Auto accidents cause a wide variety of injuries, including broken bones, brain injuries, whiplash, and spinal cord injuries. Cervicalgia is another type of injury that many auto accident victims sustain, but many people are not familiar with the name. In this blog, our Maryland auto accident attorney discusses this injury and what you should do if you believe you suffer from cervicalgia after a car crash.
What is Cervicalgia?
Cervicalgia is the medical term for neck pain that does not radiate outward to the upper extremities or shoulders. The pain may be stabbing, dull, or sharp. While it may cause a headache, the pain does not radiate from the neck to the skull.
As with other neck injuries, cervicalgia often goes away within a few days or weeks with simple home therapies, including rest, ice packs, heat, and over-the-counter pain medications.
However, if the pain persists, intensifies, or is followed by other symptoms, the person should seek immediate medical attention. A doctor may prescribe other forms of treatment for cervicalgia such as massage therapy, physical therapy, neck braces or collars, and prescription medications such as anti-inflammatories or muscle relaxers.
Symptoms of cervicalgia include:
- Neck muscle spasms
- Stiffness in the neck
- Impaired movement of the neck
- Tenderness in the shoulders
Any symptoms associated with whiplash could also indicate chronic neck pain and should be reported to a physician for a diagnosis. What you may believe to be a simple case of neck pain could actually be a chronic case of whiplash. Likewise, symptoms you attribute to whiplash could be an indication of a more severe condition. Only a trained medical provider can accurately diagnose whether you are suffering from cervicalgia, whiplash, or another medical condition.
What Causes Cervicalgia?
There are several ways that a person can develop cervicalgia. Causes of cervicalgia include:
- Neck injuries, including whiplash
- Sudden neck movement
- Poor posture
- Long periods in which the neck is held at an odd angle
- The strain on neck muscles from long-term stress
- Diseases and other conditions that involve the spine, including meningitis and spinal infections
- Osteoporosis, arthritis, and other bone conditions
Motor vehicle accidents, falls, and other accidents that result in the sudden movement of the neck are common causes of cervicalgia or neck pain. If an auto accident caused neck pain, you might be entitled to compensation for your pain, losses, and damages.
What Should You Do If You Suffer Neck Pain After an Auto Accident?
It is typically best to see a physician for an examination following a car accident. It can be difficult to determine whether you are suffering from minor neck pain or a severe case of whiplash unless you see your doctor for a diagnosis. Seeking medical attention after a car crash protects your health, but it also protects your legal right to recover compensation from the person who caused the collision.
Insurance companies treat cases of cervicalgia and whiplash as minor injuries that do not result in significant losses or damages. However, neck pain or cervicalgia can result in chronic pain and limited motion. You may incur significant expenses and losses while treating your injury.
Damages and losses associated with cervicalgia and whiplash include:
- Medical expenses
- Physical therapy
- Loss of income
- Physical pain
- Emotional suffering
- Other out-of-pocket expenses related to the accident and recovery
Prompt documentation of your injury and medical treatment from a trained physician can help increase the chance that you receive a fair settlement for your injury claim. A delay in medical treatment can be used by the insurance provider to claim that your neck pain was not caused by the car accident or is not as severe as you now claim.
Contacting an Experienced Maryland Auto Accident Attorney Can Also Help
Neck injuries and whiplash claims can be difficult to handle. Insurance companies try to undervalue and deny these claims because soft tissue injuries can be difficult to document and prove. Many accident victims receive much less than they deserve for their injury claims because they did not know how to fight back.
An experienced car accident attorney in Maryland understands the legal elements required to prove fault and damages. An attorney also understands the tactics used by insurance companies to deny valid whiplash claims and how to fight back for the rights of accident victims to receive just compensation for injuries and damages. You do not need to handle your claim alone. There is help.
The Pinder Plotkin legal team helps accident victims fight for their legal rights. We understand insurance claims and how to deal with insurance adjusters. Contact our office by calling 410-525-5337 to schedule a free consultation with one of our Maryland personal injury lawyers.