Delayed Neck Pain After a Fall

man grimacing with neck pain

Neck injuries are very common following a fall. In fact, slip and fall accidents are the second leading cause of spinal cord injuries in the United States. Neck and spinal cord injuries are somewhat notorious for a delayed onset of symptoms. What happens if you begin experiencing delayed neck pain after a fall? Can you still pursue legal action if the fall occurred due to someone else’s negligence? Read our article to find out more.

Why Neck Pain Symptoms Are Delayed

Immediately following an accident, your body often protects itself with a surge of adrenaline. This is part of the body’s fight or flight response, and enables you to be more alert to your surroundings. Your body is supplied with more oxygen and your sugar levels spike; even your pupils dilate to let in more light to help you process your environment. This acute hormonal response tends to have a numbing effect on any immediate physical sensations.

In addition to the adrenaline response, your body also takes time to develop an inflammatory response to an injury. Swelling is the body’s way of protecting an area of injury. Fluids and white blood cells flood the area to fight possible infection, while red blood cells coagulate to prevent blood loss. This response is complex and can take hours, days, and even weeks to fully accomplish. 

What Causes Delayed Neck Pain?

Again, falls are a primary culprit in causing neck pain due to spinal cord injury. Other common neck injuries following a slip and fall include:

Cervical Disc Herniations

Your spine is composed of bones, called vertebrae. Each vertebrae is cushioned by a disc; each disc is composed of an outer ring of cartilage that surrounds a softer, gelatinous core (called the nucleus pulposus). Sudden injury to the spine can cause pressure on the soft discs, squeezing out the nucleus pulposus and causing pain and inflammation. 

Symptoms of cervical disc herniations can be confusing for some, since pain may not be in the neck itself. Nerve roots along your spine may be inflamed by the herniated disc fluid, causing symptoms in the arms, hands, and fingers, for example 

Neck Sprains

A sprain is a muscular injury that is common after a fall. Sprains result from overuse or sudden trauma to the ligaments surrounding the joints. Symptoms include swelling, pain, reduced mobility, and bruising. 

Neck Strains

Strains affect the muscles in the body. A neck strain can stretch, bruise, or even tear the muscles surrounding the spine, causing pain, swelling, tenderness, and bruising. Neck pain from a strain can be delayed by several days or even weeks. 

Can I Sue For Delayed Neck Pain After a Fall?

If your delayed neck pain symptoms and need for medical care were the result of negligence, then yes, you have every right to pursue a personal injury claim. Premises liability holds property owners accountable for dangerous conditions. 

In Colorado, you have up to 180 days to file an insurance claim, and two years to file a personal injury lawsuit. So, even if your symptoms took time to present, you will still be well within the time frame to pursue legal action and compensation. 

Once you are receiving appropriate medical care, you will want to contact an experienced personal injury attorney as soon as possible. Proving medical injuries, especially soft tissue injuries, can be difficult. A qualified lawyer will help you build a solid case in order to demonstrate negligence as a cause of your injuries. 

If you are experiencing delayed or prolonged neck pain following an accident in Colorado, contact Dave Roth at the Roth Group. Dave is a highly experienced insurance and personal injury lawyer who fights tirelessly for his clients. Call or go online today to schedule your free consultation.