Disc herniations are among the most common and serious injuries resulting from auto accidents. Often referred to as “slipped” or “ruptured” discs, disc herniations can be caused by even low-velocity collisions. A herniated disc can be painful and debilitating, sometimes even requiring surgery.
People suffering disc herniations from car accidents should know the potential impact on their lives. They should also be aware of any potential compensation for their injuries and how a top-notch Billings car accident attorney can help.
What are Herniated Discs?
A herniated disc is essentially an injury in a person’s spinal column. Herniated discs can occur from trauma to the spine, such as the kind caused by a car collision.
The spinal column, or backbone, is constructed of bones called vertebrae. Between the vertebrae are disk-shaped cushions known as intervertebral discs. Each disc has a tough, fibrous outer portion and a jelly-like core. The spinal cord and spinal nerves run down the center of the spinal column, through an open channel known as the spinal canal.
An intervertebral disc becomes herniated when the outer portion ruptures and the jelly-like core leaks out. If the herniated disc compresses a nerve in the spinal column, it can result in a “pinched nerve.” A pinched nerve can cause pain or tingling that radiates out to other parts of the body, such as the arms or legs. It can also cause numbness or weakness in different parts of the body. In addition, the jelly substance leaking from the disc can irritate the nerve and cause additional pain.
Legal Claims for Disc Herniations
If another driver was at fault in an accident, a person suffering a herniated disc as a result of the accident may be able to seek compensation. The amount of legal compensation that can be recovered through settlement or trial will vary greatly from case to case. The two main factors are the ability to prove the other driver’s fault and the severity of the victim’s injuries.
Proving Fault of Other Driver
When one driver is clearly at fault and caused the accident, this issue will be less important. But there is often some question as to which driver is at fault, or whether more than one driver is at least partially to blame.
A herniated disc victim can expect the insurance company to defend the claim vigorously and attempt to deflect blame. A personal injury attorney experienced in car accidents will know the best methods of proving liability and obtaining compensation from the insurance company.
Severity of Injury
Some herniated disc victims can suffer from chronic lifetime pain, which is often debilitating. Sometimes surgery is required. Some surgery options include discectomies (removal of part or all of disc), artificial disc replacement, and spinal fusion.
A highly qualified auto accident attorney can evaluate your case and potentially retain medical experts to prove the severity of your herniated disc injury. They can also work to maximize your compensation through negotiation, aggressive litigation, or a mixture of both.
Speak With a Billings Car Accident Attorney at Ragain & Clark, PC
If you have suffered a herniated disc or any other major injury as a result of an auto accident in Montana or Wyoming, speak with a Billings car accident attorney at Ragain & Clark, PC. We are experienced trial lawyers with proven results in motor vehicle accident and personal injury cases. Contact us today about your herniated disc or other car accident injury.