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Herniated Disc Injuries From Michigan Car Accidents

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Neck and back pain are common after a car crash; however, the pain can be severe if the car accident’s impact damages the discs within the vertebrae or the small bones in your spinal column. A tear or break of these discs can lead to disc herniation or a bulging disc which can be painful and life-altering.

Medical treatments for disc herniation are extensive, with physical therapy, steroid injections, and surgery to repair the disc. A car accident attorney at Cochran, Kroll & Associates, P.C. can help you file a claim if you have a herniated disc injury case. Contact our law offices for a free consultation to discuss the circumstances of your accident and learn your options for recovering compensation.

What is a Herniated Disc

The spinal column consists of vertebrae that protect nerves that run down your back to form the spinal cord. Discs between your vertebrae cushion the spinal column and allow movement between them, letting you bend and reach objects.

Disc herniation occurs when part or all of the disc is pushed through a weak spot in the spine. The nerve roots or the spinal cord are under pressure from the protruding disc; as a result, causing pain.

Symptoms of a Herniated Disc

The extent of your symptoms depends on the location of the herniation and the pressure it puts on the nerves. Coughing, sneezing, sitting, driving, and bending forward may aggravate the pain from a herniated disc.

The following symptoms can indicate a herniated disc injury, so it’s essential to seek medical attention if you experience them after a collision.

Cervical Herniated Disc

A few symptoms can occur from a slipped disc in the cervical section or the neck part of your spine, including:

  • Neck pain
  • Muscle weakness caused by nerve damage
  • Pain around the shoulders
  • Shooting pain from the arms to the fingers
  • Shoulder, elbow, forearm, or finger numbness

Lumbar Disc Herniation

A slipped disc in the lumbar section or the lower back of your spine can cause back and leg pain. This type of lumbar disc herniation is also called sciatica since it occurs when the disc pushes on the sciatic nerve. You may experience symptoms such as:

  • Hip, leg, or buttock pain and numbness
  • Calf and foot sole pain
  • Leg weakness

How Can I Tell If My Herniated Disc Resulted from the Car Accident?

If you have herniated disc symptoms due to an accident, your healthcare provider will perform a thorough physical examination. They will look at your pain level, muscle strength, walking ability, and ability to feel pinpricks, vibrations, or light touches.

Your provider may order any of the following tests to determine your type of herniated disc:

  • MRI: This test uses radio waves and a strong magnetic field to find the herniated disc and the damaged nerves.
  • C.T. scan: A set of X-rays is stacked to form images of the spinal column and its surrounding structures.
  • Myelogram: An injection of dye into the spinal fluid before a C.T. scan can show pressure on nerves and the spinal cord caused by a herniated disc.
  • Electromyogram (EMG): An EMG test determines which nerves are affected by the herniated disc by inserting small needle electrodes into various muscles.

The test results can help your doctor determine if your herniated disc resulted from the car accident. The doctor can create a treatment plan for your herniated disc injury based on this information.

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Treating a Herniated Disc

Pain medications and steroid injections may help ease muscle pain and swelling around the herniated disc. A physical therapist can help you relieve pressure on your discs with exercises to strengthen your back and abdomen.

If these conservative treatments fail, you may need surgical intervention for your herniated disc injury. Your herniated disc surgery includes one of the following procedures:

  • Laminectomy: A surgeon removes a portion or all the bones to alleviate pressure on the spinal cord and nerves.
  • Discectomy surgery: The procedure involves surgical removal of the herniated portion of the disk.
  • Spinal fusion: For greater stability, the surgeon may fuse the two vertebrae on either side of the disc together after a discectomy or laminectomy.
  • Artificial disc implant: This surgery preserves your range of motion by removing and replacing the damaged disc with an artificial one.

Treatment and recovery time from a herniated disc can hurt your finances and well-being. After back surgery, you may miss a lot of time from work for your recovery. The recovery times from laminectomies and discectomies can vary from 6 weeks to 6 months. You may also need personal assistance around your home and daily tasks.

If you were injured in an auto accident and your back pain is due to a herniated disc, we can help you explore ways to receive compensation for your recovery.

Where Should I File My Auto Insurance Claim & Benefit for a Herniated Disc Injury

Michigan auto law lets you file a claim for benefits through your auto insurance policy’s personal injury protection (PIP coverage). These include:

  • Wage loss benefits covering up to 85% of your wages for the first 3 years after the accident if it weren’t for your accident
  • Replacement and household services of up to $20.00 per day for the first 3 years
  • Medical expenses associated with your treatment, recovery, and rehabilitation within the limits of your PIP
  • Attendant care from a family member, relative, friend, or business associate for up to 56 hours a week

Can I Sue The Other Driver for My Injury After the Accident?

In the aftermath of a car accident, it’s easy to focus on compensation for your injury and financial losses. However, you may also suffer from emotional trauma and stress that can have long-term effects on your life. The pain and suffering you experience as a result of your injuries will be more than just physical. It could also impact your ability to work and earn an income.

You may sue the other driver for pain and suffering compensation for your injury. However, your injury must be severe enough to interfere with a significant body function that restricts your daily activities under Michigan law.

If your medical expenses and loss of wages exceed your PIP limits, then you may recover restitution from the at-fault driver. A Michigan car crash lawyer can help you file a compensation claim with the negligent driver’s insurer. Medical records of your prescriptions, imaging tests, and surgeries can illustrate how a car accident changed your life to the at-fault driver’s insurance company.

How a Michigan Car Accident Lawyer Can Help You After a Herniated Disc Injury

Working with one of the experienced lawyers from Cochran, Kroll & Associates, P.C. can help you maximize your compensation and protect your legal rights. Our senior partner, Eileen Kroll, is an experienced registered nurse who worked in the intensive care unit of a Detroit hospital. Her healthcare background can assist you in understanding how your car accident has caused your herniated disc and the treatments offered to recover from the injury.

Our Michigan lawyers have obtained significant settlements for accident cases involving severe injuries:

  • $1.5 million for a Westland construction worker with a traumatic brain injury
  • $1.4 million for a Livonia pedestrian who sustained a brain injury from a commercial van accident
  • $600,000 for Swartz Creek man with wrist fractures after an accident with a Ford hi-lo

A Michigan Car Accident Attorney Can Help You With Your Herniated Disc Injury Case

After a car accident, sustaining and treating a herniated disc can be painful and traumatic—a knowledgeable auto accident lawyer at Cochran, Kroll, & Associates. P.C. can use their expertise and resources to help you file your claim with your auto insurance company. We gather all your medical records related to your injury and represent your legal interests when pursuing your claim.

Our contingency fee basis means we only get paid if we win your case, so there is no financial risk to you to get started. Call our law firm today at 1-866-MICH-LAW (1-866-642-4529) and schedule your no-obligation, free case evaluation.

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