What You Need to Know After Suffering a Herniated Disc Injury in a Car Accident

man holding his lower back - injury after a car accident

Back and neck trauma from car accidents frequently leaves victims with herniated disc injuries. A herniated disc can be debilitating, causing severe pain, impaired mobility, and other long-term damage. Victims usually face extensive rehabilitation, time off work, and costly medical expenses as they recuperate from their injury.

If you’ve suffered a herniated disc from a car wreck, contact the highly experienced New York City car accident lawyers at Finz & Finz, P.C. today. We will hold the responsible party accountable for their actions and fight aggressively for the financial compensation that you deserve. This is our commitment to you.

Call or contact us today for a free consultation.

What is a Herniated Disc?

The discs of the spine are the rubbery cushions that rest between the vertebrae, which provide shock absorption, distribute pressure, facilitate movement, and protect the spinal cord.

Discs have a nucleus that is soft and gel-like, which is housed in a tough rubbery shell called the annulus. When some of the nucleus pushes out through a tear in the annulus, the result is known as a herniated disc, bulging disc, or slipped or ruptured disc.

Herniated discs can occur anywhere along the spine, particularly in the cervical spine and lumbar spine. For some victims, there is no back pain and no surgery is necessary. But when the rupture irritates a nerve, it can cause significant pain, numbness, or weakness in your arm or your leg.

What Are the Symptoms of a Herniated Disc?

A herniated disc from a car accident usually affects the spine, but can also involve the neck. The symptoms you experience vary based on where the affected disc is located and whether it presses on a nerve or not.

Symptoms might include:

  • Pain ― Herniated discs can cause sharp, burning pain. If the affected disc is in your neck, you may feel arm and shoulder pain. If the damage occurs in your lower back, you could experience pain in your buttocks, thigh, calf, or foot. Localized pain can often radiate from the affected area into other parts of the body.
  • Tingling and/or Numbness ― When your nerves are compressed by a ruptured disc, you may experience tingling or numbness that radiates through the affected area.
  • Weakness ― When nerves are affected, the associated muscles can atrophy. This can cause you to stumble or suffer from poor coordination while walking. You may also find that you are less able to lift or hold things.

Without prompt treatment, the damage from a herniated disc can worsen over time, eventually impacting your daily activities and your enjoyment of life.

Treatment for a Herniated Disc

While some injuries are immediately apparent following a car crash, others — like herniated discs — may not be. Always seek timely medical treatment so that a doctor can run tests to determine the extent of your injury. In the meantime, limit your activities to avoid stress and strain on your body, especially heavy lifting or exertion.

If you have indeed suffered a disc herniation after a car accident, your doctors will want to start with the least invasive medical treatment. That could mean rest and over-the-counter pain medication. You may also need physical therapy to help with range of motion and overall strengthening as you heal.

For more severe disc herniation injuries, other treatment options include:

  • ACDF (Anterior Cervical Discectomy and Fusion) ― This procedure involves removing the herniated disc entirely, along with any bone spurs or other material that may be pressing on your spine. A bone graft is then used to fuse the adjoining vertebrae together. This can strengthen the joint, preventing a new injury.
  • Lumbar Fusion Surgery ― A spinal fusion is typically used for more serious disc injuries. It involves fusion of the vertebrae where the damaged disc is located. This stops vertebrae from rubbing together and causing pain.
  • Microdiscectomy ― Pressure on the spinal nerves is relieved by removing only damaged portions of the disc. This technique is also called micro-decompression.

Fortunately, most herniated disc injuries heal with proper treatment. But because they can cause intense pain, it’s best to get prompt medical attention. Disc herniations can also cause chronic pain, so your physician will likely come up with a long-term pain management program as part of your medical care.

Factors to Consider After a Motor Vehicle Collision

If you’ve been injured in an auto accident, there are a few steps you can take to protect your rights and improve your chances of receiving compensation from the at-fault party. They include:

  • Documenting the car accident scene by taking photographs and/or videos
  • Getting the names and contact information of any witnesses
  • Collecting the names and insurance information of every driver involved in the wreck
  • Getting the police accident report
  • Talking to a NY car accident lawyer with experience handling herniated disc cases
  • Contacting your insurance provider to report the accident
  • Getting a physical examination and following all prescribed treatments for your car accident injuries
  • Keeping a journal of the pain you experience
  • Avoiding social media, as anything you post can be used against you by insurance companies

Can You Sue for a Herniated Disc After a Car Accident in New York?

New York is a no-fault insurance state, which means that in most cases, you will need to go through your own auto insurance provider to receive the money you need for medical bills and other expenses after a car accident.

However, if you have suffered a “serious injury” as defined by New York State law, you may be able to file a personal injury lawsuit if another driver’s negligence caused the car crash. At Finz & Finz, P.C., our accomplished New York car accident lawyers will determine whether your herniated disc is severe enough to meet the serious injury threshold.

By filing a lawsuit against the person responsible for your injury, you may be able to recover compensation for:

  • Lost wages
  • Medical bills beyond those covered by your no-fault insurance
  • Pain and suffering
  • Property damage

The first step is determining whether you have a herniated disc case. Get legal advice from a trusted personal injury lawyer at our firm today.

How a New York Car Accident Attorney Can Help

Securing compensation for herniated disc injuries can be challenging, particularly in New York. Because the effects of a herniated disc are not always immediately apparent, clearing the state’s “serious injury” threshold after a car accident requires compelling proof. Furthermore, to recover compensation, a claimant will need strong evidence showing the other party was at fault for the car crash.

At Finz & Finz, P.C., our distinguished lawyers will leverage our decades of legal experience to build a herniated disc case that stands up to every challenge. We will:

  • Investigate the car accident thoroughly
  • Identify all responsible parties
  • Gather evidence, including medical records, the results of magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) tests, and other imagery to show the extent of your back injury
  • Consult with top medical experts about the severity of your herniated disc injury
  • Work with highly qualified expert witnesses to provide testimony about the car accident and its effects on your life
  • Calculate the value of your case
  • Negotiate aggressively with the insurance company to secure a full and fair settlement on your behalf
  • Prepare your case for trial, if necessary, using state-of-the-art digital and documentary courtroom presentation tools

Contact the Highly Experienced Car Accident Lawyers at Finz & Finz, P.C. Today

If you’ve suffered a herniated disc as the result of a motor vehicle accident, contact Finz & Finz, P.C. for a free consultation. Our experienced New York car accident lawyers are ready to discuss your car crash and how the resulting injuries have impacted your life.

At our law firm, the attorney-client relationship is sacred. You can rely on us to provide top-tier legal services as we manage your personal injury claim with sensitivity and compassion.

It’s time to seek compensation and justice. Get started now by calling us or filling out our online form for a free consultation.

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Finz & Finz, P.C. is a New York and Long Island personal injury law firm based out of Mineola, NY. It was founded in 1984 and is highly rated, with many honors and awards of excellence.