The back trauma sustained in a car accident will often cause a herniated disc injury. Symptoms of these types of back injuries may not show up for days, and the MRI needed to detect them is not commonly ordered by emergency room physicians. Our team of personal injury lawyers in California has dealt with many cases involving car accident victims with slipped or herniated discs. If you have been injured in an accident in California, we can assist you in seeking compensation for your blown disc from the negligent driver who caused your car accident.
We never expect it to happen to us, but the truth is that anyone can end up with a herniated disc as a result of a car accident. Depending on the type of accident and severity of injuries, you will have the option to sue for damages. But determining how much you are entitled to can be challenging because every car accident injury is unique. This is where the expertise of experienced Krasney Law accident attorneys can come in useful. If you or your loved one is involved in such an accident, you can reach out to us today to book a consultation with one of our accident attorneys.
Let us take you through every little aspect of such an accidental injury so that you can understand your options for filing litigation better.
Herniated Disc From a Car Accident: Is it possible?
Did you know that almost 3.9 million accidental injuries result in a visit to the emergency ward? And the majority of the more severe accidental injuries in these cases are spine and back injuries. So yes, herniated discs from car accidents are very much possible, as car crashes can cause one’s spine to suddenly rotate, shift and swing out of alignment.
Herniated discs (also known as slipped discs or ruptured discs) happen when the force of impact from an accident causes the misalignment of the vertebrae. The disc is essentially pushed out of the spine. Herniated discs are often known to cause extreme pain and numbness because they tend to compress the tender nerves around the spine.
Many accident victims don’t realize their injuries immediately after an accident. This is because the resultant shock from the accident comes with an adrenaline rush. The pain actually starts to set in once a person begins to relax. This is why it’s best to consult a doctor immediately after an accident, even if you feel that it is a minor injury. A doctor’s visit is the only way to know if it is a minor back sprain, herniated disc, or a severe vertebral injury. The medical documentation you get from the doctor’s visit will also play a crucial role in your accidental injury claim.
Symptoms of a Herniated Disc
Many people experience little or no symptoms from a herniated disc. It may take time for complications to present, such as a pinched nerve. they do not always show symptoms right away. There may be immediate and sharp pain; however, a person may not always feel pain right away. Some symptoms to watch for include:
- Arm or leg pain – If your herniated disc is in the lower back you will most likely experience pain to your legs, thighs, arms, and buttocks. If the injury is located near the neck, you will most likely experience sharp pains in the arm or leg when you cough or sneeze.
- Numbness or tingling – numbness and tingling of the body can occur where ever the affected nerves are located.
- Weakness – muscles served by the affected nerves tend to weaken. This may cause you to stumble and have difficulty lifting and holding objects.
What’s The Difference Between Bulging Disc and Herniated Disc?
The difference between a herniated disc and a bulging disc can be determined by the kind of tear seen in the annulus fibrosis by conducting an MRI scan, a discogram, or by observing how the disc reacts in the presence of a tear. what makes these two injuries different is:
- Bulging Disc – Doesn’t affect the entire disk and only the outer layer of the tough cartilage is effected at most times.
- Herniated Disc – results when there is a crack in that outer tough layer of cartilage that allows some of the soft inner cartilage to protrude out.
Can You Get A Pinched Nerve From A Car Accident?
Car accidents can easily cause herniated disc injuries as well as nerve damage. The disc injury and nerve injury can be related, such as:
- when a slipped or herniated disc causes a pinched nerve
- nerve impingement
- or chronic pain.
Slipped disc, herniated disc, and bulging disc are all referring to the condition where the inner portion of the disc is protruding through the tough outer portion causing severe pain to the area. Sciatica is known as the most common instance of this is a slipped disc in the lower back, which pinches the nerve sending pain through the legs and feet.
Getting Proper Medical Testing Is Essential To Your Case
Usually, you will feel when the disc ruptures as a popping sensation in your spinal column or neck. Depending on the severity of the injury you may feel the pain immediately, or you may feel it a couple of days later. If you think you have popped a disc in a car accident, insist on a spinal MRI no matter what the doctor says. If you leave the hospital without the diagnosis and return a few days later with back pain, the car accident defense attorney for the negligent driver may try arguing that you injured your disc in another way, since you left the hospital after the accident.
A prompt medical diagnosis can be crucial for minimizing the severity and pain of an accidental herniated disc injury. As we’ve stated before, the medical documentation will also help you in filing a lawsuit (should you choose to go ahead with one). If you suspect that you are suffering from a herniated disc as a result of an accident, the medical professional will conduct the following tests to ascertain your condition –
- CT scan
- MRI or Magnetic resonance imaging
Besides these tests, the medical professional might also do some physical examinations. After this, they will decide whether your injury is actually a herniated disc or something else, and the appropriate treatment will then be recommended.
Herniated Disc Injury: Treatment
Herniated disc injuries usually do not require any form of surgical procedure. Most treatments involve an anti-inflammatory medication that helps in relieving the pressure from the spinal nerve. Some herniated disc injuries also require physical therapy. Besides these, other treatment options consist of –
- Muscle relaxants
- Pain medication
- Spinal injections
Surgery is only recommended if the pain from the injury worsens. The surgical procedures involved in the treatment of a severe herniated disc consist of –
- Laminotomy: In this surgery, the lamina is removed from the spinal cord. The lamina is basically a small piece of bone that protects and covers the spinal cord.
- Discectomy: In this, the damaged discs are removed from the spine to relieve the pressure.
- Spinal fusion: This is a surgical procedure that is usually performed after a laminectomy or discectomy. In this, the spine is stabilized by fusing the two vertebrae located on either side of the discs that have been removed.
- Artificial disc surgery: In this surgery, the damaged discs are replaced with artificial ones made of plastic or metal.
How much can the treatment and surgery for herniated disc cost?
By now, you must’ve understood that the treatment of a herniated disc will largely be dependent on the severity of your injury. If it is a minor injury, the costs involved in the treatment will be minimal. However, if your injury turns out to be pretty severe, surgery will be required. If the herniated disc injury is covered by health insurance, your out-of-pocket expenses can come up to around 10-40 percent of the total cost of the treatment. Herniated disc surgeries that are not covered by insurance, on the other hand, can end up costing you between $20,000-50,000. Pain and suffering aside, bearing such huge medical expenses can be an ordeal for anyone. The good news is that with the right legal help, you can sue for damages and get the compensation that will help you deal with these expenses.
How can you sue for a herniated disc resulting from a car accident?
If the other driver was at fault for the accident, you can sue them for the pain, suffering, lost wages, and medical bills incurred because of the injuries. But for this, you’ll have to prove their fault in causing the crash. An experienced accident attorney can help you in the process.
You can also sue the auto insurance company if they refuse to pay for the No-Fault benefits that come with an accidental injury involving a herniated disc. If you continue to suffer because of your injuries, you can sue the company for overdue and unpaid medical bills, medical mileage, attendant care, lost wages, etc.
Now you might be wondering – how much is a herniated disc injury claim worth? There are various factors that will determine the value of your claim, like –
- Type of injury and severity
- Victim’s age and medical history
- Prognosis of doctors
- Type of treatment recommended for the injury
- Non-economic damages, pain, and suffering as a result of the injuries.
- Insurance coverage.
Need help with your herniated disc injury lawsuit? Call Krasney Law today!
If you or your loved one is suffering from a herniated disc injury after a car accident, you can take the help of the experienced attorneys at Krasney Law to file a lawsuit. Call us anytime to book a consultation. You can also visit the contact us page for more details on getting in touch with us. Our attorneys will try their best to help your case so that you can get the compensation that you need.
Contact A California Herniated Disc Lawyer Today!
At Krasney Law, attorney Robert A. Krasney has many years of experience handling accident claims, including those involving herniated disc injury and pinched nerve damage in California. His aggressive approach to handling claims and willingness to go trial are known to many insurance companies, and we believe this leads to much better initial settlement offers from those companies.
To discuss your herniated disc or pinched nerve injury claim from a car or truck accident contact Krasney Law, L.L.C. today for a free consultation!