Herniated Disc After A Car Accident
Texas car accident lawyers who fight for slipped disc injury victims’ rights
Car accident injuries can often be very serious. In an instant, you or a loved one might be in severe pain or discomfort due to an injury sustained in a motor vehicle accident. And one of the most painful car accident injuries is a herniated disc.
Sometimes referred to as a bulging disc or slipped disc, a herniated disc from a car accident needs to be taken seriously right from the start. If not diagnosed and treated promptly, a herniated disc can result in painful side effects and long-term medical problems. In addition, injury victims might not get the money they need to help them fully recover.
Our Texas car accident lawyers at Tracey Fox & Walters know all about these important medical and legal issues. That’s because we have dedicated our legal careers to helping people with serious car accident injuries like herniated discs. When you have our Texas legal team on your side, we can fight for the herniated disc car accident settlement you rightfully deserve.
What is a herniated disc?
A herniated disc is a type of spinal cord injury in which the rubber-like cushions (discs) in the spine are torn or ruptured. As a result, the jelly-like center of the disc (called the nucleus) pushes through the outer part of the disc (called the annulus).
Discs in the spine serve as shock absorbers between the bones in the spinal column, which are called vertebrae. When spinal cord discs are damaged, the vertebrae can rub together because there’s less cushioning in between them.
Types of herniated discs
Herniated discs are often divided into two broad categories – incomplete herniation and complete herniation. An incomplete herniation means the disc is only partially torn and damaged. A complete herniation is a more severe type of herniated disc injury and tear.
The four most common types of herniated disc injuries are:
- Disc protrusion – Incomplete herniated disc injury in which a small amount of the nucleus in the spine pushes through the vertebrae. Disc protrusion injuries are also often referred to as a bulging disc, ruptured disc or Stage 1 disc injury.
- Prolapsed disc – A more severe type of incomplete herniated disc injury compared to a disc protrusion, also sometimes referred to as Stage 2 disc injury.
- Disc extrusion – A complete herniated disc injury sometimes called a Stage 3 disc injury. This severe type of disc injury involves the nucleus completely escaping from the disc.
- Sequestered disc – The most severe type of complete herniated disc injury, in which all or part of the nucleus breaks through the annulus and is no longer connected to the disc. A sequestered disc is also often called a Stage 4 disc injury.
This injury is often also called a “slipped disc,” but that’s a misnomer – it is not possible for the entire disc to “slip” out of place.
Location of herniated discs
Medical professionals often describe herniated disc injuries based on the location of the injury. Many herniated disc injuries occur in the lower back, including L5-S1 disc injuries. Also known as the lumbosacral joint, L5-S1 refers to two vertebrae in the lower part of the spine where the lumbar bones and sacral bones meet near the hip.
Herniated disc injuries also often involve other vertebrae in the spine. The spinal column contains 33 bones:
- C1 to C7 (cervical bones in the neck)
- T1 to T12 (thoracic bones in the upper back)
- L1 to L5 (lumbar bones in the lower back)
- S1 to S5 (sacral bones near the base of the spine)
- Tailbone, also known as the coccyx bone
Common herniated disc warning signs?
There are many symptoms associated with herniated disc injuries caused by car accidents. Some of the most common warning signs of a herniated disc injury include:
- Severe pain, especially neck pain or back pain. Where the pain occurs will depend on where the herniated disc injury occurred.
- Pain in the arms, legs or shoulders, especially shooting pain that occurs when moving or standing up.
- Difficulty moving or stiffness in the joints, especially in the lower back.
- Weak muscles that make it difficult to walk or stand up.
- Poor balance or stumbling while walking.
- Numbness or tingling sensation, especially in the neck, lower back, or arms depending on where the herniated disc injury occurred.
How do car accidents cause herniated discs?
The powerful force of a car accident can easily cause a herniated disc injury. Herniated disc car accident injuries are especially common in high-speed collisions between two vehicles. This is especially in true in rear-end accidents that occur at high speed.
Other types of car accidents that often result in herniated disc injuries include:
- Intersection accidents, in which one vehicle T-bones or broadsides another car, often due to the at-fault driver running a red light or not stopping for a stop sign.
- Head-on collisions, which often cause severe spinal cord injuries and neck injuries, including herniated discs.
In each case, one driver acted in a reckless or negligent manner, which caused the collision. When this happens, it’s important for injury victims to fully understand their legal rights. That’s why it’s critical that car accident herniated disc injury victims talk to a lawyer as soon as possible after their car crash.
How much is my herniated disc car accident settlement worth?
Texas has an at-fault car insurance system. This means the at-fault party is legally responsible for financially compensating injury victims for all their accident-related expenses. When it comes to car accident herniated disc injuries, those expenses can quickly add up to thousands of dollars or significantly more. A herniated disc settlement should account for all of your expenses, including but not limited to:
- Emergency medical care immediately after car accident.
- Ambulance fees
- Overnight hospital fees.
- Medical tests to diagnose a herniated disc injury, including X-Rays, MRIs, CT-Scans and myelogram tests.
- Surgical procedures in cases of severe herniated disc injuries.
- Physical therapy designed to improve strength and relieve pain.
- Medical equipment, such as a wheelchair, walker, or cane.
- The cost of repairing your car or buying a new one if it’s a total loss.
- Replacement income if you cannot work while you’re resting at home after your car accident.
- Lost future income if you cannot perform the same job in the future or can only work in a reduced capacity due to your herniated disc injury.
Get a Texas car accident attorney who gets results. Contact us
Car accident injury claims often quickly turn into complicated legal cases. That’s because there’s often a lot of money at stake. And rather than paying injury victims the money they rightfully deserve, the at-fault driver’s insurance company often does everything they can to reduce or deny injury claims.
Our dedicated legal team at Tracey Fox & Walters can demand the compensation you rightfully deserve. Our Texas car accident lawyers know how to investigate accidents and gather evidence in support of injury claims. We’re not afraid of insurance companies and know how to negotiate effectively with them. And if they refuse to cooperate, we won’t hesitate to file a car accident herniated disc lawsuit on your behalf.
Get the Texas law firm that gets results. Contact us and schedule a free case evaluation with an experienced Texas car accident attorney you can count on in a crisis. We have offices conveniently located in Houston, Dallas, and San Antonio.