Virginia Misdiagnosis of Neck Injury Lawyer

The diagnosis and treatment of injuries in the neck can vary greatly and depend on the nature of the accident that caused the injury. In some instances, the proper treatment can be as simple as pain-relief medication, but other neck injuries require intensive physical therapy or, in some cases, surgery. Misdiagnosis could lead to costly and ineffective treatment. Contact a Virginia neck injury misdiagnosis lawyer so you can decide if a medical malpractice claim may be a good option for you.

Accidents and falls are the primary causes of neck injuries. Their severity can vary greatly. Some neck injuries result in temporary symptoms that disappear in a few days. Others can be more serious and can produce upper-body, lower-body, or complete paralysis. They can involve “soft tissue” (such as ligaments and muscles in the spinal column) or the spine itself, including the vertebrae and spinal cord. For these reasons, an improper diagnosis and treatment plan may cause further injury that results in more pain and medical expenses. A Virginia neck injury misdiagnosis lawyer may be able to help.

Why Does Neck Fracture Misdiagnosis Occur?

Though neck fractures can be diagnosed through x-rays, Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI), and Computed Tomography CT Scans, some doctors misread the information, leading to misdiagnoses. According to the Workers’ Compensation Institute, MRI machines can sometimes have difficulty identifying the root cause of pain.

Other times, physicians fail to order these diagnostic tests because they mistake the symptoms of a neck fracture as a soft tissue injury or something less serious. And at times, incorrect use of diagnostic imaging equipment by the technician might produce incorrect or incomplete images that cause the visual evidence of a neck fracture to be hidden. For instance, movement by the patient during an exam can result in an unclear image that deprives the physician reading and interpreting the MRI from an accurate depiction of the injury site.

Untreated neck fractures often lead to serious complications. This serious condition causes bone tissue to die due to interruption of the blood supply. Most untreated neck fractures can also easily re-fracture, heal imperfectly (or incompletely), and cause permanent mobility issues.

The longer a neck fracture goes untreated, the more serious the complications. The cost of an undiagnosed/misdiagnosed neck fracture can be significant. If these unnecessary complications are caused by a medical professional’s negligence, you should not have to pay these costs. Virginia law allows you to pursue a legal claim in order to recover damages for the pain and costs you have suffered.  In order to receive this compensation, your best chance for success is through effective representation by a Virginia neck injury misdiagnosis lawyer.

Symptoms of Whiplash Neck Injury

Whiplash injuries are a common form of neck injury. They are most common in vehicle accidents. Nerve damage, disc damage, ruptured ligaments, fractured vertebrae, and spinal cord injuries are other common neck injuries often caused by accidents and falls. According to The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, neck strains and sprains caused by cervical acceleration/deceleration (whiplash) are the most frequently reported injuries on U.S. insurance claims.

Whiplash may also damage joints or discs. Over time, and if left untreated, it can irritate nerves and possibly the spinal cord itself. Depending on the injury, symptoms can include pain, weakness or numbness, tingling down the arm, stiffness, dizziness, or disturbed sleep. Most indications of whiplash develop immediately, but sometimes it can take hours (or days) after the accident before symptoms present themselves. The most common whiplash neck injury symptom is pain, which can vary from mild to acute. Other symptoms that accompany the pain can include:

  • Neck stiffness
  • Headache
  • Dizziness
  • Burning, prickling, or other painful sensations in arms and/or legs (called “parathesias”)
  • Shoulder discomfort
  • Blurry vision
  • Trouble swallowing (which is rare)

If a person with neck injuries experiences any or all of these symptoms, it is imperative for him or her to seek immediate medical attention, as these are the early warning signs of possible serious injury. If you had these symptoms, and they were not treated because of a negligent diagnosis, contact a Virginia neck injury misdiagnosis lawyer to discuss your options.

Statute of Limitations in Virginia

Virginia law requires that all medical malpractice lawsuits must be filed within or otherwise settled within two years of the date that the cause of action accrues. VA Code Section 8.01-230 and 8.01-243. In the case of a misdiagnosis, the cause of action would likely be found to have accrued at the time the diagnosis was made. While Virginia law does not provide for a “discovery rule” to toll the statute of limitations, See, e.g., Nunnally v. Artis, 254 Va. 247, 253, 492 S.E.2d 126, 129 (1997), under some circumstances the statute of limitations may potentially be tolled for continuing treatment from the same provider for the same condition. See, Grubbs v. Rawls, 235 Va. 607, 612-13, 369 S.E.2d 683, 686-87 (1988).

How a Virginia Neck Injury Misdiagnosis Lawyer Can Help

Because of the short statute of limitations and the importance of individual facts in each potential case, it is important to contact a neck injury misdiagnosis attorney immediately if you believe that you or a loved one has been a victim of medical malpractice.  Pursuing a medical malpractice claim with the help of an experienced Virginia neck injury misdiagnosis lawyer can help you to obtain the fair financial compensation you deserve.