Herniated & Bulging Disc Injuries Attorneys in Raleigh, NC
A herniated disc injury suffered in a car accident can cause pain and limit movement, leaving the injured person unable to work or to perform the simple tasks of daily living. A herniated disc can result from sudden strain and/or twisting, such as may occur in a car accident. As we age, our disks become less flexible and more prone to tearing or rupturing, which makes disc injuries more common when older drivers, passengers and pedestrians are in car accidents.
If you have suffered a herniated or bulging disc from a car accident, you may be worried about how you will support your home and family if your injury keeps you from returning to work. You may be worried about your quality of life moving forward and whether you will ever be able to bend over to pick up your children or grandchildren or take a leisurely walk with your spouse.
If these are familiar concerns, contact the Raleigh car accident injury attorneys at Younce, Vtipil, & Baznik, P.A., today. We can work with you to identify your options for seeking compensation from the at-fault driver who caused your disc injury.
As a client of Younce, Vtipil, & Baznik, P.A., you will work directly with an experienced and compassionate legal team. Our personal injury lawyers have earned the highest rating from the respected Martindale-Hubbell Law Directory, and staff members at our firm speak fluent Spanish as well as English. We’ll fight for you, so you can focus on healing and getting your life back together.
What Are Herniated and Bulging Disc Injuries?
Disc herniation is diagnosed when there is damage to one or more of the rubbery cushions (discs) between the vertebrae that make up the spine.
A herniated disk – also known as a bulging, slipped or ruptured disc – typically swells and irritates nearby nerves, which causes pain, numbness or weakness in a leg or an arm. A herniated disc that presses on a nerve can cause debilitating pain. In some cases, a slipped disc causes severe deep muscle pain and muscle spasms.
Most herniated discs occur in the lower back, although they can also occur in the neck. The pain from a herniated disc may radiate from the injury site to other parts of the body if a large nerve is impinged. A ruptured disc usually affects one side of the body.
Pain from a herniated disc is typically described as sharp, burning or a shooting pain exacerbated by moving into certain positions.
A herniated disc in the lower back may cause pain resulting from pressure on the sciatic nerve. The sciatic nerve travels from the lower spine, through the pelvis and down each leg. It is the longest and widest nerve in the human body. The condition known as “sciatica” is having pain that travels through the buttocks and down a leg to the ankle or foot.
The pressure a herniated disc puts on nerves in the upper part of the lumbar spine (near the bottom of the rib cage) can cause pain in the front of the thigh.
A cervical slipped disk (in the neck) is likely to cause pain or numbness in the shoulders, arms or chest.
Sometimes, severely herniated discs can compress a group of long nerve roots just below the waist that is known as the “cauda equina.” An accident victim with cauda equina syndrome requires emergency surgery to relieve the pressure and avoid such permanent injuries as paralysis, impaired bladder and/or bowel control and loss of sexual function.
Treating Herniated Discs After a Car Accident
Another cause of herniated discs is age. A person in their 50s or 60s may be told their back pain is degenerative disc disease. While “degenerative” and “disease” sound scary, it just describes a lifetime of wear and tear that causes one or more discs to lose integrity and shrink or become misshapen and bulge.
Years of physical labor – lifting, bending, reaching – or an active lifestyle can increase the severity of wear and tear on discs in the spine, as, of course, can a traumatic back injury.
When doctors treat bulging discs, they tend to start with the least invasive treatment and look for results before getting more aggressive. The usual course of treatment includes:
- Pain Management: For milder pain, a patient may start with heat and cold compresses and/or over-the-counter pain medication along with exercises to strengthen muscles near the injury to support the damaged portion of the spine. For more intense pain, such as from a traumatic injury as opposed to age-related pain, a doctor may prescribe pain relievers and/or professional physical therapy. Sometimes back pain may be alleviated with electrical nerve stimulation treatment that uses low voltage electric current from a wearable device to relieve pain.
- Steroid Injections: If exercise does not reduce pain enough to restore the patient’s quality of life, a shot of steroids into the bulging disc may reduce swelling and lessen or relieve pressure on the irritated nerve(s). It’s not unusual to require a series of shots before treatment is successful.
- Surgery: Disc surgery is typically a last resort for patients whose herniated disc(s) interfere with their daily lives, such as by limiting mobility or causing incontinence. A discectomy consists of removing the protruding portion of the disk or the entire disc. If the entire disc is removed, a further procedure to fuse the vertebrae with a bone graft may be necessary. Back surgery requires a lengthy convalescence followed by physical therapy.
A herniated disc suffered in a car accident is likely to require hospitalization for diagnosis and initial treatment followed, at the least, by medication and physical therapy.
Medical expenses from a herniated disc suffered in a car accident may include the costs of:
- Emergency medical treatment (i.e., ambulance, paramedics)
- Emergency room care and hospitalization
- Rehabilitation therapy
- Ongoing treatment
- Assistive devices
- Assistive care.
Lost income – temporary or permanent – is an additional impact for most people who suffer a herniated disc in a car accident.
Recovering a Settlement for a Herniated Disc Car Accident
If another driver is at fault for a car accident that left you with a significant disc injury, you may be able to recover compensation for your expenses and losses. The money usually comes from the at-fault driver’s auto insurance coverage. But insurance companies often balk at significant claim payouts, regardless of the facts of the case. In fact, a quick settlement offer from an insurer is likely to be for far less than you truly deserve.
As your attorneys, Younce, Vtipil, & Baznik will press the responsible insurance company to pay the full compensation to cover your losses. We can investigate your accident to identify all of the at-fault parties and the insurance policies available to pay for your losses. In some cases, multiple policies may be available.
We will gather your medical bills to calculate all your medical expenses and account for other costs you have suffered as a result of the accident, such as lost income and costs to repair or replace your vehicle. We will consult with your doctor to estimate the costs of any future medical care you will need.
If your injury is such that you will be in chronic pain or permanently disabled, you may be able to recover significant compensation for your pain and suffering and/or emotional distress.
Once we have calculated all of your costs and losses related to your car accident and injuries, we will present a demand letter to insurers who have issued coverage relevant to your accident. We will follow up with aggressive negotiations for a full and fair settlement.
If an insurer refuses to agree to a proper settlement, we will file a personal injury lawsuit on your behalf and seek to hold the at-fault party and his or her insurer accountable in court. Most car accident cases can be settled outside of court, but our personal injury attorneys are skilled trial attorneys and will be prepared to advocate for you to receive full compensation.
Contact Our Experienced Raleigh, NC, Bulging Disc Injury Lawyers
It’s important to receive the proper attention after any serious back injury, including dependable legal guidance. If someone else caused your herniated disc injury, you may have a legal right to seek a herniated disc injury settlement to cover your losses. Our attorneys are ready to review the facts of your accident and injury and provide you with free legal advice about your options.
The experienced Raleigh back injury attorneys at Younce, Vtipil, & Baznik will evaluate the details of your accident and talk with you about the steps you may take to pursue a bulging disc injury settlement that pays your medical expenses and other losses.
Call now for a free claim review. If we can pursue compensation for you, we will do so without charging you legal fees unless we recover money for you.