Your spinal column consists of 33 vertebrae separated by semi-soft “discs.” Each disc consists of a softer inner area protected by a tougher outer layer. Together, these discs and vertebrae protect the spinal cord, which is about 17 inches long in adults. The spinal cord transmits information from the brain to the major nerves that extend outward to every part of the human body.
Crashes and Herniated Discs
The sudden impact of a vehicular accident may twist, bend or otherwise contort the spinal column to such a degree that one or more of the discs ruptures. When these types of back injuries happen, some of the softer inner material may escape and protrude into the spinal column. When it presses on nerves, pain or numbness may result.
The oozing of disc material into the spinal column does not always cause pain or other sensations. Also, emergency room X-rays do not typically reveal evidence of these ruptured or herniated discs.
Since the interaction between a herniated disc and nearby nerves may not become apparent for days or even weeks, a correct diagnosis is sometimes delayed. As a result, insurance companies may sometimes insist the nerve pain or numbness is not the result of the crash, and they may refuse to pay for necessary surgery or other medical treatment.
Therefore, it may help to enlist the services of an attorney familiar with back injuries in crashes. When a disc injury requires medical treatment, it is important for the accident victim to get compensation for medical expenses and possibly for pain and suffering. In more severe cases, victims often deserve further compensation for permanent limitations they may suffer.
If you or a family member is a victim of an accident, we make it possible for you to speak with an attorney at no cost to you. To arrange for this complimentary consultation, or to ask your questions, please contact us today.