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Herniated Discs From Car Accidents

Posted by Harlene Labrum | Apr 29, 2021

Car accidents are a common occurrence and can cause significant pain and suffering for victims.  Many victims endure serious physical and emotional damage which lasts long after the accident occurs.  Herniated discs from car accidents are serious, potentially life-altering injuries. If you sustained a herniated disc or other spinal injuries as a result of a car accident, consider talking with the legal team at Labrum Law Firm at (615) 338-9500 to learn how you may be able to receive compensation for your injuries and losses.

What Is a Herniated Disc?

To understand herniated discs, it is important to know the basic structure of the spine.  The human spine is made up of several different parts:

  • Spinal cord
  • Vertebrae
  • Spinal nerves
  • Discs

The spinal cord begins at the brain stem and runs the length of the spine.  It sends signals from the brain to the rest of the body.

Vertebrae are a series of smaller bones that are stacked vertically in a column on the back of the body.  They protect the spinal cord, as well as structure and support for the rest of the body.

Spinal nerves are branches of nerve tissue that deliver signals from the spinal cord to other areas of the body.  The nerve roots exit the spinal column through small spaces between each vertebra.

Discs are a rubbery layer of tissue between each vertebra.  They act as shock absorbers between the hard, bony vertebrae of the spine.

A herniated disc occurs when part of the disc's outer surface becomes torn, causing a portion of the inside of the disc to push through.  The herniation can result in compression of the spinal nerve roots or, in some cases, the spinal cord.  This can result in pain, loss of mobility, and other serious physical symptoms.

Herniated Discs and Car Accidents

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, over 2 million people are injured in car accidents each year.  Many victims suffer herniated discs from car accidents, in addition to other injuries.  The impact of a car accident often applies significant force and stress to the vertebrae and discs in the spine.  As a result of the impact, vertebrae may shift out of place, which can cause a herniated disc.

How Are Herniated Discs Diagnosed?

People who are involved in car accidents should seek medical evaluation and treatment immediately.  Car accident victims may not realize they are hurt right after the crash occurs, because adrenaline and emotional shock can mask symptoms.  If you were involved in a car accident and have not already been evaluated by a medical professional, you should do so as soon as possible to ensure you receive the medically necessary evaluation and treatment of your injuries.

Herniated discs are typically diagnosed using a combination of methods.  First, doctors perform a physical examination.  They may note specific symptoms, such as:

  • Pain
  • Loss of feeling or other abnormal sensations in parts of the body
  • Muscle weakness
  • Tenderness
  • Changes in reflexes
  • Other abnormal findings

The doctor may also order imaging studies of the spine, such as an MRI.  The MRI will help the doctor to locate and identify a herniated disc, and determine its severity in connection with the findings of the physical examination.

How Are Herniated Discs Treated?

Herniated discs vary widely in terms of severity, symptoms, and necessary treatment.  After a herniated disc is diagnosed, a doctor will recommend a course of one or more treatments to help the disc heal and restore physical functioning.  Treatments may include:

  • Rest and reduced activity
  • Time away from the workplace to heal
  • Over-the-counter or prescription medications, including anti-inflammatory medications, pain medications, muscle relaxers, or topical pain relief treatments
  • Physical therapy or a home exercise program
  • Back injections for pain relief
  • Surgery, in extreme cases where other treatments are not effective

Herniated discs from car accidents are different for each victim, and no two cases are exactly alike.  Doctors recommend treatment based on each victim's specific symptoms, and the severity of damage to the victim's spine.

Compensation For Herniated Discs From Car Accidents

Losses due to herniated discs from car accidents can be significant.  Medical bills, lost wages, pain, and suffering can have a dramatic impact on a victim's quality of life.  Victims of car accidents might be able to receive more compensation than an insurance company initially offers.  A knowledgeable lawyer from Labrum Law Firm can help victims suffering from herniated discs from car accidents in Tennessee to navigate the complex process of seeking fair and just compensation from an insurance company.  The insurance company might consider these and other factors when making a settlement agreement with a car accident victim:

  • The severity of the victim's injuries
  • Medical bills for herniated disc treatments
  • The cost of future treatments related to the herniated disc
  • The victim's age and medical history
  • The victim's potential for recovery from injuries suffered
  • Pain and suffering as a result of the car accident and injuries
  • Lost wages during time off for treatment and recovery
  • Future inability to work due to the herniated disc
  • Property damage to the victim's vehicle because of the car accident

The process for calculating the total amount of compensation victims can receive is complex.  The compensation varies widely on a case-by-case basis.  If you have suffered a herniated disc as a result of a car accident, it is important to know your rights and understand how to seek fair compensation for your injuries.

Is There a Time Limit For Legal Action in Tennessee Car Accidents?

Tennessee law limits legal action on personal injury claims to one year from the date on which the accident occurred.  If you suffered a herniated disc in a car crash, it is important to keep this time limit in mind.  Doing so will help preserve your rights and your ability to seek fair compensation for your injuries.

Legal Help For Herniated Discs From Car Accidents

Herniated discs from car accidents can be serious and life-altering injuries.  Seeking legal compensation after a car crash can be intimidating and overwhelming for victims, and car accident insurance settlements and court cases can be difficult to navigate alone.  If you are a victim of a car accident, consider talking with the compassionate legal team at Labrum Law Firm at (615) 338-9500 to understand how you may be able to receive compensation from an insurance company for your herniated disc injury through a settlement or a court case.

About the Author

Harlene Labrum

Harlene is focused and passionate about helping those injured in car wrecks.  She earned her J.D. at Nashville School of Law and her Bachelor's degree at State University of New York at Albany, awarded with the highest GPA and high honors.  Harlene began her career in law as a personal injury par...

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