Herniated Disc Injuries: Causes, Recovery, and Collecting Damages
Many people who are hurt in car accidents, truck wrecks, motorcycle crashes, pedestrian accidents, at work or after a slip-and-fall accident suffer from a painful type of back injury called a herniated disc. A herniated disc – also referred to as a “slipped” or “ruptured” disc – may occur due to a forceful blow to the spine during an accident. But even non-impact motions such as bending or pulling can cause a serious disc injury, which may require long-term medical treatment or surgery to repair.
Obtaining compensation for your herniated disc can be complex to prove in courts. Many times, herniated discs simply result from natural spinal degeneration that occurs as we age. A successful lawsuit must establish that your herniated disc injury was caused by the accident, not by routine wear and tear.
That’s where the Accident & Disability Attorneys of Monge & Associates can help. Our personal injury lawyers have extensive experience handling herniated disc cases and will identify all of your legal options quickly and accurately.
Call our firm or use our online contact form for a free case evaluation. Our mission is to help you get money that can ease some of the financial strain that comes with medical bills, therapy and time off work.
We also offer a satisfaction guarantee. If you are not 100 percent satisfied with our services during the first 30 days after hiring our firm, your case file and attorneys’ fee will be returned to you with no questions asked.
Another promise: If we don’t win, you won’t pay us.
The Accident & Disability Attorneys of Monge & Associates represents clients in Atlanta, Decatur, Lithonia, College Park, East Point, Stone Mountain, Norcross, Conyers, Riverdale, Duluth, Fayetteville, Loganville and across Georgia and the Southeast.
Understanding Herniated Disc Injuries
The spine is composed of bones (called vertebrae) that extend from the top of the neck down to the pelvis. In between the vertebrae are rubbery cushions called discs, which act as shock absorbers and enable the spine to bend and flex. The discs are composed of two parts: an outer, tougher exterior called the annulus and a jelly-like substance in the middle called the nucleus. For that reason, doctors often say that a disc resembles a jelly doughnut.
A herniated disc occurs when some of the jelly-like material pushes out past the tough exterior of the disc and into the spinal canal. That puts pressure on the spinal cord and nerve roots in the spinal canal, which can cause a variety of symptoms, including:
- Arm or leg pain: A herniated disc in the lower back (lumbar) will cause pain in the buttocks, thigh and leg below the knee. A disc injury in the cervical (neck) region will cause arm and shoulder pain.
- Numbness or tingling in the body parts that are controlled by the affected nerves.
- Weakness in the arms or legs.
Herniated discs can occur anywhere along the backbone, but most commonly occur in the neck and lower back region.
What Caused Your Herniated Disc?
Pinpointing the specific cause of your herniated disc can be tricky. As we get older, parts of our spine begin to deteriorate. Discs lose some of their water content, which makes the back less flexible and prone to injury even in normal, everyday situations.
Accidents can put you at risk for a herniated disc regardless of age. Any motion or impact that can twist your spine into an unnatural position may cause the disc to rupture. A routine x-ray following a motor vehicle crash or slip-and-fall accident may not pick up on the herniated disc right away because the damage sometimes takes weeks to emerge. But once the pain begins, it can be excruciating. According to the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons (AAOS), even the slightest pressure on the nerves can lead to pain, numbness and weakness in the limbs.
Your occupation may also increase your chances of a herniated disc injury. Jobs that involve heavy lifting, pulling, pushing or being around hazardous work zones (such as in construction or manufacturing work) may, by nature, put you at risk for a back injury. But if your employer or another party failed to provide required safety measures to prevent you from harm, they may be legally liable for their negligence.
Recovering From Your Herniated Disc Injury
According to the AAOS, 90 percent of herniated disc cases resolve on their own without surgery. Common treatment measures might include rest, over-the-counter pain relievers, muscle relaxers, topical analgesics, anti-inflammatory drugs, physical therapy and/or occupational therapy.
However, some herniated disc patients require surgery to remove the disc or a small portion of bone over the damaged nerve to allow room for healing. In the lumbar region, a rare emergency surgery may be required if the nerve roots that send signals to the lower limbs and pelvic area are damaged, causing cauda equine syndrome. Without immediate treatment, cauda equine syndrome may lead to permanent paralysis and possible loss of function in the bowels, bladder and other parts of the lower body.
Recuperating from your herniated disc injury will most likely involve weeks or even months off work – something that most families cannot afford. Combined with the costs of doctors’ appointments, hospital stays and rehabilitation, this can be an overwhelming burden.
Suffering from a Herniated Disc Injury? Contact Our Accident & Disabilty Attorneys Today
If you sustained a herniated disc injury in an accident, it is possible that someone else is responsible for your injury. Call the Accident & Disability Attorneys of Monge & Associates or contact us online right now. We can determine what your case is worth and will fight for you so that you receive the money you need to help with your recovery.
Remember, if we don’t win, you don’t pay.
The Accident & Disability Attorneys of Monge & Associates serve clients in Atlanta, Decatur, Lithonia, College Park, East Point, Stone Mountain, Norcross, Conyers, Riverdale, Duluth, Fayetteville, Loganville, across Georgia and throughout the Southeast.