Neck and back injuries in a car accident can be debilitating and take away from your quality of life. A herniated disc is a chronic condition that can leave you in constant pain and unable to live your life to the fullest. If you can prove that someone else was responsible for the car accident, you may be entitled to financial compensation. As car accident lawyers serving Moncks Corner, the team at West Law Firm Personal Injury Lawyers can help you fight for the settlement that you deserve for a herniated disc.
How Car Accidents Can Injure Discs in Your Back
The discs are the rubbery cushions in your back that sit between the vertebrae. You have multiple bones in your back, and the body needs a buffer between each of the bones. That is the role that the discs play, enabling you to bend over and move with more ease.
A disc has a harder outer substance and a more jelly-like center. A herniated disc is when there is a crack in the outer layer, and the jelly-like center comes through that crack. The leaking material can cause problems for nearby nerves in the spine because the fluid will put pressure on the nerves. In addition, the fluid itself can cause a chemical reaction when it comes into contact with nerves.
Herniated discs can happen for a number of reasons. One cause is the everyday wear and tear that your back handles. Over time, aging or constant repetitive motion can cause the outer material in your discs to wear down, leading to a herniated disc.
Sudden strain or trauma can also cause a herniated disc. If you have been involved in a car accident, herniated discs are one of the more common back injuries that you may suffer. A sudden or forceful twisting of the spine can push the fluid out of the center of the disc and through the outer layer. You can suffer a herniated disc in any type of car accident where there is a sudden and violent movement, including a T-bone or rear-end crash.
Symptoms of a Herniated Disc in Your Back
You may begin to feel the symptoms of a herniated disc shortly after the accident. You may begin to feel the following:
- Pain in the sciatic nerve, which will lead to shooting pain down one side of the buttocks and all the way down the leg
- Numbness and tingling in the legs and feet
- Weakness in the muscles
- Generalized pain in the back
How a Herniated Disc Is Diagnosed
To diagnose a herniated disc, your doctor will perform a comprehensive exam. They will start by reviewing your medical history and asking about your symptoms. They may also test for muscle weakness.
In addition, your doctor will order one of a number of specific tests, including:
- Magnetic resonance imaging: An MRI is the most common test that gives your doctor a close look at your back
- CT scan: A CT scan will show the bones in your back and whether the disc is pressing against them
- Myelogram: Injecting dye into the spinal cord to show whether there is any narrowing
- Electromyogram: Placing needles into muscles can show which nerves are impacted by a herniated disc
Post-Car Accident Treatment for a Herniated Disc
Once your doctor diagnoses you with a herniated disc, they will decide on a course of treatment. Before they opt for surgery, they will likely try a less-invasive procedure. First, your doctor may recommend a combination of physical therapy and medication that can relieve the pressure on your nerves. A regimen of targeted exercises can help strengthen muscles and loosen them. Another treatment is an injection into the spine that can reduce swelling and inflammation.
If other treatments do not work, your doctor will need to perform surgery. The type of surgery depends on the severity of the injury and the physical relief that is necessary. Surgery is not needed for most patients with a herniated disc.
Damages for a Herniated Disc After a Car Accident
A herniated disc will have a profound impact on your daily life. Not only are you in constant pain, but your range of activities will be limited. If you have a physical job, you may be unable to work at all. Many hobbies that you enjoyed before your car accident may now be off-limits to you.
Accordingly, here are some of the damages that you can recover for a herniated disc in your back can include the following:
- The medical costs to treat your condition
- Lost wages for the work that you cannot do
- Pain and suffering for the physical discomfort that you must endure and the emotional impact that the pain causes you
- Loss of enjoyment of life
Our attorneys will review your own specific situation and work to maximize your financial recovery.
Call a Moncks Corner Personal Injury Attorney Today
When you have suffered an injury in a car accident, hiring an attorney is a must if you want fair financial compensation. Otherwise, the insurance company will find ways to either cut the size of your check or keep you from getting money entirely.
Your safeguard against a stubborn insurance company is to hire a strong personal injury lawyer. To speak with an attorney at West Law Firm Personal Injury Lawyers, you can send us a message online or call us at 843-483-8630. We offer free consultations to prospective clients.
Car Accident Case FAQs
How is pain and suffering measured when I have suffered a back injury?
The insurance company will apply a multiplier to your medical costs depending on the severity of your injury.
When should I see a doctor for my back injury?
You should see a doctor as soon as you begin to feel any pain, both to get treatment and to preserve your right to financial compensation.
What if the car accident aggravated a pre-existing condition?
You are still entitled to financial compensation because the rule in a personal injury case is that “you take your victim as you find them.”