Can a Car Accident Cause a Herniated Disc?

Herniated discs are a common car accident back injury that can diminish the quality of your life.

Not only may you be unable to enjoy the life you did before your injury, but you may also be unable to work at all. You may be able to file a car accident claim that could result in financial compensation. Before you can receive any sort of monetary benefit, you need to both prove that someone else was responsible for the accident and negotiate adequate compensation with the insurance company. Working through these elements can be complicated and difficult to manage yourself so the expertise of an experienced Moncks Corner car accident lawyer is crucial. To discuss your case, schedule a free initial consultation with West Law Firm.

Often, pain resulting from a car accident is not felt immediately. Your body likely tensed up in advance of the impact, and the adrenaline of the accident may have kept you from feeling pain at the scene. In the days afterward, you may start to feel that pain. While you hope the pain goes away, you may find it is getting worse. You are not alone. As a car accident victim, you are going through something many others have experienced after a crash.

Why Car Accidents Can Lead to Back Injuries

Neck and back injuries are among the most common physical effects of a car accident. The sudden twisting and jolting motion of the body as a result of the transferred force can cause serious injuries. One of the more debilitating car accident injuries you can suffer is a herniated disc. Even if you do not require surgery, you may be looking at an extended rehabilitation time and limited physical ability when you have suffered a herniated disc. If you are dealing with a more serious injury, you may need one or more surgical procedures that may not even fully repair your back.

Car accidents cause roughly one out of every three traumatic injuries to the spine. In addition, nearly one million people will seek treatment in a hospital for a cervical spine injury, ranging from moderate to serious. Anytime your back is involved, there is no such thing as a minor injury. Even something seemingly less serious can take a considerable amount of time to heal, and it could worsen over time.

Whiplash is one of the most common car accident injuries resulting in back pain. Approximately 10% of accident victims who suffer whiplash will be permanently disabled, often due to a disc injury. Even if doctors can perform surgery on a herniated disc, it is not guaranteed to be successful. Car accident victims may need multiple surgical procedures only to learn that their back issue cannot be repaired.

Back injuries can be particularly problematic because of how they can impact your spinal cord and, therefore, your brain’s ability to communicate to the rest of your body. When your brain wants to move your extremities, the spinal cord will carry signals to the relevant part of your body. If the spinal cord is not able to operate without any pressure, you may have difficulty moving or feel pain when trying to move.

How Car Accidents Can Lead to Herniated Discs

There are 33 individual vertebrae in your spine. The vertebrae are separated from each other by discs. These are spongy cushions that keep the vertebrae separated from one another. Discs are meant to allow for movement and also act as shock absorbers, thanks to a jelly-like substance that provides cushion for the spinal cord.

The force of a car accident can cause one or more of your vertebrae to move out of place, causing them to place pressure on the spinal cord. The dislocated vertebrae can cause an impact to the discs that are between them. When you suffer a herniated disc, the jelly-like substance protrudes through the outer shell of the disc, causing the disc to press down upon surrounding areas.

The Effects of a Herniated Disc

When a disc is pressuring other areas in your body, you may feel the effects in multiple ways, including:

  • Pain on one side of your body
  • Numbness in your arms or legs
  • Pain when you are trying to move your neck

Herniated discs are debilitating and often degenerative conditions that worsen over time. Even if you are under the care of a doctor, you may still have worsening symptoms that rob you of quality of life. While it may be difficult for you to imagine that a single moment of impact in a car accident can change the course of your life, that is exactly what may happen when you have suffered a herniated disc.

In a best-case scenario, you could fully recover after several months with rest and rehabilitation.

Your doctor may also prescribe medication to help with pain and various symptoms.

When disc injuries do not respond to other treatments, you may need surgical intervention. The most common type of surgery to treat a herniated disc is a discectomy, where a portion of the disc causing you trouble may be removed. Unfortunately, back surgeries are often not successful on the first attempt. You may need multiple procedures to fix the problem, if it can even be permanently treated at all.

On average, a discectomy can cost $30,000. And you may experience additional personal damages, such as lost wages and pain and suffering. Depending on the extent of your injury, you could be entitled to a large settlement check for a herniated disc.

When to File a Claim After a Car Accident Back Injury

You may not know for some time whether or not you will recover from a car accident back injury.

Before you can file a personal injury claim, you need to reach the point of maximum medical improvement. It could take months before you know the full extent of your injuries and your prognosis going forward. It is vital that you seek medical care as soon as possible to start the healing process and begin laying the groundwork for your personal injury claim.

Contact a Moncks Corner Car Accident Lawyer Today

If you have suffered a herniated disc or any other type of injury in a car accident, the attorneys at West Law Firm can help. We fight for you and remove barriers so you can focus on healing and dealing with other effects of the car accident. The first step towards peace of mind is reaching out to us online, or calling us at 843-483-8630, to schedule a free initial consultation. It costs nothing to speak with a car accident lawyer, and we are only paid if you win your case. Call us today to get legal help.

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