Herniated Disc Injury After a Houston Car Accident
Our attorneys will fight to help you recover compensation
A herniated disc is a common car accident injury that can leave people in pain. Medical expenses for diagnosis and treatment can add up quickly and become overwhelming. All you want is to get better and receive the financial compensation you deserve for this back injury. But the legal process can be complicated and frustrating.
That’s why you need an experienced Houston lawyer who knows how to get results. The attorneys at Smith & Hassler have been fighting for the injured for decades. They understand the impact a herniated disc can have on the lives of victims. And they are determined to help clients recover maximum compensation.
A herniated disc injury after a car accident can be very serious. Your official diagnosis may be an “L5 S1 disc herniation” or similar. What does that mean?
What is a herniated disc injury?
The spine is made up of bones called vertebrae that are stacked up on top of each other. There are five sections in the spinal column:
- Cervical (five bones labeled C1 to C7)
- Thoracic (twelve bones labeled T1 to T12)
- Lumbar (five bones labeled L1-L5)
- Sacrum (five bones fused together, labeled S1 to S5)
- Coccyx (three to five bones fused together to form the tailbone)
There is a disc between each vertebra that is made of cartilage, with a thick and rubbery outer layer and a jelly-like material inside. These discs allow the spinal column to be flexible and function as shock absorbers. A herniated disc is a tear or rupture in one of the discs.
Can a car accident cause disc herniation? Easily. There is a tremendous amount of force on the back during a collision. This can result in a tear in the disc and the jelly-like material inside leaks out. This injury is also sometimes referred to as a ruptured disc, slipped disc, bulging disc, or torn disc.
A herniated disc can occur anywhere along the spinal column, from the neck area to the lower back. It is also possible for more than one disc to be affected. The symptoms of a herniated disc include pain, numbness, tingling, and weakness.
Diagnosis and treatment of a herniated disc after a car accident
It can be difficult to diagnose a herniated disc injury. You may need imaging tests such as an X-ray, CT scan, or MRI. A doctor may order a myelogram, in which a special dye is injected into the spinal fluid before an X-ray is taken. Another diagnostic test that may be used is an electromyogram (EMG) to measure electrical activity in response to nerve stimulation.
Treatment for a herniated disc can depend on many different factors, including the severity of your injury. It may include rest, prescription or over-the-counter pain medication, epidural cortisone injections, and physical therapy. If the injury is severe, surgery may be needed, such as:
- Laminectomy – Part of the vertebra near the herniated disc is removed or trimmed to allow more space for spinal nerves.
- Microdiscectomy – Part of the herniated disc that is causing pain is removed.
- Artificial disc replacement – The disc is replaced with an artificial disc.
- Fusion surgery – Two or more vertebrae are fused together.
A herniated disc injury can impact your life physically and financially. You may not be able to work because of your back pain or take part in your usual activities. This type of injury can make it much more difficult for you to bend down, lift objects, pull or push. While there is treatment for a herniated disc, medical expenses can become overwhelming. This can lead to financial stress.
Get experienced legal representation on your side
If a negligent driver caused the crash that left you hurt, you shouldn’t have to pay for your medical bills and other losses. But the negligent driver in your accident may deny doing anything wrong – even if that driver was clearly speeding, texting, or being reckless on the road. An insurance company may try to minimize your injury and the effect it has had on your life, just so they can pay you less.
We think you deserve better. Our legal team can investigate your crash to get the facts about what really happened. We carefully review accident reports and medical records. We interview witnesses and, if needed, consult accident reconstruction experts. Our lawyers build strong cases that insurance companies have to take seriously.
This type of injury can have many names – a herniated disc in the back, a bulging disc in the neck, an L5-S1 disc herniation, or a slipped disc. Whatever the name, you deserve compensation. Our lawyers will fight to help you recover a herniated disc settlement after a car accident, or take your case to court. Contact us today for a free consultation.