back;
  • Fatigue;
  • Dizziness and blurred vision;
  • Irritability;
  • Sleep disruption;
  • Problems with focus and concentration.

Neck and back pain after a car accident may be a sign of other conditions as well, such as:

  • Herniated Discs
  • Lumbar Sprains
  • Spinal Injuries

What Should I Do if I have Neck or Back Pain from a Vehicle Accident?

If you start developing pain in the back and neck following an auto accident, you should not take this lightly. If you ignore it, the symptoms could become worse, and the condition may even become permanent. This is not only bad for your health; it could also hurt your chances of recovering compensation for your injuries. 

If another party caused the accident, you have a right to be compensated for your losses.  However, you also have a legal duty to mitigate your losses, and along with that duty is an obligation to seek medical treatment at the first sign of an injury. If you fail to get medical help right away, it could seriously complicate any legal claim you file later on.

Once you have seen a medical professional, get in touch with an experienced car accident lawyer. A lawyer can thoroughly assess your accident, the important facts and pieces of evidence, who was at fault, and what your legal rights and options are. This way, you can make the most informed decision on whether or not to file a claim for damages against the other driver and/or their insurance company.

Whiplash Injuries in Car Collisions

Injuries sustained in car accidents can prove to be catastrophic experiences, sometimes leaving a life-long traumatic impact on a victim. Apart from the mental and emotional scars they leave behind, even the most minor of car accidents can cause grievous physical injuries. What may start out as a simple stiffness in the neck has the potential to end up as a traumatizing whiplash injury.

Often, victims of a car accident may walk away feeling totally alright, not realizing that they have sustained a severe injury that may rear its ugly head a few days or even weeks later. If you or someone you know is a victim of a car crash, you might lose out on recovering rightful compensation for your injuries if you are not fully aware, or do not act fast.

Call the Accident Injury Lawyers at John H Ruby and Associates to Schedule a Consultation

If you are experiencing any type of pain after an auto accident and you are in the Louisville, LaGrange, Shepherdsville or Shelbyville, KY areas, call John H. Ruby and Associates at 502-895-2626 or message us online to schedule an appointment.