Car accidents can result in a wide range of injuries, with some being a lot more serious than others. Depending on the severity of the car crash, victims can suffer from bulging discs, which can lead to a lot of problems if left untreated.
However, even though victims have been injured to the point of requiring medical treatment, they may still face an uphill battle to recover damages in a personal injury lawsuit. The most common hurdle is that defense teams will try to undermine the severity of the bulging disc injury, which may result in victims receiving less compensation than they deserve. Schuerger Shunnarah Trial Attorneys can also answer questions like Whose fault is it if a self driving car hits a pedestrian?
This is why hiring a good lawyer is the right move for car accident victims seeking compensation in a bulging disc case. As long as the medical records show that the victims were injured in the accident that was not their fault, Schuerger Shunnarah Trial Attorneys will fight until they receive the compensation they deserve. They will also help you navigate minor injuries from car accident.
Is a Bulging Disc the Same As a Herniated Disc?
With so many similarities between the two types of back injuries, it is often difficult to tell whether a victim is suffering from a bulging or herniated disc injury. Most medical professionals agree that a bulging disc injury occurs when a disc along the backbone moves by less than 50% of the circumference of the disk.
In contrast, a herniated disc occurs when the disc herniation is more than 50% of the circumference of the disk. Judging from these definitions, herniated discs seem a lot more serious than bulging disc injuries.
This slight difference is what insurance companies and their lawyers will try to exploit because they know that there can be huge variations in the settlement value of either of these back injuries.
However, because both back injuries are very close to the spinal cord and lumbar spine, they need to be taken very seriously. In addition, a proper examination and diagnostic tests, such as magnetic resonance imaging, are required before any conclusions can be made regarding the severity of the injury.
Common symptoms that may point to a bulging disc injury are:
Pain in the neck and arms
Restricted range of motion in the neck
Whiplash, immobility, and inflammation
Pain when moving
Pain in the shoulders
Weakness in your arms and fingers
Pain in the chest
Numbness in your arms and fingers
Victims who experience any of these symptoms after a car accident need to seek medical attention as soon as possible.
Does a Bulging Disc Injury Require Physical Therapy?
With both bulging discs and herniated discs, the symptoms can go away on their own after some time. The victim's body will recognize the material that is sticking out as foreign and take steps to destroy it using the immune system. Over time, this will decrease the size and inflammation around the injury.
Bulging discs are filled with water, so this water will be reabsorbed by the body over time. When enough water has been reabsorbed by the body, the disk will reduce in size until it is small enough to be retracted back into position.
However, it is also common for doctors to recommend some kind of physical therapy to aid the healing process. This is because it is believed that some types of exercises can increase the victim's strength during the recovery process.
With most bulging disc injuries, treatment options include relaxing the injured muscle, taking pain medications, and avoiding any painful movement. In severe cases, cortisone injections can be administered directly to the injured disc area.
When dealing with severe pain associated with a bulging disc, doctors may prescribe opioids to the patient, but this carries a significant risk of addiction, so it is used as a last resort measure.
What Happens If a Bulging Disc Goes Untreated?
While many patients will see their symptoms disappear without any treatment, there are some cases where the injury is severe enough to cause permanent damage to the nerves close to the bulging disc. There have been cases whereby the nerve impulses to the cauda equina nerves have been cut off, leading to victims losing bowel or bladder control.
Such complications are very rare, but it does not mean it is wise to leave a bulging disc untreated. If complications do occur, they are likely to be serious. Also, victims have no way of knowing whether they are suffering from a bulging disc or herniated disc injury without consulting a doctor first.
Why Defense Lawyers Downplay a Bulging Disc Injury
Most Nashville automobile accident attorneys will argue that a bulging disc is not a serious injury, especially when compared to a herniated disc or other spinal cord injuries that affect the spinal column. This argument is often supported by the fact that bulging and herniated discs can occur due to a wide range of activities that have nothing to do with a car accident.
In some cases, the defense team can even bring forward its own experts who will argue that a bulging disc is part of the natural aging process and that the victim did not get a bulging disc from a car accident.
However, a good lawyer can dispute such arguments by pointing out that the bulging disc injury is the source of the victim's pain and suffering, which means they need to be compensated for their medical bills, lost wages, and other losses.
The Settlement Value of Bulging Disc Injuries
Compared to other cervical spine injuries caused by car accidents, bulging disc injuries are not worth as much in terms of compensation. The average settlement for a bulging disc injury is worth around $140,000, which is far less than the $400,000 that victims with a herniated disc are entitled to.
However, a bulging disc injury worth thousands of dollars is still something and will at least give the victims some compensation for the chronic pain they may be suffering from.
Can Attorneys Help Victims Suffering From Bulging Discs?
The final settlement amount for bulging disc compensation depends on a variety of factors, such as the victim's age, medical history, and credibility. A good lawyer can fight for victims in bulging disc cases and make sure that the insurance company pays.
Victims can call Schuerger Shunnarah Trial Attorneys and schedule a free consultation.