Neck pain is one of the most common side effects of a violent car accident. But when it doesn’t go away, that’s usually an indication of more serious problems. Chronic neck pain can impair sleep, work, and daily functioning. If someone else’s negligence caused the accident, you have the potential for compensation to cover your medical care. Consult a Kansas City car accident attorney about your legal options.
Neck Pain: The Most Common Car Accident Injury
Chronic neck pain experienced after a major car accident could be a sign of whiplash. Symptoms include:
- Neck stiffness
- Numbness in the arms or hands
- Pain that spreads to the shoulders, lower back, arms, or hands
Symptoms vary depending on the severity of the condition. Some people also experience ringing in their ears and blurry vision. What happens during a whiplash injury is the neck and head are jolted back and forth so quickly that soft tissues become damaged.
Whiplash injuries are assessed with imaging tests and physical exams. Doctors may treat these injuries with neck collars, medications, muscle relaxers, and physical therapy. However, some cases of whiplash injuries may involve more extensive and prolonged treatments if the symptoms don't go away. Neck pain from accident-related whiplash usually subsides within a few weeks. However, whiplash pain lasting several months or years may be considered chronic. This is hard to treat and involves higher medical expenses, so make sure your injury attorney uses detailed medical records to assign value to your personal injury claim for compensation.
Increase Your Compensation for Chronic Pain
Missouri is an at-fault or tort state—this means you must prove the other motorist was at fault to receive compensation. You can also sue for additional compensation if you can prove your neck pain meets certain severity criteria.
Chronic whiplash pain may fit this category if the pain causes distress and ongoing medical bills. The compensatory damages you could sue for include:
- Future medical bills
- Lost wages
- Future lost income
- Lost earning capacity
- Pain and suffering
- Emotional distress
- Loss of enjoyment
Suing for pain and suffering or emotional distress might be challenging because of how subjective these damages are. Therapy records and witness testimonies can help reinforce your claim. A skilled lawyer will build a strong case in your favor.