According to the Center for Disease Control, over 30,000 people are killed in car accidents in the U.S. every year, but even non-fatal accidents can have severe consequences. The fact is that over seven million car accidents occurred in 2016 alone, and these accidents cost our society and its members billions of dollars every year. For example, fatal car accidents alone cost the state of Georgia $1.63 billion in 2013. These costs are partially contributed to by the nearly 1,300 car accident fatalities that occurred that year. What might surprise you is that only $14 million of $1.63 billion spent on fatal car accidents by our state was used on medical bills.
The rest was categorized as “work-loss” costs, which represent the amount of wages the deceased could have made working over their lifetime. This statistic sheds light on an important aspect of car accident cases. The injuries you sustain in a car crash can cause you to lose money over your lifetime due to an inability to perform certain types of work or work in general, as a result of your injuries. One of the most common types of injuries that are permanent in nature and often cause people to experience a loss in physical abilities are herniated disc injuries.
What is a Herniated Disc Injury?
There are 33 vertebrae in the human spine, and the spine itself is divided into five separate regions.
- The Cervical region contains seven vertebrae
- The Thoracic region contains twelve vertebrae
- The Lumbar region contains five vertebrae
- The Sacral region contains five vertebrae
- The Coccygeal region contains four vertebrae
In between each vertebra is a strong connective tissue known as an intervertebral disc that, along with the help of some other spinal elements, connects the vertebrae together and acts as a cushion between each bone in the spine while still allowing for movement. When your spine sustains a sudden impact, such as in a car crash, the outer segment of the discs in your spine can rupture or tear. The rupture or tearing of the disc is commonly referred to as a herniation.
Why is a Disc Herniation Painful?
In essence, a herniated disc that used to act as a cushion for your spine is now compressed in between your vertebrae, which can cause it to press up against the nerves that run down your spine. The compressed or “pinched” nerve can cause a number of symptoms, such as constant pain, numbness, or tingling in different parts of you body: arms, shoulders, legs, etc. Some major herniations can even damage your spinal cord.
Moreover, the symptoms you experience can vary depending on which region of the spine has a herniation, and your condition could be exacerbated by some of the simplest physical actions such as certain types of movement, prolonged sitting or standing, coughing, or even sneezing. Due to this, your physician might recommend that you use a back or neck brace for a certain period of time and avoid certain physical activities.
Is Herniated Disc Injury Treatable?
Although herniated disc injuries are serious, not all herniated disc injuries are permanent. There are several treatment options available for herniated discs such as physical therapy, medication, chiropractic care, epidural steroid injections, and surgical intervention, but choosing the right doctor is similar to choosing the right attorney. You need to exercise caution and evaluate the physician carefully, because a poorly qualified doctor can make a bad situation worse, which is why you should rely on your attorney to help you evaluate potential physicians.
An experienced lawyer can provide you with advice on their interactions with different doctors and the outcomes they have had in past cases with certain physicians and surgeons. This is the type information that is gained by experienced attorneys beyond the normal practice of law in their area of expertise.
Auto Accidents in Atlanta, GA
At Cambre and Associates, our car accident lawyers have years of experience handling auto accident cases of all kinds. Our team of attorneys are dedicated to providing thorough aggressive legal representation to ensure that your future is not ruined by injuries sustained in a car accident. We pride ourselves on working with our clients by providing them advice on their choice of physicians and legal strategies in order to reach the best possible solution to their case. So call our office today for a free consultation to find out how a car accident lawyer can help you.