Your back comprises small bones called vertebrae, which run up and down the length of your spine. Between each of these vertebrae are small discs, which act as a cushion that allow the bones to move smoothly and keeps them from rubbing together. Cervical discs are those specifically found in the upper back and neck. When a car accident occurs, these discs are one of the areas most vulnerable to injuries.
At Shapiro & Appleton, our NC and VA car accident lawyers have been representing people suffering these types of injuries for more than three decades. We know that even a relatively minor crash or collision can cause serious damage to these discs. As a result, you may be unable to work or engage in your usual hobbies and activities. Cervical herniated disc injuries can also leave you in chronic pain and often require ongoing medical care. When you suffer these injuries in a car accidents caused by the reckless or negligent actions of another driver, it is important to be aware of your legal rights in filing a claim.
Symptoms of Cervical Herniated Disc Injury
Cervical discs act as a shock absorber for the upper back and neck. When they become herniated, they may rupture or slip out of place. This can impact the other joints, muscles, and nerve endings running to and from the spine, causing severe pain and limited mobility. According to the Mayo Clinic, while these injuries can occur due to overuse and strain, one of the most common causes is car accidents. Your doctor can provide a complete diagnosis, but symptoms to look for include the following:
- Radiating or shooting pains in your shoulders, neck, or arms;
- Numbness and tingling in various body parts, such as the hands, legs, or feet;
- Muscle weakness, making it difficult to turn your neck or to lift your arms over your head.
As with any type of soft tissue injury, cervical herniated disc injuries can take long months to heal. They are easily subject to re-injury and can end up resulting in long term disabilities.
Your Legal Rights In Seeking Compensation For Cervical Herniated Disc Injuries
If you suffer a cervical herniated disc injury in a car accident cause by the reckless or negligent actions of another driver, you have the legal right to seek compensation through a claim. This may be filed against the at fault drivers insurer. However, be aware that insurance companies are a for-profit business and as such have a vested interest in either denying or downplaying your claim. One commonly used tactic is to try to rush you into accepting a settlement.
You also have the legal right to file a personal injury lawsuit against the other driver in court. Under the Virginia Statutes, as in most other areas, you have up to two years to file this type of claim. This allows your doctor adequate time to diagnose your injuries and any lingering issues you are likely to suffer as a result. Filing a personal injury lawsuit also gives you the legal right to claim additional types of compensation. This may include:
- Current and future medical expenses: This can cover the costs of diagnostic testing, follow-up care, medications, and physical therapy you may require now and in the years to come;
- Current and future lost wages: This can cover current lost wages and any future losses in income or benefits you suffer due to lingering disabilities;
- Pain and suffering: This can compensate you for the mental anguish and pain your injuries have caused, including the loss enjoyment in life experienced by you or other family members;
- Punitive damages: This is an additional form of compensation meant to punish the at fault driver for actions that were particularly willful or negligent.
Let Our NC and VA Car Accident Lawyers Help You
When you suffer cervical herniated disc injuries after a car accident, you have the legal right to seek compensation for both the current and future expenses you are likely to incur. At Shapiro & Appleton, we act as a strong ally on your side to ensure your rights are protected. To discuss your options and how we can assist you, contact our NC and VA car accident lawyers today and request a free consultation.