Herniated Disc Injury
Herniated disc injuries can be extremely painful and debilitating injuries. Curran & Desharnais, P.C. has successfully handled many cases involved herniated disc injuries from car accidents, truck accidents, slip & falls, and work related incidents. Below are some of the frequently asked questions about herniated disc cases which provides an overview of these spinal injury cases.What Is a Herniated Disc and What Can Cause a Herniated Disc Injury?
Spinal discs are round cushions located between the vertebrae of the spinal column that act to absorb shock and vibrations between the bones (vertebrae). These spinal discs have a tough but flexible outer layer and have a jelly-like substance in the middle. An example that is frequently used is the jelly doughnut analogy. If a disc is damaged by injury or trauma such as a car accident, the jelly-like material inside the disc may leak out of the disc causing the jelly to come into contact with and aggravate the nerves in the spine, which is very painful.
A herniated disc is usually not immediately diagnosed in the ER after an auto accident because the only diagnostic testing that is usually performed is an X-ray which can only detect damage or injury to bone. Instead, a patient typically needs a magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) test or CT scan in order for a doctor to properly diagnose a disc herniation. Other medical diagnostic tools that are used to diagnose herniated discs may include a discography, or a myelography. Keep in mind that when dealing with medical providers, you sometimes have to be your own advocate. This means that if you are having pain that isn’t getting better you need to request and if necessary demand that your medical provider do more than just take an x-ray, which all too often, is the first thing a medical provider will order.How Much Compensation Can I Recover for a Herniated Disc Injury?
The answer is that it depends on the extent of the injury and the prognosis for recovery. Some herniated disc injuries leave a patient in constant pain for the rest of their lives. These patients often try steroid injections, physical therapy and sometimes surgery and still find themselves living with chronic debilitating pain. If liability can be shown, and there are no known preexisting spinal injuries or pre-accident degenerative disease, the settlement value of these types of cases can be six figures or more. Again, no case is exactly alike and settlement will depend on a variety of factors including, the extent of any ongoing medically supported disability or impairment.Can I Still Receive Compensation If I Had a Preexisting Injury?
Yes. Even if a person has a preexisting herniated disc or some type of degenerative changes and was asymptomatic (without symptoms) before the accident, the injured party may still recover compensation for his or her injury. In Massachusetts, there are specific jury instructions which essentially provide that a defendant must take the plaintiff as he/she finds him. This is sometimes referred to the eggshell rule. This means that if defendant causes an injury that aggravates a preexisting condition he/she can be held liable for the entire injury.
If you have a preexisting injury situation, you and your attorney must be able to clearly show the difference between your problems and treatment before the auto accident and your current condition. If there is no difference in your condition after the accident, your chances of a substantial recovery diminish dramatically. On the other hand, if there is a notable difference in your way of life after the accident that would not have occurred in the absence of the auto accident, your chance of a quality settlement increases dramatically.Call Us Today to Speak with a Skilled Massachusetts Herniated Disc Attorney
For more information about our practice or to schedule a free initial consultation with our office, we invite you to contact us at Curran & Desharnais, P.C. Call us locally at 781-277-3262 to make an appointment.