One of the most common injury-types our personal injury clients sustain is a herniated disc. And unless you have ever been diagnosed with a herniated disc, it is likely you are unfamiliar with how exactly the injury occurs and what effects it can have on a person’s overall health and ability to carry out everyday tasks.
In short, a herniated disc is much more than “just back pain.”
Below, we take a closer look at herniated discs; the common types of accidents that cause these injuries; the importance of being seen for a back injury, and why the Boulton Law Group is repeatedly hired to represent victims for this particular type of claim.
What is a herniated disc?
Each of our spines contain 33 discs, often referred to as vertebrae. The vertebrae are further divided into the cervical vertebrae. These vertebrae run the length of the spine from your head to your lower back, and in between each is a rubbery disc that acts as a type of cushion, or shock absorber.
Each of these rubbery discs contain an outer section, known as the anulus fibrosus, and an inner section, known as the nucleus pulposus.
When a person’s back is exposed to great amounts of force or energy, such as happens in a car accident, the anulus fibrosus can rupture or tear, causing the nucleus pulposus to stick out, exposing the spine’s nerve tissues:
Depending on the choice of terms, you may also hear someone say they have a “slipped disc,” “bulging disc,” or “ruptured disc.” These terms are used interchangeably and are the same thing as a herniated disc.
The amount of pain caused by a herniated disc varies greatly from person to person. In some instances, the pain can be so bad as to leave a person virtually bed ridden. In fact, we have witnessed car accident victims experience a total loss of motor function and/or sense of balance as a result of a disc injury.
In most cases, the severity and location of a person’s will correlate with the location of the ruptured disc. An accident victim who suffers a slipped disc in their neck may report pain or other symptoms in their outer extremities, such as their arms or legs. It is also common for slipped discs in the upper part of your vertebrae to result in shoulder pain.
A bulging disc that occurs near the bottom of the spine may leave a person complaining of pain in one or both of their calves, thighs, and/or buttocks.
Accidents that cause herniated discs
In addition to the general wear and tear on the body that occurs with aging, there are a number personal injury accidents that can cause herniated discs. The majority of our clients with this injury sustain it as a result of one of the following incidents:
Auto accidents – Whether it is a car accident, small truck, or semi-truck collision, the sheer force and whip-like motion of the body combined with a sudden start and stop, can easily damage one or multiple discs in a person’s vertebrae.
We often talk to clients who have suffered a ruptured disc after being rear-ended, which typically occurs at a stop light or in stopped traffic on an interstate.
Motorcycle accidents – Not surprisingly, motorcyclists face great exposure when they are involved in an accident. Because riders are often thrown from their vehicle, their body can be contorted in any number of positions, causing the back to absorb large amounts of energy from various twisting and turning.
The end result can easily leave injured motorcyclists with herniated discs.
Pedestrian accidents – Similar to motorcyclists, the vulnerability of a pedestrian increases the likelihood that they may sustain a ruptured disc, among many other injuries, especially if they are struck by an automobile.
Slip and fall – We have talked to many people who sustained a bulging disc after they experienced slip and fall. Often times, these accidents occur in a grocery store aisle where a spill has occurred, on an icy sidewalk, or in a poorly maintained parking lot.
Work accidents – Our office has also witnessed several ruptured disc cases that occurred on the job, either due to a single incident or years of repetitive motion and strain.
A large number of these types of cases involve clients who have physically demanding jobs, such as construction work, landscaping, law enforcement, emergency first response personnel, or nurses and other hospital workers who regularly lift patients.
Nursing home fall – Falls in nursing homes can be especially worrisome because the patient is typically of advanced age, leaving them susceptible to a number of serious injuries, including herniated discs.
Visiting with a doctor after your back injury
Ultimately, no matter what type of accident has left you with a back injury, it is critical that you be seen by an emergency room doctor or visit with your primary care physician so that they can properly diagnose your condition.
Insurance companies may try to claim that herniated discs appear immediately following an accident, but the truth is these injuries may not present themselves until weeks or months after your accident.
Having documentation of medical treatment will greatly improve your chances of being properly compensated once it is time for your attorney to make a demand on your behalf.
Talk to an experienced Indianapolis personal injury lawyer
Attorney Matt Boulton is an award-winning Indianapolis personal injury attorney with more than 20 years’ experience helping injured Hoosiers across the state. His track-record of success and unique approach to creating client happiness has made attorney Boulton one of the state’s most sought after attorneys.
Boulton Law Group and its staff regularly speak to injured victims who have sustained a herniated disc as a result of their accident. We understand the seriousness of your condition and how it may be affecting you. Our experience with herniated disc lawsuits helps to ensure you receive fair and full compensation from the insurance company.
We offer every accident victim a Zero Fee Guarantee. This means that you will never be charged a consultation fee and there is never a charge for our legal services until we win your case.
To speak with attorney Boulton about your herniated disc case, call direct at 317-350-2680. Or if you prefer to write to us with the details of your potential claim, use our free, confidential contact form.
Attorney Matt Boulton is an award-winning personal injury attorney with more than 20 years of experience helping seriously injured people throughout Indiana reclaim what was taken from them. His firm was created for for the client who expects exceptional service and passionate, successful legal representation.