The neck is a complex and vulnerable part of the human anatomy. It's made up of muscles, a breathing passageway, the esophagus, tendons, vertebra, arteries, shock-absorbing discs, nerves, and the spinal cord. It supports and stabilizes the head, which is a relatively heavy part of the human anatomy.
The neck is also subject to a variety of injuries. Some are minor while others can be instantly fatal. There are many ways that a traumatic neck injury can happen. Some are caused by the actions of negligent individuals. If you've suffered such an injury because of another's negligence, don't hesitate to seek legal advice from a personal injury lawyer.
Five Types of Traumatic Neck Injuries
- Whiplash. Whiplash is a collection of symptoms involving the neck. It can be the result of one or multiple injuries to various structures and tissues of the neck. The seriousness of the injury will depend on where the damage occurs. Whiplash can be caused by muscle strain or injured joints or discs. It can involve spinal nerves and sometimes the spinal cord itself.
- Herniated discs. The vertebral disc is an elastic tissue containing a jelly-like substance. It acts as a shock absorber and holds the neck's vertebrae together. When it herniates, nearby nerves are affected and causes pain, weakness, and numbness.
- Spinal cord injury. When a neck injury involves the spinal cord, areas of the body controlled by the spinal cord below the injury can be affected. If the injury is severe, paralysis of the affected area could result. This might involve the movement of the limbs, breathing, or bowel function.
- Neck Fracture. When an accident involves severe mechanical shock, the vertebrae (bones) of the neck may fracture. Depending on how the injury happens, a neck fracture may also be accompanied by a dislocation of the affected vertebra. When this happens, severe injury to the spinal cord is possible.
- Carotid artery injury. The carotid artery supplies blood to the neck, face, scalp, and brain. It's located on both sides of the neck. Injury to the artery can cause clot formation, which can break off and move into the brain and cause a stroke. Even a small injury with minimal symptoms can cause a fatal stroke. Damage to the carotid artery can be caused by a car accident, blunt trauma to the neck, a sports accident, or induced by certain chiropractic practices.
Any of the above traumatic neck injuries can be caused by traffic accidents, pedestrian-car accidents, slip and falls, and sports or work-related accidents. If another's negligence or recklessness caused a traumatic neck injury, seek the legal counsel you need to get compensation for medical expenses, lost wages, and pain and suffering. To speak with an experienced personal injury lawyer, contact us.