Discs are the cushions in the spine that lie between each of the individual vertebrae (bones). They have soft jelly-like centers within a tougher exterior. A herniated disc is the result of the softer center pushing out through cracks, fissures, or other openings in the tougher exterior. When it is herniated, the disc can impinge on nearby nerves, resulting in severe or chronic pain. This may necessitate taking medication, or in some severe cases, it may require surgery. If you suffer a herniated disc because of a car accident in Albuquerque or the surrounding area, the attorneys at the Fine Law Firm may be able to aid your pursuit of damages.Seeking Compensation for a Herniated Disc
Most herniated discs are in the lower back, but they are also sometimes in the neck or cervical spine. Often, when a herniated disc is in the lower back, there is an intense pain in the thighs, calf, foot, or buttocks. Sometimes muscles associated with the affected nerves may weaken due to herniated discs, resulting in additional impairments.
Herniated discs can take a long time to show up after a car accident. If you are involved in a crash, you should see a doctor right away, but you should not accept a settlement offer from the at-fault driver's insurer without first speaking to your own attorney. This is because a settlement offer is unlikely to take into account injuries that manifest later or that may be more severe than initially believed.
Compensatory damages recovered through a personal injury lawsuit are intended to make an accident victim "whole." That is, they are designed to compensate you for the losses you have suffered, but they are not intended to punish the defendant. Damages often include medical bills, out-of-pocket expenses, property damage, the cost of household services, lost wages, and pain and suffering.
Insurance companies often try to avoid paying a settlement by claiming that a herniated disc is the result of a pre-existing condition. Disc herniation is often caused by gradual aging and disk degeneration due to loss of water content. Because of the lost water, they are less flexible and more apt to rupture. However, you are not barred from recovery simply because you have a pre-existing condition. You can recover to the extent that damages are caused by the aggravation of the pre-existing condition. Often, a pre-existing condition causes a car accident to have more serious consequences than it would otherwise have had.
Under the eggshell plaintiff rule, you are entitled to recover damages even if you are unusually susceptible to injuries that another person might not have suffered. That means that even if you do have disc degeneration, and without it you would not have suffered a disc herniation in the accident, the defendant cannot use the disc degeneration as an excuse not to pay your doctor's bills related to the herniation.Explore Your Options with an Albuquerque Attorney after an Auto Collision
If you suffer a herniated disc in a car accident, you should see a doctor and follow any recommendations for treatment. You should also consult a motor vehicle collision lawyer with experience representing Albuquerque residents. You generally have three years to bring your claim after a New Mexico accident, but it is wise to consult an attorney and start collecting evidence for your case right away. Contact us via our online form or call us at (505) 243-4541 to arrange a free consultation. The Fine Law Firm also represents injured individuals in Rio Rancho and other New Mexico communities.