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Car Accident Neck Injury Statistics

Injueis To The Neck Car AccidentMotorists involved in auto collisions commonly experience severe neck injuries including whiplash, especially when struck from behind. According to the American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons, up to 40% of automobile accident injuries cause lifelong chronic, debilitating pain. There are more than three million cases of neck injuries every year in the United States, and three-fourths of those created symptoms that last six months or longer.

Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers LLC represents victims of vehicle accidents and other types of professional negligence. Our law firm has successfully prosecuted cases for our clients who were in a car crash and suffered harm. Our attorneys are available to answer any legal questions on how to receive the monetary compensation you deserve if your injuries were a result of someone else's negligence. Should you have additional questions, we invite you to contact our office for a free review of your legal rights.

Whiplash Injuries

The human neck is constructed of complex, delicate bones, the larynx, tissue, blood vessels, and other vital parts that connect the brain to the body and transmits back-and-forth signals through the body's spinal column. Any sudden impact caused by a crash or accident can cause significant harm to the neck, especially if it is flung forward during impact. Some doctors diagnose every neck injury as whiplash. However, this condition is caused by specific injury to the neck and cervical vertebrae.

Typically, a vehicle crash can cause the head to move suddenly from the front to the back or side to side and cause considerable damage to the spine, muscles, ligaments, tendons, nerve roots, and connective tissue. Some statistics associated with whiplash include:

  • The first symptoms of whiplash can appear many weeks or months following the crash

  • Women are five times more likely to suffer whiplash injury than men

  • Whiplash victims are typically out of work for eight weeks or longer after the accident

  • Most whiplash injuries happen when the vehicle was traveling 12 miles an hour or less

  • Intense chronic pain in the shoulder and neck tend to be the most common injuries involved in a rear-end collision

  • Individuals 30 to 50 years old have the highest incident rates of whiplash injuries

  • Six out of ten individuals suffering whiplash need long-term follow-up medical care

  • Rear end crashes are more likely to cause cervical spine damage compared to a front or side collision

  • Abnormal psychological problems can be a fundamental problem for whiplash victims who suffer from chronic pain

  • More than 50% of individuals with whiplash injuries will suffer from chronic pain for decades

  • Individuals with pre-existing medical conditions including arthritis are at a higher risk of experiencing greater pain and injury severity.

  • Women and children with smaller necks tend to experience more severe whiplash injuries

Bone Fractures and Disc Injuries

The force of the collision can cause bones to break in and around the neck including on the face, extremities, and collarbone. The impact can also cause the spinal column to shift out of place and cause bulging, herniated, ruptured or slipped discs that result in excruciating pain. Other musculoskeletal injuries including lower back pain can result from an accident caused by damage to soft tissue, vertebrae, discs, and spinal joints.

Facet Joint Injury

The spinal column is made up of facet joints that play a crucial role in the spine's function. A flexible, thick membrane surrounding the joints secrete viscous fluids that provide lubrication and allow the spine to move with ease. The joint provides body weight support and facilitates spinal movement between the vertebrae. The joints work with spinal discs to provide controlled, strong movement throughout the body.

When the facet joint is injured, the individual may experience strong muscle spasms when bending or stretching. The injured joint may become “frozen” and cause it to slip from its normal place. Many doctors will confuse a facet joint injury with a spinal disk injury because many of the associated symptoms are the same. The patient may experience a sudden painful attack caused by an aggravated or irritated nerve inside the joint.

The doctor may recommend treating the pain associated with a damaged facet joint with a hot or cold compress applied to the affected area for 15 minutes every 2 to 3 hours. Taking ibuprofen or other NSAID (nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug) could help alleviate the pain and reduce the swelling in the neck and shoulders.

Common Neck Injury Symptoms

Many of the symptoms associated with the neck injury can be delayed for 24 hours or longer. Many injured victims suffer acute and chronic symptoms in the first few days after experiencing the initial trauma of the accident. Some of the symptoms involve:

  • Sore, tight muscles

  • Intense pain

  • Shoulder pain

  • Lower back pain and discomfort

  • Dizziness, vertigo or feeling faint

  • Numbness, tingling or discomfort in the hands or arms

  • Difficulty in concentrating

  • Memory loss caused by head trauma or brain injury

  • Emotional or mental disorders caused by cervical spine nerve damage

  • Paresthesia, the burning or tingling sensation of the skin caused by the pressure of a slipped disc on an affected nerve root

  • Irritability

  • Jaw pain

  • Nausea caused by inner ear issues

  • Swelling in the throat and neck

  • Swallowing difficulties

  • Challenged breathing

  • Chronic fatigue

  • Blurred vision

  • Sleep disturbance

  • Ringing in the years

  • Muscle spasms caused by strained ligaments around the neck vertebrae facet joints

  • A damaged larynx caused by paralysis when the vocal cords are affected

  • Abscesses or infections

  • Neck strain where the muscles are torn, pulled or stretched

  • Neck sprain where the tissue and ligaments that connect the neck bones are torn or stretched causing stiffness and pain

  • A pinched nerve that produces numbness, tingling or pain in the hands or arms

  • Pain from a herniated cervical disc that intensifies when the neck is in motion

Some studies show that traveling at less than five mph can cause a neck (cervical) injury. A 1990 study released by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) revealed that approximately 30% of all motor vehicle occupants suffered severe to fatal injuries when in a minor or moderate accident.

Diagnosing a Neck Injury

An emergency room doctor or orthopedic surgeon will diagnose whiplash and other neck injuries through x-rays that can reveal minor to severe damage to the cervical spine. However, other imaging tools including CT scans and MRIs (magnetic resonance imaging) might be required to reveal the injury to soft tissue including ligaments, muscles, and tendons.

The doctor will ask if you have severe neck pain, stiffness in the neck, or tingling, pain, and numbness in the legs, arms, or shoulders. You will likely be asked if you have had any issues with your bowels or bladder, or localized weakness in the legs or arms. These symptoms along with a sharp, shooting, or dull pain are indicators of an acute whiplash injury.

Receiving Proper Treatment

Any individual who has suffered a severe neck injury caused by a vehicle accident should seek immediate care from a qualified professional. A doctor might prescribe pain relief drugs including naproxen, ibuprofen, or aspirin and recommend gentle exercise, massage, traction, physical therapy, ice, and heat to allow damage to soft tissue to heal. In addition to receiving medical attention, chiropractic care can give significant relief of pain and discomfort in the neck through chiropractic adjustment or manipulation.

Additionally, the doctor will likely recommend the injured victim perform various exercises to minimize discomfort and allow the injured neck to heal. These exercises could include sensorimotor exercises, stabilization, and McKenzie exercises that are effective at treating the sudden onset of sciatica or acute lower back pain. Muscle relaxation medications and muscle stimulation can also improve major discomfort in the neck and shoulders in the weeks and months following the accident.

If your doctor has provided treatment for your neck injury you should seek a follow-up appointment if you experience:

  • Neck injury symptoms that have spread to the arms or shoulders
  • Extreme pain when moving your head
  • Unexpected weakness or numbness in the arms

In some cases, patients suffering from acute and chronic nerve injuries find relief through electronic nerve stimulation by using a device that provides a gentle electric current that can diminish neck pain. Other patients have found pain relief through acupuncture.

Neck Injury Complications

A report released by the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke reveals that most accident victims will fully recover in the first three or four months after the collision. However, in the years after an automobile accident, some victims experience unexpected headaches or chronic pain for the first time since the crash. To diagnose the problem, the doctor might find the source of the pain by recognizing damaged ligaments, discs, and neck joints. In rare cases, there is no medical explanation as to why the neck hurts.

Vehicle Accident Neck Injury Statistics

According to the NHTSA, vehicle accidents account for a high percentage of neck injuries while driving a car, operating a commercial truck, riding a motorcycle or bike or walking as a pedestrian while sharing or crossing a road. The general information about neck injuries and car accidents include:

VEHICLES INVOLVED:

  • Car
  • Truck/Trailer
  • Motorcycle
  • Pedestrian
  • Bike
  • 73%
  • 19%
  • 2%
  • 4%
  • 2%

ACCIDENTS TYPES:

  • Rear-End
  • Lane Departure
  • Head-On
  • Rollover
  • Sideswipe
  • 22%
  • 73%
  • 2%
  • 2%
  • 1%

STATE RECOVERY (5 MOST COMMON STATES):

California

Amount Recovered
$0
$1-$49,999
$50,000-$99,999
$100,000-$199,999
$200,000-$499,999
$500,000-$999,999
$1,000,000-$1,999,999
$2,000,000-5,000,000
>$5,000,000
Percentage of Cases
25%
42%
7%
5%
9%
2%
6%
3%
1%

Florida

Amount Recovered
$0
$1-$49,999
$50,000-$99,999
$100,000-$199,999
$200,000-$499,999
$500,000-$999,999
$1,000,000-$1,999,999
$2,000,000-5,000,000
>$5,000,000
Percentage of Cases
36%
32%
8%
7%
10%
4%
1%
1%
1%

Missouri

Amount Recovered $0
$1-$49,999
$50,000-$99,999
$100,000-$199,999
$200,000-$499,999
$500,000-$999,999
$1,000,000-$1,999,999
$2,000,000-5,000,000
>$5,000,000
Percentage of Cases
28%
56%
5%
2%
4%
1%
2%
2%
0%

New York

Amount Recovered
$0
$1-$49,999
$50,000-$99,999
$100,000-$199,999
$200,000-$499,999
$500,000-$999,999
$1,000,000-$1,999,999
$2,000,000-5,000,000
>$5,000,000
Percentage of Cases
29%
12%
12%
9%
15%
7%
11%
2%
3%

Washington

Amount Recovered
$0
$1-$49,999
$50,000-$99,999
$100,000-$199,999
$200,000-$499,999
$500,000-$999,999
$1,000,000-$1,999,999
$2,000,000-5,000,000
>$5,000,000
Percentage of Cases
21%
60%
3%
6%
4%
2%
3%
1%
0%

Hiring an Attorney Is Important to Your Case

The vehicle accident attorneys at Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers LLC understand the impact of suffering a horrific injury in a vehicle accident that was not your fault. We have successfully obtained millions on behalf of the victims and their family members to ensure they were adequately compensated to cover their medical expenses, household bills, lost wages, loss of future earnings, pain, suffering, and emotional damage and we can help your family too.

We will build your case after conducting a comprehensive investigation into the accident and your injuries, and explore every available source of compensation. Our investigators will figure out how the other driver caused your injuries and seek compensation through their insurance liability coverage. In addition, we will seek out other defendants in your case that might also be responsible for your injuries to ensure you receive the maximum monetary recovery available.

Our team encourages you to contact our attorneys today to schedule a free, no-obligation case consultation to discuss the merits of your monetary recovery claim. We accept all personal injury cases, wrongful death lawsuits, and accident injury claims through contingency fee arrangements. This legal contract postpones the payment of legal services until after we have successfully completed your case through a negotiated settlement or a jury verdict.

Our law firm gets results quickly because we understand you need money now. We probably offer every client a “No Win/No-Fee” Guarantee, meaning if we are unable to secure financial compensation on your behalf you owe us nothing. All information you share with our law office will stay confidential.

Client Reviews
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Jonathan Rosenfeld was professionally objective, timely, and knowledgeable. Also, his advice was extremely effective regarding my case. In addition, Jonathan was understanding and patient pertaining to any of my questions or concerns. I was very happy with the end result and I highly recommend Jonathan Rosenfeld. Michonne Proulx
★★★★★
Extremely impressed with this law firm. They took control of a bad motorcycle crash that left my uncle seriously injured. Without any guarantee of a financial recovery, they went out and hired accident investigators and engineers to help prove how the accident happened. I am grateful that they worked on a contingency fee basis as there was no way we could have paid for these services on our own. Ethan Armstrong
★★★★★
This lawyer really helped me get compensation for my motorcycle accident case. I know there is no way that I could have gotten anywhere near the amount that Mr. Rosenfeld was able to get to settle my case. Thank you. Daniel Kaim
★★★★★
Jonathan helped my family heal and get compensation after our child was suffered a life threatening injury at daycare. He was sympathetic and in constant contact with us letting us know all he knew every step of the way. We were so blessed to find Jonathan! Giulia
★★★★★
Jonathan did a great job helping my family navigate through a lengthy lawsuit involving my grandmother's death in a nursing home. Through every step of the case, Jonathan kept my family informed of the progression of the case. Although our case eventually settled at a mediation, I really was impressed at how well prepared Jonathan was to take the case to trial. Lisa
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