Your spine consists of an array of bones (vertebrae) cushioned by rubbery discs wedged between them. When a disc becomes ruptured, fluids leak out and deplete the cushion, putting pressure on the nerves in the spine. This syndrome, known as a herniated disc or “slipped disc,” can be the result of physical trauma or excessive strain to the back, such as what can happen in a serious car accident. It can also arise from lifting heavy objects or turning and twisting the upper body excessively.
Because the spinal column houses nerves that transmit signals between the brain and the lower parts of your body, herniated discs can result in:
- Arm or leg pain
- Muscle weakness
A herniated disc can occur anywhere along the spine, but usually occurs in the neck or lower back.
If you suffered a slipped disk after an accident that was caused by another person’s negligence, that person may be liable for:
- Your medical costs
- Any wages you lost as a result of your condition
- Your pain and suffering
However, the situation is more complicated when a herniated disc results from an auto accident. Because Florida is a no-fault car insurance state, a motorist must resort to his or her own policy to be compensated for injuries arising from a car crash. Coverage limits are usually too low to pay for the full extent of the damages, and pain and suffering are not included.
To sue another driver claimed to be at fault, and to recover damages for pain and suffering, you must show the accident caused a permanent injury, significant and permanent scarring or disfigurement or significant and permanent loss of a bodily function. A slipped disk may qualify under this definition since, even when treated, it can result in permanent pain and limitation of movement.
If you have suffered a herniated disc in an auto accident as a result of someone else’s negligence, you should contact a personal injury attorney to determine if you have grounds for a lawsuit. The attorney, in conjunction with your treating physicians, can determine the extent of your injury and your options for seeking compensation. Even if you are not seriously injured, you may be able to recover your medical costs, loss of wages and other out-of-pocket expenses.
If you or a loved one has suffered a herniated disc in an accident caused by another person, talk to a skilled Florida personal injury attorney about your case. Contact us online to schedule a free consultation at one of our three offices.