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Can a Car Accident Cause Herniated Discs?

The spinal cord is the human body’s messaging system, carrying information from the brain to other parts of the body and enabling it to function properly. The solid bone material of the vertebrae is very effective in protecting the delicate tissues of the spine, but it may not be enough when a person is subjected to the violent impact of a car accident. A common spinal cord injury is herniated discs, which Penn Medicine defines as a disruption of the gel-filled sacs between vertebrae that provide cushioning.

A herniated disc is forced through a gap in the spine, putting pressure on the nerves and spinal cord. The condition can be extremely painful, potentially affecting your ability to work and enjoy your favorite activities. You do have remedies under Pennsylvania law, which allows you to seek compensation for herniated disc injuries after an auto crash. A Philadelphia car accident lawyer can explain your options, but some background about this type of spinal cord injury is useful.

Symptoms of Herniated Discs

Because of the size of the vertebrae and curvature of the spine, a victim is most likely to sustain a herniated or slipped disc in the lower back. Some indications that you suffered a herniated disc include:

  • Pain centered on one side of the body;
  • Sharp, shooting pain up one leg, along with numbness and tingling in certain areas; and,
  • Weakness in the legs and lower extremities.

If you experienced a herniated disc in the upper back, symptoms include pain in the neck and shoulders, radiating pain to the arms and fingers, and numbness.

Treatment for Spinal Cord Injuries

For most slipped disc injuries, rest and remaining immobile will reduce the inflammation and enable the gel-filled sac to fall back into its rightful place between vertebrae. Pain medications and anti-inflammatory drugs will alleviate discomfort during recovery, which could take several weeks.

If you are suffering significant pain from a herniated disc, your doctor may recommend physical therapy to speed recovery and help with range of motion. For severe cases where the damage to the disc is significant, your physician may order surgery to remove the herniated section.

Steps in the Legal Process

To recover compensation for slipped disc injuries, you will need evidence showing that the at-fault motorist caused the accident through unsafe driving. You must also have proof of the losses you suffered because of your herniated disc. You will need this evidence for the following steps:

  • Filing a claim with the at-fault driver’s insurance company;
  • Discussing settlement with the insurer for an out-of-court agreement;
  • Mediation, in which the parties continue settlement discussions with help from a trained mediation professional; and,
  • Going to trial in court.

Discuss Your Rights with a Pennsylvania Car Accident Attorney

If you suffered herniated discs or other injuries in a motor vehicle collision, our team at the Quinn Law Group is prepared to assist with your remedies. To learn about our legal services, please call (215) 360-3666 or go online to set up a complimentary case assessment. A Philadelphia car crash lawyer will advise you on the legal process.