In the jolt of an auto accident, your usually sturdy spinal column can suffer the type of trauma that will lead to severe pain if untreated. Many times, you can suffer a herniated disc in your neck or back, especially in the lower regions of the spine, as the result of a vehicle accident, often from a rear-end collision.
In the stressful moments immediately following a car accident, you might not sense a serious injury. That is because your body is on high alert and in a state of shock as adrenaline pours in to the tissues surrounding the joints, masking many pains that you would normally feel.
When the excitement dies down and you awake the next morning unable to move without pain, then you will realize that you have indeed suffered an injury as a result of your accident. You need to immediately contact a medical professional for a trustworthy diagnosis and a good car accident lawyer to start your case for compensation, which will often be for an amount far higher than an insurance company is willing to dole out.
A herniated disc is a fairly common injury produced by vehicle collisions that result in a stout shock to the body. Spinal discs are round cushions that enable the vertebrae in the spinal column to move freely and with suppleness. These discs can be thought of as shock absorbers, tissue that keeps bone from crunching bone as we move around.
These discs consist of an external shell and liquid in the interior, a bit like jelly donuts. If the “jelly” leaks from the disc as a result of trauma, the disc can often protrude and hit a nerve root, producing fearsome and chronic pain that can travel all the way down to your foot or to the tips of your fingers. In addition to the pain, there might be tingling and numbness in your legs, arms or feet, other symptoms of a herniated disc.
Where you will feel pain and numbness depends on which disc is impacted by the trauma. Discs in the neck are more closely connected to your arms and their movements, while discs in the back are joined to your legs and their functions.
If you believe that you have a herniated disc, consult with a doctor, who will usually order an MRI to determine if your discs have indeed been impacted by your accident. Typical X-rays will not pick up the discs in your spinal cord, thus necessitating the much more expensive MRI tests.
An MRI can detect herniation in a disc, but it cannot indicate how much pain you are in. Some herniated discs leave people in almost constant pain for the remainder of their lives. Others who have herniated discs take steroid injections, try therapy or undergo surgery to repair the damage, but pain often lingers. In cases that do not require surgery or other major interventions, it can take up to two years to heal from a herniated disc, relying on rehabilitation therapy to strengthen neck and back muscles.
If you have a disc herniation, you will need significant compensation to not only cover expensive tests and surgeries, but also for extensive therapy and lost wages for months (and possibly years) to come. That is why cases involving herniated discs can result in six- and seven-figure settlements for the injured person.
A competent car accident lawyer can prepare a strong case for you to receive such necessary compensation. S/he can also able defend you against the charges of a pre-existing condition, a favorite tactic of opposing lawyers that represent insurance companies.
Even if you had a pre-existing condition involving some abnormality with your discs, if your car accident attorney can prove that your condition was significantly worsened as a result of the accident, you can still receive a large compensation package.
Disc herniations involve a very small part of the body, but it can cause large amounts of pain and suffering. That’s why you need a skilled car accident attorney on your side, to procure a sizeable compensation package to pay for the long road to recovery after a herniated disc.