A common spinal injury you can suffer in a car accident is a herniated disk. A herniated disk can cause chronic pain, weakness, and nerve damage that can limit the ability to work and perform day-to-day activities. If your crash was caused by another driver, our experienced car accident lawyers can help you obtain the compensation that you deserve.
What Is a Herniated Disk?
A person’s spine consists of 33 vertebrae that are separated and cushioned by disks. These disks look similar to a tire or donut. They consist of a hard exterior surface that attaches the vertebrae and a soft gel center.
A herniated disk is also referred to as a slipped or ruptured disk. It becomes herniated when the inner jelly-like substance leaks out through a tear in the exterior. While this is often the result of wear and tear as a person ages, herniated disks can also be caused by a blow to the back or other blunt trauma to the back and spine caused by a car accident.
Symptoms of a Herniated Disk
Herniated disks are most common in the lumbar, or lower, region of the back. However, they can also occur in the neck. For some people, a herniated disk is a minor injury. However, other victims can suffer a serious injury that causes irritation and damage to nearby nerves and other complications. Common symptoms include:
- Pain. If the ruptured disk is in the lumbar region, a person can experience intense pain in the buttocks, thigh, calf, and foot. When a disk herniation is in the neck, the pain would be in the shoulder or arm. A victim can feel intense, shooting pain when he makes simple movements of the spine or coughs.
- Numbness or tingling. Another common symptom is numbness in the body part affected by the injured nerves when the herniated disk presses on them.
- Weakness. The muscles served by the damaged nerves can weaken. This can cause a person to stumble or have difficulty lifting or holding things.
In serious cases, pain and weakening can worsen and make it hard for a person to stand and walk. Other complications can include bowel or bladder problems, permanent weakness, or paralysis.
Did you suffer a herniated disk in a car accident? You may be entitled to compensation for your medical bills, lost wages, and pain and suffering. To learn more about your legal options, call our Norfolk office to schedule a free consultation with our experienced car accident attorneys.