Neck Injury Attorneys in Wichita, Kansas
Neck injuries can be painful and debilitating. If you injure your neck at work or in any kind of accident, the pain, strains, limitation of movement, spasms, and headaches can start to feel completely overwhelming. In fact, neck injuries account for the fifth highest total costs per claim in the country.
At Slape & Howard, we do whatever we can to help our clients receive the workers compensation benefits they deserve. For some individuals in Wichita and throughout the state of Kansas, work-related neck injuries may never fully resolve. That makes compensation even more important. Set up a consultation with our team today.
What Are Common Causes of Neck Injury?
Repetitive motion is a common cause of workplace neck injuries. Whether you work at a desk with your head and neck bent over a computer screen, at a machine with your neck in the same position for hours, or in a spot in which you repeatedly move your neck and shoulders to perform your job, you may find yourself suffering chronic pain, headaches, and limited motion over time.
The cervical spine, the first seven vertebrae from the base of your skull, down to the thoracic spine, is commonly referred to as the “neck.” Neck sprains affect the ligaments that hold your skull to the front and back of your cervical vertebrae. They keep your head from falling too far forward or too far back. A third ligament protects the cervical spine itself. A sprain can be caused slowly over time, such as by bending over a computer or machine for hours, or by trauma, such as getting hit in the head or pushed, causing your head to snap forward and back.
The snapping of the neck position is referred to as “whiplash,” and it affects not only your ligaments, but the neck and shoulder muscles as well. You can receive a whiplash injury in a car accident, but also from a fall or being shoved.
Construction accidents often result in neck and back injuries. They can be caused by objects falling on your head or by you falling off ladders or scaffolding. Trips, slips, and falls are common, as are crush injuries.
Why Are Neck Injuries Difficult to Identify?
As you can imagine, neck injuries from repetitive motion happen gradually over time. It could be days, months, or even years before you start having neck pain and headaches, which makes these kinds of injuries somewhat difficult to diagnose. Even traumatic neck injuries may not be readily apparent. A whiplash injury may not be immediately apparent or if it is, you may just think your neck is a little sore when the injury could be far more serious. You may start with a sore neck but later develop tingling in your hands and fingers from nerve involvement.
Degenerative changes can exacerbate neck injuries. As we age, we lose the gel in the cervical discs that provide padding between the vertebrae. Although degenerative issues in and of themselves are not work injuries, they can contribute to the severity of a work injury.
What Damages Might I Recover in a Neck Injury Claim?
Neck injury recoverable damages in a personal injury claim include economic damages, such as medical expenses and lost wages, and non-economic damages, such as pain and suffering. In a workers compensation claim, the employer should pay for your medical treatment and compensate you for lost time from work and for permanent partial or permanent total disability.
In either a personal injury or workers compensation claim, you should not settle your case until your physician has determined that you have reached maximum medical improvement (MMI). MMI is not recovering to the same condition you were in prior to the neck injury. Rather, it is the point when you have recovered to the extent possible. You might always suffer pain, spasms, or limited movement. You might require treatment or intervention in the future or for the rest of your life. Your settlement needs to account for both all the treatment you had until you reached MMI as well as for future medical treatment or reduced income due to your injuries. These factors mean it is a smart decision to have a workers compensation attorney or personal injury attorney represent you.
What Should I Do if I Think I Have a Neck Injury?
The first thing you should do is seek a medical diagnosis and treatment. In the case of whiplash trauma or possible spinal cord injury, seek treatment right away, even if you don’t think or aren’t sure you are injured. A delay in pending symptoms could harm your recovery.
You will need documentation of a diagnosis relating your neck injury to the accident or to the workplace to pursue a claim. The best move is to get it right away. Insurance companies could use diagnosis and treatment delays against you. They could assert that your injury was not severe enough to seek medical intervention or that you injured yourself in circumstances other than the accident or the workplace.
Neck Injury Attorneys in Wichita, Kansas
If you have injured your neck in an accident or on the job in Wichita or elsewhere in Kansas, don’t wait. Seek help from the personal injury and workers compensation attorneys at Slape & Howard. Neck injuries can be challenging, so let us get started. Reach out to Slape & Howard now to schedule a case consultation.