Injuries to the neck and back are common in a car accident. Some can be severe and significantly impact a person’s quality of life. One example is an annular tear, which can happen with sudden trauma. This tear occurs to the tough exterior (annulus fibrosus) of an intervertebral disc. This disc acts as a cushion between the vertebrae, providing support to the neck and back.
Types of Annular Tear Injuries
There are two common types of annular tears that can happen in an accident. One is a peripheral tear, where damage occurs to the outer layer of the annulus fibrosus. Degeneration of the intervertebral disc is a frighteningly real complication with this type of injury.
Another type of annular tear is a concentric tear. This occurs between the layers of the annulus fibrosus. With both kinds of annular tears, conservative treatment is usually tried first. But when those measures don’t work or it becomes debilitating, surgery might be the only option.
How an Annular Tear Can Impact an Individual’s Life
There is a great deal of discomfort with this type of injury, some of the symptoms can include:
- numbness; and
- weakness in the arms and/or legs.
The doctor may not recommend surgery immediately. Other, more conservative treatments are usually attempted first to minimize trauma to the body. While this is a health-preserving preventative measure, it could result in weeks or months of pain.
Even after surgery, there may be a long recovery period. During all of this, not only is the individual struggling with the physical challenges but it could prevent him or her from working. This could mean a complete loss of income.
Of course, some victims might be able to recover short-term disability benefits through their insurance companies. Even this insurance, though, only pays out a percentage of previously made earnings. This may not be enough to live on, especially considering the mounting medical expenses from the injury.
In addition to surgery, patients may:
- undergo injections;
- take prescription medications; and
- utilize physical therapy as part of the treatment plan.
These costs add up and can help create a significant financial burden.
Seeking Compensation for Damages Following an Accident in Arvada
With all that is at stake, not only financially but with one’s quality of life, it’s important to consider filing a claim if the accident was caused by someone else’s negligence. The impact this type of injury has on a person could lead to more than compensation for the medical expenses and lost wages. Non-economic damages could include mental anguish, disability, and pain and suffering.
Filing a claim after a minor accident doesn’t necessarily require help from an attorney. But back injuries can be long-term or disabling. In circumstances such as this it might be best to at least seek legal advice.
An attorney can help assemble the evidence required to prove the other person was at fault. Additionally, an attorney can gather medical records and other documentation to establish the extent and severity of injuries.
If you’re in Arvada or nearby areas, contact D.J. Banovitz for legal consultation and representation (303) 300-5060.