Neck injuries in a motor vehicle crash

On Behalf of | Mar 16, 2024 | Firm News |

Many injuries can occur in a motor vehicle crash. Some of these can be quite serious, potentially leading to paralysis. It’s critical that anyone who has neck pain after a crash seeks medical attention.

Understanding a bit about the possible neck injuries that can occur may help victims, especially if they need stabilizing treatment.


Whiplash is one of the most common neck injuries resulting from car crashes, particularly rear-end collisions. It occurs when the head gets jerked backward and forward at the time of the crash. This stretches and tears the muscles and ligaments in the neck, which causes instability in the neck.

Symptoms may include a headache, neck stiffness or pain and dizziness. Some people also experience memory problems or blurred vision. Typically, whiplash will heal within a few months, but some may have lifelong problems because of the injury.

Cervical fractures

Cervical fractures refer to breaks in one or more of the cervical vertebrae in the neck. These fractures are serious injuries that can lead to significant pain, swelling and in severe cases, paralysis or death.

Symptoms often include numbness or paralysis in the limbs, severe neck pain and loss of bladder or bowel control. These indicate potential spinal cord involvement. Immediate medical attention is critical to stabilize the injury and prevent further damage.

Herniated disc

A herniated disc in the neck, also known as a cervical disc herniation, occurs when the soft inner gel of a spinal disc protrudes through a tear in the outer layer. This can result from the traumatic force of a car crash.

The herniated material can press on nearby nerves, causing pain, numbness, or weakness in the arms or shoulders. In these cases, surgery, physical therapy and medication management may be necessary.

These injuries may require costly care and they can lead to long-term complications. Victims may choose to seek compensation for the financial damages they experience, but this must be done within the time limits set by state law.