What to Do When a Car Accident Caused a Herniated Disc?

Based on recent studies, car crashes are the leading cause of death in America for people aged 1-54 years old. More than 46,000 people die every year in crashes on US roadways. Car accidents can impact a person’s life in various ways. You could sustain injuries such as broken bones, sprains, bruises, and even spinal injuries. One of the most painful spinal cord injuries caused by car crashes is a herniated disc. Read on to find out what causes a herniated disc and how you can get compensated for it.

What is a Herniated Disc and How Do Vehicular Accidents Cause Spinal Injuries?

Spinal discs are circles of tissue in between the vertebrae of your spinal column. These discs hold your vertebrae together, assist in motion, and act as shock absorbers between your vertebrae. The spinal discs are composed of a tough outer shell that surrounds a liquid center. These discs are like jelly donuts. So, if a disc gets injured as a result of trauma in a car crash, then the center can leak out of the disc. This rupture is called a herniated disc. It’s a serious injury that may cause weakness or even chronic pain.

Do note that herniated injuries are rarely diagnosed in the emergency room after a car accident. Spinal discs are invisible on an x-ray so you need a CT scan or magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) test to be properly diagnosed. Myelography, discography, and electromyography are also used to diagnose compromised discs. Although, medical professionals agree that these diagnostic tests can’t determine the amount of pain a victim is experiencing. There’s no clear-cut correlation between the degree of herniation and the patient’s pain symptoms because of the complex nature of the spinal column and nervous system.

The Most Common Type of Herniated Disc Injury from Car Accidents

The cervical spine, or neck, is the most common location to find a herniated disc as a result of a car crash. In a vehicular accident, most of your body is restrained by the seat belt. Your neck, however, isn’t restrained and can whip backward, forward, or sideways which causes injury. The most commonly injured vertebrae are the C4-C5 and C5-C6 pairs.

If you sustain a C4-C5 injury, then you usually complain of pain or weakness in your shoulders or deltoids. Your C4 and C5 nerves provide motor function to the muscles of your arm and shoulder. A herniated disc in this specific area generally results in nerve root impingement, and if these nerves are compromised, the result is usually muscle weakness. C4-C5 cases have higher value when you have a physically demanding occupation because the injury will impact your ability to work.

On the other hand, a C5-C6 injury typically causes tingling, numbness, and radiating pain down to or near your thumb. You may also suffer from generalized pain, stiffness, and a restricted range of motion. A C5-C6 injury can also cause weakness in your biceps and wrist extensor muscles.

Is A Herniated Disc Injury Difficult To Prove In A Lawsuit?

The answer is no. A herniated disc can be accurately diagnosed through a physical exam or an MRI. Whether the plaintiff has a herniated disc is not disputed in most cases. Typically, the focus is on whether the disc herniation was caused by the car crash or by pre-existing, degenerative medical conditions.

If you or a family member were injured in a car accident, then we can help you get fair compensation. Contact our Morgantown car accident lawyers for a free case evaluation. 304-594-1800

Call us today to find out how we can help you.

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Car Accident Injuries

Jeff Robinette was hired by a young woman who had sustained permanent injuries to her foot due to an auto collision. The insurance company offered such a small amount and dealt with her in such a dismissive manner that the treatment of her case amounted to bad faith on the insurance company’s part. Jeff was able to obtain a substantial settlement which allowed this young woman and her husband to pay medical bills, buy a car and a home, and start building a future together.

Drunk Driver

While driving his car, our client was hit by a drunk driver which injured his shoulder so severely that three surgeries were required. The insurance company haggled over the value of the claim, initially giving a low-ball offer. Jeff Robinette was able to force the insurance company to pay all insurance available for this claim.

Crushed Leg Injury

Imagine having your leg crushed so badly in an accident that you have to undergo two surgeries to insert multiple pins and have a rod hammered into the bone just to stabilize the femur. Unfortunately, the first rod inserted into the bone didn’t accomplish the desired effect, so the rod had to be removed and surgically reinserted. Imagine the great pain, the months of therapy and recovery, and the frustration of knowing you can never return to the type of work you have performed for decades.

Jeff Robinette was able to obtain a great enough settlement to pay this man’s medical bills in their entirety and money enough to start a new business so he could work and live a productive life even with his permanent impairment.


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Jeffery Robinette
Jeffery Robinette
Jeffery Robinette is a West Virginia Personal Injury Lawyer based in Morgantown who represents individuals who have been seriously injured or killed due to motor vehicle collisions or catastrophic workplace accidents.
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