After receiving medical care for a car accident injury, the possibility of getting compensation will be the next thing on your mind. If you suffered a herniated disc, the stakes are high. Thankfully, a competent Douglasville car accident lawyer will help you avoid the despair of losing out on your compensation.
What is a herniated disc and what are your chances of getting compensated, and how much can you recover in a car accident lawsuit or settlement? This article answers all these questions.
What Is a Herniated Disc? A Douglasville Car Accident Attorney Explains
A herniated disc results from the protrusion or slipping out of the disc’s nucleus in the backbone. Herniated discs, also called slipped discs or bulging discs, are common in the lower back but also affect the spine’s neck and middle back regions.
The backbone or vertebrae consists of several bones stacked on one another to protect the spinal cord. These bones are separated from each other by discs. These discs are flat pad-like cushions made up of a soft elastic core called the nucleus pulposus.
The nucleus pulposus is in the disc and protected by a strong outer membrane called the annulus fibrosus. The disc herniates when the nucleus pulposus swells and bulges through the outer membrane. This bulge will then touch and exert pressure on the surrounding nerves and release chemicals to irritate them.
Symptoms of a Herniated Disc Injury
The following are symptoms of a herniated disc injury:
Pain is a common sign of slipped disc injuries. An injured person may experience pain, like a needle piercing their back, neck, rib cage, arms, or legs. If the wound happens in the lower back, the injured person will experience pain in their buttocks, thighs, and calves.
Herniated disc injury can also cause stiffness in the legs. The legs become physically inactive for some time.
Numbness and Tingling
The arms and legs can also experience numbness and tingling. This occurs when the slipped disc rests on any part of the spinal cord or some of its associated nerves.
Weakness of the Muscles
Any muscle affected by the herniated disc won’t remain the same. Such muscles become weak, causing the injured person difficulty walking or standing correctly.
Is a Herniated Disc a Permanent Injury?
Although herniated disc injuries are among the most common severe car accident injuries, not all of them are permanent. It all depends on which disc has been affected and how it impacts your mobility.
Typically, if only one or two discs are herniated, you can avoid surgery. You may need to see a chiropractor or physical therapist. In fact, you may need treatment off and on for months. However, very rarely would a herniated disc lead to a permanent disability.
In the off chance that it cause a permanent disability, you will need future medical care. Your Douglasville, GA personal injury lawyer will demand compensation for any medical treatment you’ll need going forward.
What Damages Can I Claim in a Car Accident Lawsuit?
There are several types of damages crash victims with a herniated disc can recover in a car accident lawsuit. The compensation depends on the severity of your injury and your financial losses.
Current and Future Medical Expenses
Whether permanent or not, any herniated disc injury attracts substantial expenses. From the diagnostic stage to treatment and rehabilitation, injured persons will require lots of money to get the best care. For example, to diagnose a herniated disc, MRI scans are necessary alongside X-rays and CT scans.
Also, you may opt for surgery, chiropractic care, plus pain-relieving medications to help you recover. All these could cost a fortune. When you file for current and future medical expenses, you ask for a refund of what you have spent and what you are expected to spend on medical bills in the future.
A typical herniated disc injury could keep you from work for weeks, months, or even years. Lost wages help you recover all the pay you have missed out on during this period.
Reduced Earning Potential
A herniated disc injury that leads to a disability can lower your work capability and, consequently, your earning ability. You will get compensation when your future earning ability reduces due to your injury.
Pain and Suffering
Physical and emotional anguish that comes with a herniated disc injury falls under pain and suffering. Besides financial losses, the shortening of life, depression, and loss of enjoyment of life are some of the fallout of the injury. The court will award an amount to compensate for these.
Punitive damages aim to punish the at-fault driver for reckless conduct leading to the accident. In many accident cases where punitive damages are awarded, the at-fault driver was drunk.
What’s the Deadline for Filing a Car Accident Lawsuit?
Georgia has a two-year Statute of Limitations for injuries from auto accidents. This means you typically have up to two years from the day of the accident to file a lawsuit against the at-fault driver. It is best to take action immediately because the Statute of Limitations forbids you from suing the responsible party after two years.
However, there are a few exceptions to the Statute of Limitations. The Statute of Limitations for injured persons under 18 will only begin on their 18th birthday. There are also extensions for mentally impaired victims.
Hire an Experienced Douglasville, GA, Personal Injury Lawyer
Are you in need of an experienced herniated disc injury lawyer? At Hartley, Rowe & Fowler, we have a team of Douglasville, GA, personal injury lawyers dedicated to fighting for accident victims. We appreciate the uniqueness of each case and treat all clients with compassion.
Our team works on a contingency fee basis, so you don’t have to worry about upfront fees. Contact us today to schedule your free initial consultation.