The definition of cervical radiculopathy (or pinched nerve in the neck) is damaged nerve function because of compression of nerve roots located near the cervical vertebrae. In other words, if there is damage to the nerve roots in this area, the person may suffer from a number of symptoms, including loss of sensation and pain. These symptoms may affect a number of areas in the upper extremities.
A pinched nerve may be the result of several causes. Such nerve damage may occur as a result of degeneration of the spine. However, another common cause of a pinched nerve is a herniated cervical disc. Herniated cervical discs may occur in auto accidents, and victims may pursue compensation for their damages via a liability claim against the at-fault driver.
What causes a herniated cervical disc?
During an accident, there may be excessive pressure on the spine. During a typical frontal impact or rear-end accident in Aurora, a person’s upper torso is thrown forward with great force and may cause injury to the cervical discs.
In a healthy person, the disc acts like a shock absorber. However, in an accident like this, the force generated is excessive, and may cause too much pressure on the neck for the disc to absorb. The result is a herniated cervical disc.
The inner portion of the disc may protrude and compress or pinch nearby nerves in the spinal cord, which can create the symptoms such as:
- pain (may spread into the neck, upper back, shoulders, and even arms);
- muscular weakness; and
- numbness or tingling sensation in the fingers or hands.
Treatment for a Pinched Nerve in the Neck is Costly
Cervical radiculopathy is not easy to diagnose. Pain in areas of the body like the neck and the shoulder may go misdiagnosed or undiagnosed, and doctors may prescribe pain medications without understanding the cause of the pain. Diagnosis typically involves the use of X-rays, as well as magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) to evaluate the damage to the spine.
Doctors may prescribe painkillers, including corticosteroids or non-steroidal pain medications. Sometimes, patients are also advised to attend physical therapy, including cervical traction therapy exercises to relieve pain.
In severe cases, where a person’s symptoms are so severe and the muscular weakness so great that the person suffers from impaired motor function, he may require surgery. Alone or combined, these can be expensive treatments and may create financial burden for accident victims and their families.
Can I claim damages for expenses and losses related to a pinched nerve?
The pain that cervical radiculopathy causes can be severe and constant. The patient may be in too much discomfort or pain to return to work or perform routine activities. Further, the treatments for pinched nerve are expensive, and involve extensive:
- physical therapy;
- rehabilitation; or
Fortunately, you can claim such damages in a car accident claim against the driver who caused the accident. Your car accident claim should include medical expenses, including the cost of therapy, lost wages and other damages to avoid excessive financial stress on you.
Your claim might even include damages for pain and suffering. You may even file a first-party claim with your own insurer if you have appropriate coverage, such as medical payments coverage.
If you currently suffer from pain from a pinched nerve because of a car accident in Aurora, speak to a car accident lawyer at the Law Office of D.J. Banovitz about filing a claim to recover damages for compensation. Call (303) 300-5060 to speak with an attorney or fill out the online contact form.