Attorneys Helping with Neck and Spine Injuries Across Colorado
If you’ve been in an accident of any kind, whether or not you think it was “bad,” there is a chance you may have experienced a spine, neck and/or a head injury. It’s important to get checked out immediately following any type of trauma because spine and neck injuries can not only cause a lot of pain but can also result in long-lasting negative effects to other parts of your body as well.
Car, truck, or any other types of accidents involving a vehicle can create serious damage, and knowing all your options becomes critical. To know exactly how to proceed, you need a personal injury law firm on your side that can help. Dr. Joseph Ramos is both a Medical Doctor and an attorney. His understanding of the medicine allows him to give the best possible representation to accident victims who need help during one of the worst experiences of their lives.
Common Causes of Neck Injuries
Neck injuries are commonly caused by traumas a person experiences throughout their life. Regardless of the mechanism of injury, any time someone sustains a trauma involving the head and neck, the rapid stop-and-start motion of the head leads to a damaging combination of forces to muscles, joints, tendons, ligaments, blood vessels…and even the brain itself.
Some common mechanisms include a rear end accident, a T-bone accident, or a bicycle accident. Work injuries, slips/falls, and sports injuries also create sufficient trauma to cause significant damage. The severity and long-term impact of a neck injury can depend on the kind of accident you encountered, the speed of any vehicles involved, whether or not one vehicle was stationary while the other one was moving, and many, many more factors.
Most Common Types of Neck Injuries
The most common types of neck injuries to be aware of when in an accident are:
- Whiplash, also known as Cervical Acceleration-Deceleration syndrome (CAD)
- Ligament Injury
- Muscle sprain/strain
- Nerve Damage
When whiplash occurs, the force of being hit from the front, from behind, or even from the side by another vehicle can cause overstretched muscles and sprained joints, which is why you might experience significant neck pain. Moreover, the neck pain can radiate to other places in the body because of damage to the delicate ligaments and nerves that leave the neck and travel down the arms and hands, as well as to the head and upper torso.
Common Back Injuries From A Car Accident
Just like a neck injury, a back injury can also lead to joint, muscle and nerve damage. Nerves from your back travel to your groin, legs, feet and ankles. If these nerves are damaged a feeling of pain, numbness and tingling or altered sensation is common. Other injuries to the lower back can include herniated discs, injuries to the spinal joints and ligaments and when extreme, fractures or spinal cord injuries that can lead to permanent damage.
Head and Brain Trauma After a Car Accident
Besides the pain patterns described above, another possible effect of trauma is head or brain trauma injuries. These types of injuries are commonly associated with a sudden, unexpected motion that jostles the brain around in the skull, hitting the sides and causing bruising to the delicate brain tissue. Two resulting conditions from this type of trauma are known as Post-Concussive Syndrome (PCS) and Mild Traumatic Brain Injury (MTBI).
All of the negative consequences of an accident that results in spine, neck, and head injury can affect an accident victim for the rest of their life. If you were hurt in an accident, don’t hesitate to call an attorney as soon as possible.
Signs of a Neck, Back, or Head Injury
If you’ve been in an accident and suffered some type of head, neck, or brain injury, you might not feel bad immediately following the incident. It’s not unusual for accident victims to begin feeling symptoms in the days or even weeks following the crash with some of the most common being:
- Increased fatigue
- Problems sleeping
- Loss of focus
- Increased irritation while operating a vehicle (“road rage”)
- Pain, numbness, and tingling which can signal nerve damage
The extent of pain and injury you experience after an accident varies based on your age, level of fitness, the speed of the vehicle(s) on impact, and several other factors. In any case, it’s vital that you receive a thorough medical evaluation from a trained professional to document your injuries in case you need evidence of them when filing a personal injury claim.
Head, Neck, and Back Injury Treatments
Getting the proper treatment for head, neck, and back injuries is crucial to ensure as complete a recovery as possible. Treatments for these types of injuries vary from very conservative to very aggressive, depending on location, severity, and how patients respond to care. Some of the more common treatments include:
- Physical Therapy, chiropractic, massage, acupuncture, etc.
- Muscle and joint Injections
- Treatments that “deaden” nerve tissue (Rado-frequency neuro ablation procedure)
- Spine Surgery (most aggressive approach)
- Counseling to help with the mental and emotional injuries associated with traumatic injuries
- Cognitive rehabilitation to assist with activities of life at work and home (especially relevant when a head injury results in trauma to the brain)
Long-Term Effects of Back and Neck Pain
With great care and some good fortune, many non-serious injuries get complete resolution over time. That said, when injuries are severe and require advanced procedures such as Radio-frequency neuro ablations or surgeries, long-term effects are often part of the picture that needs to be addressed by the patient and his or her medical team.
Neuro-ablation oftentimes needs to be performed two, three or even more times as nerves that are heated up and “killed” grow back and once again transmit pain signals, leaving the patient in pain and seeking relief.
Back and neck surgeries vary in type, but whether a spine is getting fused or parts of the spine are removed, the seriousness of these procedures cannot be overlooked and should only be considered after other, less serious treatment options have been exhausted.
One of the biggest tests of recovery following an accident is a patient’s ability to perform their normal daily activities. If pain continues to bother you following an accident, you may notice that your Activities of Daily Living, or ADL, were also negatively impacted. Any loss in your ability to function as you did before the accident—such as in your daily home routine, work duties, social activities, hobbies, sleep, or your overall sense of well-being—tells a huge amount about the degree to which you were injured.
If your injuries are serious enough, you may have a loss of one or more of your ADLs long-term which can be devastating on your quality of life. The inability to perform the activities that you either have to do or LOVE to do creates significant emotional and mental stress that needs to be accounted for in any legal case.
Medically speaking, to ensure that you have every chance of getting back to your “pre-accident” level of health and activity, you MUST get to doctors who understand and work with these types of injuries every day.
Doctors who specialize in trauma cases will take a complete medical history and order advanced imaging such as X-ray, MRI, CAT scan, or ultrasound in order to evaluate your injuries and suggest the most effective treatments.
Our attorneys are specialists at understanding the nuances of Colorado personal injury law and how it applies to your particular case. Because Dr. Ramos is both an attorney and a medical doctor, he knows better than anyone how a head, neck or brain injury can affect your daily life long-term…he and his entire team are here to help!