Herniated Disc from Car Accident
A herniated disc can cause chronic pain and difficulty moving. It’s often the result of a car accident and can require ongoing therapy or even surgery to cure.
A herniated disc can occur with many types of car accidents, whether your motorcycle collides with a car, a commercial truck hits you or even if you’re in a hard rear-ending accident with another passenger vehicle.
If you or a loved one have suffered a herniated disc injury from a car collision, you may be eligible for compensation to cover your medical bills and ongoing treatment. At NST Law, we have the experience and knowledge necessary to help. Contact us today at (866) 724-1066 to discuss your case.
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What is a herniated disc?
A herniated disc is a serious spine injury that can cause chronic pain and difficulty moving. It may require surgery to repair.
Your spine is protected by a series of vertebrae, from the base of your skull to the tailbone. Each vertebra is separated by a cushioning disc. The discs between your vertebrae comprise a soft inner core protected by a harder outer layer. They allow your spine to move freely and cushion the bones against impact and motion.
A herniated disc happens when the outer layer is damaged, allowing the inner layer to push through. The inner layer of the disc can press onto the spinal cord and cause numbness, pain or both. Sometimes, the protrusion of the inner part of the disc can pinch one of the nerves running down the spinal cord, which can be extremely painful.
Symptoms of a Herniated Disc
Symptoms of a herniated disc are similar to other neck and back problems and should be diagnosed by a medical professional. The symptoms often get better with rest but may require specialized treatment.
The earlier a herniated disc is detected, the quicker your treatment can begin and the greater the chances of recovery. Common symptoms of a herniated disc include:
- Neck or back pain
- Muscle weakness or loss of control
- Numbness and tingling in the feet and legs
- Pain in the shoulder blades
- Arm and finger pain or numbness
- Trouble turning the neck or moving the back
These are not all of the herniated disc symptoms, just the most common ones. Many people also experience sciatica, a nerve pain that affects the hips and lower back.
Diagnosis of a Herniated Disc
A licensed health care provider can diagnose your herniated disc by assessing your reflexes, muscle strength, sensation and pain level. You may also need a test to diagnose a herniated disc, such as an MRI or CT scan.
Treating a Herniated Disc
The pain from a herniated disc may go away with rest and avoiding strenuous movement. You may apply ice periodically to alleviate the pain and take over-the-counter pain medication as directed by your doctor. If the pain and its effects on your daily life persist, you may need a more advanced course of treatment.
If the symptoms aren’t getting better within a few weeks, you have trouble standing or walking, or if you have tingling or numbness in your extremities, a doctor will consider other options.
Advanced herniated disc treatments can include:
- An anti-inflammatory medication, muscle relaxer or pain reliever
- Physical therapy to alleviate the pressure on the nerves, or chiropractic care
- Spinal injections, like a nerve block or epidural, to relieve the inflammation and swelling
Surgery may be required in rare cases, such as a large herniation of the disc or multiple herniated discs.
If the herniation is in your lower back, it can place pressure on the nerves near your bladder or bowels, which may cause incontinence. Spinal decompression surgery can relieve the pressure on the nerve and fix your herniated disc.
Each case is different. It’s important to follow your doctor’s directives to the letter.
How does a herniated disc from a car accident happen?
The impact of a car collision moves your neck and spine in unnatural ways and causes the vertebra to push into the spinal canal. The force of the blow can sometimes tear the discs, leading to herniation.
The pressure from the car accident can also compress the spinal cord, placing pressure on the nerves and discs. This pressure can cause the disc or discs to bulge and eventually herniate.
FAQs About Herniated Discs
Yes. The violent motion of the neck being flung back and forth can pull the spinal cord in the neck and cause the discs to slip through the vertebrae.
Sometimes. A severely herniated disc can put pressure on the spinal cord and lead to paralysis.
Failing to file your lawsuit on time can result in an inability to pursue and receive compensation. Therefore, it is important to discuss your case with a highway car accident lawyer as soon as possible to ensure it is handled timely.
If your symptoms have lasted more than six weeks, or if the doctor’s MRI or CT tests show a significant herniation of the disc, they may advise surgery to correct the problem and alleviate the pressure on your spine.
How Can a Car Accident Lawyer Help Me?
A car accident lawyer, a personal injury attorney with experience pursuing claims after a collision, seeks financial damages against the at-fault driver by filing a lawsuit on your behalf.
These damages may include paying for your current medical bills and any other treatment your doctor thinks you will need, including surgery or physical therapy.
A herniated disc can affect your ability to work, especially if you had an active job before your accident. You may miss work for your medical care or surgery, and you may not even be able to work in the same job again.
Your car accident suit will include compensation for missing work or loss of earning potential if you cannot progress in your career due to the damage.
Herniated discs are often painful, and your suit will also include compensation for pain and suffering. Chronic pain from a herniated disc from a car accident may affect your relationships and overall quality of life.
Although no amount of money can make everything the way it was before your accident, your compensation can help you care for your family more comfortably and reduce the effect the herniated disc has had on your life.
Finally, suppose your back injury was caused by a commercial driver or a driver affiliated with a government entity. In that case, your lawyer may seek punitive or other damages against that party for negligence in hiring the driver, negligent supervision or lack of oversight for the driver or condition of the vehicle.
Have You Suffered a Herniated Disc from a Car Accident?
If you’ve suffered from a herniated disc due to a car collision, we can help. The legal team at NST Law can negotiate with the other party’s insurance company on your behalf, seeking a fair settlement for your injury. Contact us today for a free consultation about your case.