Many victims of auto accidents suffer physical injuries to their body and in many cases, such injuries can leave long term effects. Sometimes the injuries manifest itself in immediate pain and physical symptoms but in many cases, they show later in time. One type of auto accident injury, where no immediate pain can happen is disc herniation. Our firm handles auto accident cases that caused disc herniation and as a personal injury lawyer, I have to be very careful to examine possible damages without a client reporting any pain if an impact was significant enough.
What is Disc Herniation?
So what is disc herniation? According to Wikipedia, it is a medical condition affecting the spine due to trauma, lifting injuries, or idiopathic causes where a tear in the outer ring of a disc causes the central portion to bulge out beyond the damaged outer ring. When the bulging occurs, often severe pain is caused when it compresses against the nerves around the disc. This type of pain can present itself in electric shock pain, sharp needle pain, or tingling and numbness. The pain also travels down to buttock and legs overtime.
Types of Tests Conducted to find Disc Herniation
MRI – Magnetic resonance imaging is usually done to confirm a diagnosis and to find the location and severity of a herniated disc as the test scans for soft tissue and muscle damages instead of just bones and ligaments.
CT Scan – Computed tomography scan can also take images of herniated discs as well as detailed images of bone structures of the spine. This is often used when a MRI does not provide enough results.
EMG – Electromyogram can be used to diagnose nerve and muscle damages.
No Immediate Pain
If there is a disc herniation case where the bulge is somehow not compressing the nerves enough to cause aforementioned pain and symptoms, a thorough examination must be conducted to exactly pinpoint the bulge to access likelihood of future damages and pain. This is why it is so important that your lawyer takes time to thoroughly conduct physical tests to claim damages in all spectrums.
Patience or Hiring an Attorney Pays Off
Insurance companies will often deny any damages absent clear showing of injuries. If you don’t report pain to your doctor, often x-rays or MRIs will not be focusing on unreported areas and miss the damaged area. Then using incomplete medical reports, insurance companies will cut you short with a low settlement. This is why hiring an attorney becomes critical when your auto accident impact is great enough even without too much immediate pain. Auto accident attorneys understand what a personal injury can do to a person’s life.
Future damages are often ignored by many plaintiffs claiming their damages without hiring an attorney. An incompetent attorney may also overlook this area as one only focuses on visible injuries and pain and suffering derived from that injury in a present tense. What about pain and suffering of the future? Depending on the type of injuries, the future may not be so free from the present damage. Disc herniation is a type of injury that can have lasting impacts in one’s future activities and happiness. According to NY Times Health Guide, pain comes and goes from herniated disc. In fact, my mother suffered a herniated disc at a young age and it caused a great deal of pain and inability to lift things and make income as a restaurateur later in life.
Additionally, all physical hobbies can be negatively affected with a herniated disc. Being physically active may exacerbate the injury and cause pain. Future damages from disc herniation can encompass a great deal of loss of financial opportunities and happiness.