Neck injuries are extremely common after a car accident. Yet the majority of accident victims fail to report these injuries—largely because they are afraid that they will be met with skepticism or scrutiny by medical professionals and insurance agents. This doubt and uncertainty means that neck pain often goes untreated—which can lead to chronic pain and long-term disability.
Researchers at the University of North Carolina School of Medicine found that 70% of all car accident victims continue to have musculoskeletal pain 6 weeks post-accident. Nearly 4 million Americans are taken to emergency rooms after their accidents, and 90% are discharged promptly. Unfortunately, neck pain can take days and even weeks to become apparent.
When it does, injured accident victims don’t seek compensation for fear of being seen as someone who is just looking to sue. In fact, only 17% of all accident victims who had persistent pain had contacted a lawyer six weeks post-accident.
When the UNC researchers reviewed the data, they found that car accident victims still suffered from moderate to severe neck pain or widespread musculoskeletal pain in 7 or more body regions even 6 weeks after a crash. Yet despite this pain, the majority of the victims were not seeking treatment or compensation.
Neck injuries can have many symptoms, including:
- Muscle spasms
- Numbness or tingling in arms or legs
- Pain when moving neck in certain directions
- Limited movement of neck or stiffness
- Sensory changes or decreased feeling in fingers or toes
- Disturbed Sleep
- Burning or electrical sensations down arms
Unfortunately, suffering in silence can have a significant impact on your ability to file an insurance claim or a personal injury lawsuit. Avoiding treatment may be viewed as the absence of an injury or pain, and defense lawyers and insurance adjusters will use this to decrease their liability. Seeking medical treatment is evidence that you have been injured. Your attorney can use this information to build a solid case that shows the severity of your injuries and accurately displays the pain you have suffered.
If you have been injured in a car crash, it is important to seek medical treatment for your injuries. Delaying medical treatment will not only have a serious impact on your insurance claim, but it will also make it more difficult to physically recover from your injuries. In addition, delaying medical treatment may result in your injury becoming chronic—leading to a lifetime of pain and suffering.