Did you hurt your back in a car accident? Do you have a ruptured disc? If this describes you, you are not alone. The personal injury attorneys at Epperly & Follis see these types of injuries in car accident cases all the time.
If you are suffering from a herniated or slipped disc after an accident, you could be suffering from severe lower back pain. This occurs when the disc presses at the base of a nerve connected to one leg. This excruciating pain leads to extended sick time out of work, managing basic life activities, and not being able to do normal everyday tasks. The effects on your home life and your life savings can be devastating.
If your back pain seems to be more focused in your neck or upper back, this could be whiplash. This is another common injury caused by car accidents.
If you have ongoing back pain caused by an accident that wasn’t your fault, an experienced injury attorney can help fight back against insurance companies that are only looking out for their own bottom line.
How Do Herniated Discs Occur?
To understand how a herniated disc occurs, it is important to understand how herniated discs work. When you have a ruptured or herniated disc, it is an injury to the vertebrae that makes up a person’s spinal cord. A disc is made up of a soft, jellylike center. When the disc slips out through the vertebrae, it causes irritation to nearby nerves, and this is known as a herniated disc. You may feel weakness or pain in a limb. This video provides a good explanation of a herniated disc.
In an auto accident, the spine may receive sudden pressure or a jolt which can cause a herniated disc. The extreme forces to your back tend to be worse for older people than for younger people since the spinal cord degrades as you get older. The pain can be intense, and this is often followed by numbness.
Diagnosis of Back Pain
When you arrive at the doctor’s office or hospital, the doctor will examine you for back injuries and may recommend an MRI or CT scan. X-rays are not as effective because they cannot detect a slipped or herniated disc. It may be necessary to have an MRI in order to prove to the insurance company that you have a herniated disc.
How Do Whiplash Injuries Occur
If the pain is in your upper back or your neck, you may be suffering from whiplash. Whiplash is common with many car accident injuries. This occurs when your neck moves forward and backward rapidly during the accident. Injury attorneys see this frequently in rear-end accidents. The severity of the impact determines whether you’re likely to suffer whiplash after an accident.
Whiplash is more a soft tissue injury because it affects your muscles in the upper back and neck, and it is not related to fractured or broken bones.
Sometimes, the symptoms of whiplash won’t manifest at the time of the accident, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t seek medical treatment right away. You should still seek medical treatment the same day as the accident if possible. This will ensure any minor injuries don’t become major injuries.
Some symptoms of whiplash aren’t as obvious. Any of these symptoms could signal whiplash:
- Burning pain in the neck and shoulder
- Concentration problems
- Pain in the neck, shoulders, and upper back
- Short-term memory loss
What Financial Compensation Would You Receive From a Back Injury?
There are several factors that will influence how much financial compensation you receive after an accident. If your financial damages are significant due to the severity of the accident, you likely will receive more compensation than if you recovered within a few days following an accident. If you are unable to work because of your injuries, you are entitled to recover for your lost wages
In some injuries, the doctors may wait for your injuries to heal naturally. You might not recognize right away that you could have substantial medical bills. Surgery might be required later if you don’t heal naturally, and this will certainly impact the compensation you receive from the insurance company.
It is recommended that you see a doctor as soon as possible after an accident. When you see a doctor right after an accident, it leaves no doubt that you are in pain due to the collision, and it leaves little doubt your injuries were caused by the accident.
In short, the amount of compensation you’ll receive from a herniated disc or back injury is dependent on many factors. Hopefully, your injuries are not that severe, and you can return to work quickly. However, back injuries from vehicular accidents have been known to take months to years to fully heal. In some cases, there can be permanent injuries.
Taking the Next Steps
If you have suffered a back injury or herniated disc, please reach out to Craig Follis with Epperly & Follis P.C. He can speak with him at 804-648-6480. They have the experience necessary to ensure you are compensated when another driver’s negligence causes your injuries.