There are seven bones in the neck, referred to as the cervical vertebrae, that support the head and connect it to the body. When one of these vertebrae is fractured, this is referred to as a broken neck. This can be a very serious type of car accident injury.
Broken Neck With No Spinal Cord Damage
Treatment for a broken neck depends on the severity of the break. A minor break with no damage to the spinal cord will require a neck brace, painkillers, and rest. The brace will need to be worn for six to eight weeks to allow the neck time to heal properly.
If the break is more severe, but there is the still no damage to the spinal cord, surgery will be needed to set the bones back into the correct place. A stronger brace, worn for up to three months, may be required.
A broken neck with no damage to the spinal cord may heal completely, but it's possible to suffer continued neck pain and frequent headaches as the result of this injury.
Broken Neck With Spinal Cord Damage
A broken neck can be a life-altering injury because the spinal cord runs through the center of the vertebrae. The spinal cord is the central nervous system's connection to the brain and body. Damage to the spinal cord at the level of the cervical vertebrae can lead to death or paralysis.
There is no medical treatment that can heal a damaged spinal cord. Treatment for this type of injury focuses on helping the patient cope with the limitations caused by paralysis. This can include:
- Inability to move without assistance
- Lack of bowel or bladder control
- Use of a ventilator to breathe
- Trouble swallowing and chewing, leading to the need for a feeding tube
- 24/7 medical care
Understanding Your Right to Compensation
If you suffered a broken neck in a car accident caused by another party's negligence, you are entitled to file a personal injury claim seeking compensation for:
- Immediate medical care related to the accident and applicable future medical needs
- Loss of income, including future earning potential
- Pain and suffering
An experienced attorney can establish liability, document damages, and negotiate with the insurance company on your behalf. Contact us online or call our office directly at 318.588.6303 to schedule a free, no-obligation case review.