People can sustain many debilitating and life-threatening injuries during an accident—one of them is a herniated disc. Without proper treatment, a herniated disc can lead to chronic pain, disability, and paralysis if the spinal cord is damaged. Prompt medical attention is necessary to prevent the injury from worsening and give the victim a better chance of recovery.
Sustaining a herniated disc or any other serious injury after an accident can have a domino effect not just on your health, but also on your work and daily life. There’s a lot of emotion and confusion in the aftermath of an accident, and the best thing to do is contact a personal injury lawyer as soon as possible. They can help make sure you do what you need to have the best chance at recovering the monetary compensation you need to provide financial support while you recover from your herniated disc.
What Is a Herniated Disc?
A herniated disc is an injury to the spine. In a car accident, the force of the crash causes one of the vertebrae (the bones of the spine) to push into the spinal canal, where it can compress and irritate the spinal cord. The spine has a series of vertebrae that stretch from the base of the skull to the tailbone. Between the spine are round cushions called discs. A spinal disc has a soft, gel-like center (nucleus) encased in a tougher, rubbery exterior (annulus). These discs act as buffers between the vertebrae, giving the spine its ability to bend and move with ease. When these discs are torn or damaged during a car accident, this is a herniated disc.
When a herniated disc occurs, the herniation extrudes out of the disc space, and the nucleus pulposus pierces the annulus wall, impinging on the nerve endings. In other words, when the discs are damaged, the gel-like center inside the disc leaks out of the disc and presses against the nearby spinal nerves, causing pain. Other symptoms of a herniated disc are:
- Leg pain
- Nerve pain
- Weakness in the legs
- Tingling in the legs
- Difficulty lifting feet when walking
- Lower back pain
- Pain that worsens with movement
- Pain when hunching forward
- Loss of bladder or bowel control
Time is of the essence when it comes to treating a herniated disc properly. The sooner a person gets the diagnostic test and medical treatment they need, the better their chances of recovery and preventing the condition from worsening or creating permanent damage. If a herniated disc isn’t treated in time, the disc can become extruded and cause permanent spinal cord damage, which can lead to life-long disability or paralysis.
What to Do for a Herniated Disc After a Car Accident
One of the first things to do after an accident is to contact emergency services to get an ambulance and police on the scene. By calling 911 as soon as possible, you can ensure you’ll get the medical attention you need to detect the herniated disc.
Once you’ve received the necessary treatments, it’s important to obtain early documentation of your injury. This early documentation will be necessary for your insurance but also vital evidence for a personal injury claim. Furthermore, early documentation of your injury can form a clear relationship between the collision and your injury, which makes it easier for a lawyer to obtain a full and fair legal settlement for a personal injury claim, should you pursue one.
Contact a Car Accident Lawyer Today and Get the Compensation You Deserve
If your injury was the result of a negligent driver, you deserve to recover compensation to cover medical bills and other losses you incurred because of your injury. A herniated disc is a serious condition that can result in permanent pain and suffering and affect your quality of life. At Mintz Law Firm, we understand the seriousness of this injury and have the experience necessary to build a strong claim so you can recover maximum compensation.