What Is a Bulging/Herniated Disc?
The human spine comprises 33 vertebrae separated by intervertebral discs. According to the American Association of Neurological Surgeons, herniated/bulging disc occurs when a part of these discs slips out of place and into the spinal canal. Consequently, the disc will press against the spinal nerves, causing moderate to severe pain, which can become chronic and disabling.
Since the spinal column acts as a switchboard for nerves linking different body systems, a herniated disc can create difficulties for other organs. For instance, some patients with herniated disc experience bladder and bowel problems. Although a disc can slip out anywhere in the spinal column, it mostly happens in the lower back, and the location of the bulging disc determines where the pain will occur.
Symptoms of Herniated Disc
Like many spinal injuries, disc herniation symptoms are not always noticeable immediately after you suffer an injury.
They often occur after a while, and may include:
- Pain in the legs if the disc herniation is in the lower back. In this case, the pain will be localized in the legs.
- General weakness, especially in severe cases where the herniated discs weaken the muscles and affect your ability to hold, carry, or lift items.
- Pain in the arms, especially if the herniation is in the neck area. If that’s the case, the pain will be concentrated in the arms and shoulders.
- Tingling and numbness.
Generally, herniated disc symptoms occur where the bulging disc is and the exact location where it presses on a nerve.
Herniated Discs Involve More Than Back Pain
The impacts of herniated discs often spread beyond the affected region in the spinal column to the nearby nerves. A case in point is when the disc herniation causes sciatica, a debilitating pain that moves through the buttocks, down the legs to the ankles and feet. It happens when a herniated disc exerts pressure on the sciatic nerves, causing pain.
In rare cases, the bulging discs can press against the cauda equina, a group of long nerve roots below the waist, causing cauda equina syndrome. The condition may require emergency surgery to alleviate pressure on the nerve roots and prevent permanent paralysis, weakened bowel and bladder control, low sexual sensation, and other issues.
Causes of Disc Herniation
As you age, your vertebral discs and ligaments between the vertebrae degenerate naturally, resulting in disc herniation. Nonetheless, even healthy individuals have disc herniation from repetitive strenuous activities, heavy lifting, and impact trauma.
Common causes of disc herniation among healthy individuals include:
- The force from traumatic events such as car crashes and slip and fall accidents.
- Repeated heavy lifting at work, leading to unnecessary back strain.
- Sporting activities, more so those that involve physical contact.
Disc herniation often occurs gradually due to years of performing strenuous tasks. Heavy lifting at work is an excellent example of this gradual herniation. Likewise, a sudden strain resulting from force trauma can cause immediate disc herniation.
When Traffic Accidents Cause Disc Herniation
Your body will undergo considerable trauma if you get involved in a sideswipe T-bone collision, a front-end impact, a rear-end crash, or any other crash. The subsequent trauma can push, herniate, bulge, or even rupture the discs between your vertebrae. Besides disc herniation, the impact of such accidents can result in attendant chronic pain.
You may be eligible for compensation if another party’s negligence leaves you with a herniated disc. In the best interest of your health and finances, you may pursue a personal injury claim against the at-fault party(s). The herniated or bulging disc attorneys at the law firm of Rosenberg & Gluck LLP can help you recover the compensation that’s rightfully yours.
Herniated Disc on the Job
You’re likely to suffer disc herniation if your work involves unsafe tasks such as heavy lifting. This is common when the work involves repetitive lifting, which wears away the discs gradually, causing them to bulge.
Your ability to work will undoubtedly be affected when the discs bulge. As a result, your earning capacity and career trajectory may suffer. Pursuing compensation for your losses and damages can help you seek quality treatment, besides securing your financial future.
Treatment for Bulging/Herniated Disc
Although a herniated disc can heal naturally with extended rest and moderate movement, it’s best to seek medical treatment. That’s particularly true if you plan to file a compensation claim. Early treatment can help identify the cause of your disc herniation and rule out other related injuries.
Treatment for bulging discs primarily involves physical examinations and diagnostic testing to rule out other spinal injuries. X-rays and MRI scans are often done to identify the exact location of the herniation.
Physical therapy, chiropractic care, pain medication, surgery, and other treatments will be prescribed if the condition gets diagnosed. These interventions are often expensive and can force you to be out of work for a while, thus the need to seek compensation and recover your damages.
Why It’s Essential to Seek Proper Medical Care
If you get involved in a car accident that results in disc herniation, the chances are that you won’t experience immediate symptoms. In such situations, victims often experience shock or adrenalin, which can mask their injury and pain.
For this reason, you should seek immediate medical attention even if you think you didn’t get injured. If disc herniation arises, the medical report can help link your injury to the accident and will be a critical piece of evidence as you pursue compensation.
Can Treatment Worsen Disc Herniation?
There are multiple treatments for disc herniation. Doctors often perform fusion surgery or laminectomy to correct the most severe cases. Laminectomy is a procedure that involves removing the section of the vertebrae covering the spinal column, while fusion surgery involves fusing two or more vertebrae.
The surgical procedures should only be considered if alternative treatments can’t correct the disc herniation. Nonetheless, it’s common for these interventions to worsen the conditions they intended to address. This may result in spinal column infections, bladder and bowel incontinence, and nerve root damage.
If a physician’s negligence during herniated disc treatment worsens the condition, they can be held liable for their actions. The Long Island bulging and herniated disc attorneys at Rosenberg & Gluck LLP can help recover damages from both the negligent physician and the individuals who caused the disc herniation in the first place.
Herniated/Bulging Disc Claims
As with other personal injury claims, linking your herniated/bulging disc to the alleged cause of the condition can affirm your claim. Insurance companies and the at-fault party will try to claim and prove that they’re not responsible for your herniated or bulging discs. Thus, it’s best to have a water-tight claim that guarantees compensation for your damages and losses.
A major mistake to avoid is thinking that treatment is unnecessary. Contrary to what you may think, getting treated helps to link the disc herniation to the accident you suffered or other suspected causes of the condition. Without a medical report, the insurance company may argue that your disc herniation may have been caused by something else other than what you allege.
How Do I Know I Have a Valid Claim?
You may file a herniated disc injury claim if you got injured in an accident due to an unsafe condition at work or where you live or a motor vehicle collision that resulted from someone’s negligence. The negligent actions of another party that results in a herniated disc injury make them responsible for your damages and losses.
If you suffer this injury, it’s best to consult an attorney to help pinpoint the at-fault party and hold them liable. Hiring a skilled Long Island herniated and bulging disc attorney will allow you to focus on your treatment as they pursue compensation on your behalf.
Herniated disc cases aren’t always difficult to prove. It’s often easy to accurately diagnose the condition through an MRI or a physical examination. Whether the claimant has the condition or not rarely gets disputed since the focus is often on whether the herniation resulted from degenerative or pre-existing conditions or the alleged incident.
What Impacts the Value of Settlements in Herniated Disc Cases?
The severity of your disc herniation and the treatment required can affect the value of the settlement or award. Generally, the higher the treatment level, the more your settlement will be. Your age and the existence of previous back issues can also play a role in determining how much compensation you can receive. Younger plaintiffs with no history of degenerative back and spinal problems tend to receive higher settlements.
Recoverable Damages in Long Island Bulging Disc Claims
The damages for herniated injury claims in Long Island often fall into two categories.
- Economic Damages. These cover lost wages, treatment costs, expected care, and reduced/lost earning capacity. Damaged property requiring repair or replacement can also be part of economic damages.
- Non-Economic Damages. These compensate you for the pain, suffering, and emotional distress related to your herniated disc injury. Non-economic damages may include compensation for disfigurement, loss of consortium, or disability caused by the injury.
The attorneys at Rosenberg & Gluck LLP in Long Island can identify the damages to pursue and help ensure you are maximally compensated for your losses and injuries.
Seek Skilled Herniated Disc Legal Help
There’s no better way to get compensated for your medical bills, lost future income, pain and suffering, and lost wages than seeking help from Long Island attorneys experienced in handling herniated disc cases. At Rosenberg & Gluck LLP, we have decades of experience helping clients suffering from herniation caused by other people’s negligence to recover compensation.
What’s how much compensation should I expect?
It’s hard to put a figure on your claim because the compensation you’ll receive depends on the facts of your case and the severity of your condition. A skilled lawyer from Rosenberg & Gluck LLP can help recover the maximum compensation payable.
Is disc herniation a disability?
Disc herniation isn’t a disability per se. Nonetheless, if it results in long-lasting pain and limitation, it could qualify as a disabling injury.
How do I prove a herniated disc?
A medical diagnosis by a qualified physician or an MRI scan is all you need to prove the condition, the location of the bulging/herniated discs, and the affected nerves.
Why Choose Us?
The law firm of Rosenberg & Gluck LLP can handle work-related and accident-related herniated injury claims and those related to medical negligence. Our team also helps with third-party claims, workers’ compensation, Social Security Disability claims, and other sources of compensation.
We understand just how debilitating herniated or bulging disc injuries can be, which is why we’re committed to ensuring you receive the justice you deserve. Our attorneys boast over 100 years of combined knowledge and experience. Although the desired results are not guaranteed, we always fight to secure the best possible outcome for our clients.
If you or a loved one has a bulging or herniated disc caused by someone else’s negligence, take advantage of our free case consultation to discuss your injury and claim with our aggressive attorneys.