Why is a herniated disc common in a car accident?
Car crashes involve strong forces acting on the body. A person’s body can strike parts of the car, such as the windshield, steering column, seat, door, or dashboard. These forces and impacts can strain the discs, causing them to tear. Herniated discs can also occur with whiplash (rapid back-and-forth neck movements similar to a whip cracking), which is common in car accidents in Michigan.
What is a herniated disc?
A herniated disc is an injury to the spine. There are a series of bones (vertebrae) in the spine. They run from the base of your skull to your pelvis. Between the vertebrae are round cushions called discs. They act as shock absorbers for the vertebrae. When one of these discs tears and leaks disc material, it’s called a herniated disc. It looks like this:
A herniated disc is sometimes called a slipped, ruptured, or bulging disc.
Herniated discs often cause back pain or tingling and numbness in the arms, hands, legs, or feet.
What causes a herniated disc?
Discs have soft gel centers and firmer outer layers, like a jelly doughnut. The outer layers can weaken and crack over time or tear suddenly from specific events, like a car accident. A herniated disc happens when the inner “jelly” substance pushes through the crack or tear.
How is a herniated disc treated?
Treatment for a herniated disc may include medication, physical therapy, spinal injections, or surgery.
What should I do if I was in a car accident and suffered a herniated disc?
Seek medical attention
A herniated disc is a serious injury. Seek medical attention to confirm you have a herniated disc, learn treatment options, and prevent possible complications, such as a pinched nerve in your spine. A pinched nerve is when the jelly substance pushes through the crack or tear and puts pressure on a nearby nerve. It often causes pain in the legs and feet for a herniation in the low back and pain in the arms and hands for a herniation in the neck.
A herniated disc is usually diagnosed by MRI, a medical test that takes pictures of your spine. If you have a herniated disc from a car accident, your primary care physician may refer you to a specialist, such as a surgeon for additional treatment.
Seeking medical attention makes it more difficult for the insurance company to argue your herniated disc was caused by something other than the crash. Insurance companies try to avoid paying for crash injuries by arguing they were caused by something else, such as a lifting event, fall, or aging. Limit their ability to do this by immediately seeking medical attention and telling your medical provider about the crash.
Talk to an attorney
Insurance companies act quickly to minimize their financial responsibility after a crash. For example, they often take recorded statements of accident victims to try to obtain information to minimize the value of their claims. Talk with an experienced MI car accident attorney so you know the tactics insurance companies use. Information puts you in control. Talk to an attorney as soon as possible after a crash to protect you and your family.
Apply for Michigan no-fault benefits
If you were in a Michigan car accident, and another driver was at fault, you likely have at least two claims (1) a Michigan no-fault claim and (2) a negligence claim. A Michigan no-fault claim typically pays for your medical bills and wage loss and a negligence claim pays for your pain and suffering. To obtain no-fault benefits, you must submit an application for no-fault benefits to the correct insurance company within a year of the crash. Talk to an attorney to identify the correct insurance company. In your application, list herniated disc where it asks about crash injuries. The earlier you can document the relationship between the crash and your herniated disc, the better chance you have of the insurance company paying for treatment for your herniated disc.
Do I have a legal claim if I have a herniated disc from a car accident?
Yes. You likely have a Michigan no-fault claim and one or more pain and suffering claims. A herniated disc is a serious injury. If you have a herniated disc, it is likely to have a significant impact on your life. If another driver was at fault for the crash, you likely have multiple, valuable legal claims. Talk with a Michigan injury attorney to better understand your rights and the value of your claims.
If you were in a car crash, call or contact Conybeare Law Office now
A car accident is a scary, painful, and traumatic experience. It can be difficult to know who to talk to after a crash, but having an experienced Michigan car accident attorney can help alleviate the stress and uncertainty that comes after an accident. The knowledgeable accident attorneys at Conybeare Law Office will help you understand your rights so you are in control, and they will fight to get you the money you deserve. To learn more about the legal services offered to our Michigan car accident clients, talk to our office today. Conybeare Law Office has offices in Saint Joseph and Kalamazoo, Michigan, and serves all of southwest Michigan and beyond. Call or contact us for a free consultation. We look forward to talking to you. Remember, if it’s not fair, call the bear.