Car accident victims often sustain back injuries, like herniated discs, because of the force of impact in the collision. Because this can impinge the surrounding nerves, disc injuries can cause an exorbitant amount of pain and keep the victim out of commission for some time.
What is a herniated disc?
Herniated discs are referred to in the medical community by several names: slipped discs, ruptured discs, bulging discs. All these terms refer to the condition in which a spinal disc is displaced or ruptures.
Spinal discs are cushiony structures that separate each of the vertebrae, allowing normal bending and twisting movements. When one of the discs is forced out of place or ruptures, it can press against the spinal nerves, causing pain and numbness. In some cases, a herniated disc will improve over time, but some require surgery.
Symptoms of Herniated Discs
The primary marker of a herniated disc injury is pain. However, many car accident victims tend to think a lot of the back pain they experience after an accident is just muscle strain or that it will go away on its own. They then fail to report their symptoms to the doctor or to the insurance company, which could bar them compensation to which they were actually entitled.
It’s important to be aware of the symptoms of disc injuries and get a thorough medical examination after your car accident whether you think it may be serious or not.
Be privy to herniated disc symptoms such as:
- sharp pain in the leg, hip, or buttocks;
- shooting pain in your neck, shoulder blade, or upper extremities;
- numbness in any of the areas discussed above;
- back spasms;
- changes in bowel or bladder function;
- pain that starts out gradually but gets worse after standing for a while, at night, or when sneezing, coughing, or laughing; and
- muscle weakness.
Keep in mind that if and when you do report your injuries, insurance companies might try to quickly dismiss your back or neck injury complaints as superfluous or invalid. If you feel your claim is wrongly denied or is not handled fairly, contact an injury attorney straightaway.
Complications of Herniated Discs
Herniated discs can cause long-lasting pain. This can limit mobility and make daily tasks painful or impossible. Even after surgery, sometimes the pain doesn’t diminish as hoped, and can cause varying degrees of disability.
If you sustained a herniated disc injury in a car accident, you physician will discuss treatment options, which will include methods such as reduced activity, pain medications, and physical therapy. Adhere to your doctor’s orders in order to reduce the chances of future complications.
It’s also important to note that if someone else was at fault in your accident, you are entitled to compensation for all your treatments, as well as your lost wages during your recovery period. There’s a time limit on when you file a claim, though, so make sure to find an attorney as soon as possible to start working on your case.
Seeking Legal Counsel after Your Car Accident
For legal counsel in or around the Denver area, call injury lawyer D.J. Banovitz. He has successfully helped clients receive the settlement awards they deserve after sustaining serious injuries, including herniated discs. Contact our office at 303-300-5060 today for a free consultation.