Spinal discs play a vital role in the lower back, serving as a shock absorbers and supporting the upper body and allowing a wide range of movements in all directions. If a disk herniates, it can aggravate a nerve, triggering back pain and possibly pain and nerve pain symptoms down one leg or both.
Disk herniation symptoms usually start for no apparent reason. They may occur from lifting something heavy or due to high-impact trauma such as an auto accident – which is the second most common cause of a herniated disc. Disk herniation can happen in any part of the spine, but it’s most common in the lower back and neck (the lumbar and cervical spine). These are the flexible parts of the spine, unlike the middle of your back (the thoracic spine), and because they allow for the most movement, they also have the most wear and tear.
SYMPTOMS OF DISK HERNIATION AFTER A CAR ACCIDENT
For those who have herniation that affects the nerves, pain can be severe and unrelenting. It’s typically felt on one side of the body and may radiate to an arm, if the herniated disc is in the neck – or either of the legs, if a lumbar disc is herniated most common with sciatic nerve.
Other signs and symptoms of a herniated disc include:
- A dull ache on one side of the body
- Pain when you cough, sneeze, or move into certain positions
- Numbness, tingling, or burning sensations, usually from a compressed nerve.
- Driving on the freeway or uneven surfaces
- Pain that is worse with sitting, standing, walking, and bending can worsen the symptoms
- Muscle weakness or spasm that may affect your ability to lift or hold items
- Balance issues or limping due to weakness and/or pain
- Slow reflexes
- Difficulty getting up from a seated position
- Inability to remain in one position for an extended period of time
- Poor posture
DIAGNOSIS OF HERNIATED DISKS AFTER A CAR ACCIDENT
To figure out if you have a herniated disk after a car crash or traumatic injury, you should see your primary care doctor who can refer you to an orthopedic specialist. A herniated disc will be suspected if low back pain is accompanied by radiating leg pain. Your doctor will likely have you do different types of tests and studies to see if you have a herniated disc compressing on a nerve. Back pain can sneak up on you when you least expect it. One minute you’re sitting comfortably in front of the TV, and the next you try to stand up and sharp pain radiates through your lower back. Proper diagnosis of your herniated disk may prevent further injury.
MAGNETIC RESONANCE IMAGING (MRI)
This technology reveals the spinal cord, surrounding soft tissue and nerves. It is the best imaging study to support the diagnosis of a herniated disc. Imaging studies, such as a “Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI)” are usually ordered to see Nerve conduction studies (NCS) and electromyogram (EMG).
NERVE CONDUCTION STUDIES (NCS) AND ELECTROMYOGRAM (EMG)
These studies use electrical impulses that measure how much your nerves might be affected by compression from a herniated disc. NCS and EMG are not routine tests to diagnose herniated disc, and are only used if you have symptoms of nerve trouble like numbness and radiating pain. These studies are typically only used if MRIs and a physical exam are inconclusive and your doctor thinks other conditions are a possibility.
X-rays are not typically the imaging standard of choice because soft tissues such as discs and nerves are hard to capture with this technology. However, they may be used as an initial tool to rule out other disorders such as bone spurs or fracture.
COMPENSATION FOR HERNIATED DISK INJURY
A herniated disk injury can really disrupt your life. You did not choose to get hurt, but taking the right steps towards recovery are within your control. You may be entitled to damages for:
- Medical bills
- Los income and wages
- Chorionic pain
- Pain and suffering
- Emotional distress
- Disability and other damages
Every herniated disk injury case can vary, which is why it is important to hire an experienced personal injury attorney, who can properly guide your case to a successful resolution. Insurance companies have made it their policy to deny most soft tissue claims and restrict the negotiation ability of individual adjusters. Remember, insurance companies are in the business of making money, not paying claims when they are presented.
This is why it is important that you receive proper treatment for your injuries without delay. If your treating doctor orders an MRI, failing to get one, because of your schedule or other reasons, may end up hurting your case. Insurance adjusters base their settlement offers mainly on objective findings found in MRI reports and other tests ordered by your treating physician. Of course your subjective complaints are crucial, but the main focus is made on objective findings and timely appropriate diagnosis of your injuries.
WHY CHOOSE ARATTA LAW FIRM?
At our firm, every injured client will be in direct contact with an attorney. Many large corporate law firms end up transferring you to a case manager – you never speak to an attorney directly and your case becomes part of the mill.
At our firm, we do things different. We pay close attention to every individual case, from the inception and throughout the process of the claim / lawsuit. Our diligence and attention to detail result in consistent higher settlements, which adds up to a higher compensation for you, the client.
ATTORNEY’S ABILITY TO NEGOTIATE
Even though you may have a solid personal injury claim, the skill and the attentiveness of your attorney can also considerably impact how much compensation you will receive for your injuries. If your injury claim is negotiated by a case manager, assigned to your file at a firm, and not an attorney, your claim may end up settling for a lesser amount. This is because adjusters know who they’re dealing with and how aggressive the firm is when settling injury cases. Insurance adjuster also know who they can bully into accepting lower settlements.
An attorney’s ability to negotiate a settlement is, in many ways, the most important skill an attorney possesses. Lawyers who are effective negotiators know the importance of timing, preparation and strategy. That being said, our firm recognizes the importance of precision, timing and subsequent results, which is the foundation of Aratta Law. At our firm, nothing happens by luck but by great preparation and good strategy.