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Herniated Disc Injuries After a Car Accident

We can help you get the compensation you deserve for your back injury

Back pain is one of the most debilitating symptoms people can sustain after a car accident. It can affect your mobility, your ability to work, and your quality of life. Back pain can make even activities you took for granted painful. And often, the culprit is a herniated disc.

If you sustained a herniated disc injury in a car accident, you have rights under Alabama law, and we can protect them. Remember, you need to take action promptly to protect your health and your legal rights. First, get checked out by a doctor. Then, contact the car accident lawyers at Dean Waite & Associates, LLC for a free consultation.

What is a herniated disc?

The discs are rubbery pads located between the vertebrae, which are the bones that make up the spine. There are a total of 30 vertebrae divided into four sections:

  • The cervical spine, located in the neck, consists of 7 vertebrae numbered C1-C7.
  • The thoracic spine, located in the upper body, consists of 12 vertebrae numbered T1-T12.
  • The lumbar spine, located in the lower back, consists of 5 vertebrae numbered L1-L5.
  • The sacrum, located at the base of the spine in the pelvic region, consists of 5 vertebrae numbered S1-S5.

The discs are located between the vertebrae and are numbered based on the vertebrae above and below them. For example, an L5-S1 injury is located between the last vertebra in the lumbar spine and the first vertebra in the sacrum.

A herniated disc is a type of injury that occurs when the rubbery outer portion of the disc is damaged, causing the softer inner portion to bulge outward. This injury is sometimes called a “ruptured disc,” “bulging disc,” or “slipped disc,” although that last term is a misnomer because the disc as a whole does not “slip” out of place.

How can a car accident cause a herniated disc?

Because car accidents happen while drivers and passengers are seated, the back absorbs much of the force of impact. The force of impact can cause damage to one or more discs and result in herniation. Even a relatively low-speed collision can cause damage to the discs.

Some of the symptoms of a herniated disc after a car accident include:

  • Numbness
  • Persistent pain
  • Pain that gets worse or becomes sharper when you move
  • Tingling (pins and needles)
  • Weakness

Ruptured disc symptoms are often similar to the symptoms of whiplash. If you have whiplash symptoms that just won’t go away, that may actually be the result of a herniated disc or discs in the neck.

Herniated discs in the lower portions of the spine can cause sciatica. This is a result of the injured disc pressing on the sciatic nerve, which connects the spinal cord to the gluteal area and the legs. Sciatica symptoms can include pain that originates in the lower back and radiates down the leg, as well as muscle weakness, numbness, and pins-and-needles sensations in one or both legs, feet, or toes.

Diagnosis and treatment of a herniated disc

If you suspect you may have a slipped disc after a car accident, your doctor will likely perform a physical exam to check for tenderness. You may need to move your legs into various positions to help your doctor identify the cause of your back pain. Your doctor may also perform a neurological exam, which includes your reflexes, muscle strength, walking ability, and ability to feel touches.

Sometimes, imaging tests are necessary to diagnose a herniated disc, including:

  • X-rays – while a regular X-ray cannot detect a herniated disc, it can help rule out other potential causes of back pain.
  • CT scan – a series of X-rays used to create a cross-sectional image of the spinal column.
  • MRI – an MRI can help confirm the location of the herniated disc and confirm which nerves are affected.
  • Myelogram – this test involves injecting a dye into the spinal fluid to help show pressure on the spinal cord or nerves.

Treatment for a herniated disc usually involves pain medication, muscle relaxers, rest, and physical therapy. However, in some cases, spinal surgery may be needed to repair the damage. A doctor may be able to remove the protruding portion of the disc or remove the entire disc and fuse the vertebrae with a bone graft.

Can you claim compensation for a herniated disc from a car accident?

The short answer is yes, but you have to prove it. You need to show that the negligence of another motorist or another third party caused your car accident. You also need to demonstrate that your herniated disc was the result of the accident and build a case for compensation for the damages you sustained.

There is no single average settlement for a car accident herniated disc. It depends on the extent of the injury – for instance, whether you have a single or multiple herniated discs – as well as any other injuries you may have and the overall effects of your injuries on your life. Ultimately, only an experienced car accident attorney can tell you what your settlement may be worth. That’s why you need to contact us right away.

An experienced attorney for herniated discs from car accidents

The legal team at Dean Waite & Associates, LLC has extensive experience helping people in Mobile and throughout Alabama get the compensation they deserve for herniated discs and other back injuries sustained in car accidents. We know how to get to the bottom of what happened and hold the responsible party or parties accountable. We also know how to build a case for full compensation for your bulging disc injury, including the cost of medical treatment, lost income, pain and suffering, and other damages.

The sooner you act, the better. We need to investigate your case before evidence disappears and start dealing with the insurance company on your behalf right away. Contact us as soon as possible for a free consultation with a Mobile, AL car accident lawyer you can trust.