Hire a Spinal Cord Injury Lawyer Los Angeles
Motor vehicle accidents are traumatic events; approximately 16,000 take place in the United States each day. At the time of an accident, the individuals that are involved are understandably concerned with their physical well-being and the condition of their car. Because the individuals involved in the accident most often are in shock, they do not feel the effects of the impact until some time later. This is because adrenaline is flowing and it takes time for the body to adjust.
Once the initial shock wears off, the body does not always recover right away. At the time of impact, the muscles and nerves surrounding the spinal column go into “spasm“. What this means is that they contract around the spinal column to protect it. The body is not aware that the motor vehicle accident is finished. The muscular spasm surrounding the spinal column is still in full force and effect long after the accident takes place.
Because of this, injured parties almost always require chiropractic care and/or physical therapy. Only upon receipt of diagnostic imaging can an injured party ascertain the nature and extent of their injuries. Assuming there are no broken bones, most injured parties sustain bulging or herniated discs in their cervical, thoracic and/or lumbar spine.
The cervical spine is in the region of the neck. The thoracic spine is the area between the neck and lower back and the lumbar spine is the lower back region where the spinal column meets the tailbone. All three of these sections of the spine are susceptible to traumatic injuries as a result of a motor vehicle accident. The most common injuries sustained are to the cervical and lumbar spine in the form of either bulging or herniated discs.
Filing a claim for soft tissue injuries is common and a personal injury lawyer in Torrance California should be consulted if you have been involved in a motor vehicle accident. It is advisable that you consult with and retain the finest Torrance spinal cord injury attorney to file your claim and handle your case. The reason for this is because a spinal cord injury lawyer in Torrance California is trained in filing personal injury cases for plaintiffs who have sustained bulging and herniated discs in their cervical and lumbar spine.
Your treating physician will need to set forth proof in writing that the herniated disc is restricting you from engaging in your activities of daily living. Furthermore, you will need to prove that your injuries are either permanent in nature or that you have sustained a consequential or permanent loss of use of a body system, member or organ. If you cannot prove these limitations, you will need to prove that your injuries prevented you from engaging in your activities of daily living for 90 out of the first 180 days following your accident.
Only by retaining a back injury lawyer in Torrance will your case be successfully prosecuted. A personal injury lawyer in Torrance has the requisite skill and experience to capably handle your herniated disc claim and should be consulted and retained since rehabilitating your injuries should be your primary focus if you are injured. A Torrance spinal cord injury attorney has the knowledge that is required to fight for the maximum settlement on your behalf when negotiating with the insurance carriers and attorneys for the offending vehicle in your case.
A bulging disc is a common soft tissue injury that occurs as a result of a motor vehicle accident. The discs in the spinal column are shock absorbers and lie between the vertebrae, which are the bones of the spine. The discs are round in shape and resemble a doughnut. These discs contain a jelly-like center which is known as a nucleus pulposus. A bulging disc is compressed between the vertebrae, causing swelling and sometimes impingement upon a nerve or a nerve root.
As long as the disc itself does not tear it is considered a bulging disc and is more easily treated then herniated discs. This is because they have not torn and are not as far out of place or position as a herniated disc. Chiropractic care and physical therapy often help an injured party rehabilitate from a bulging disc. However, bulging discs may take time to heal. They do cause pain and limitation and should not be underestimated. Treatment for a bulging disc could range anywhere from two weeks to six months or longer. Furthermore, there are any number of discs in your back that can be bulging; if there are multiple bulging discs, the possibility that the pain lingers and takes longer to resolve is likely.
As stated above, the discs in between the vertebrae are round in shape and resemble a doughnut. These discs contain a jelly-like center which is known as the nucleus pulposus. A herniated disc occurs where the disc itself tears and the jelly-like substance in the center empties out. This causes the disc itself to lose its shape and often results in a number of very painful physical conditions.
*Cervical and Lumbar Spine Injuries
The most common type of cervical spine injury is known as whiplash. This is where the injured party’s head is jerked forward and then snapped backward violently, causing the head to sustain injuries. The discs in the cervical spine are injured in such an accident.
Lumbar spine injuries typically occur where the seatbelt has the driver belted in place. At the time of impact, the injured party to body is thrust forward and backwards. Because the body is belted in place, the lumbar spine sustains injuries. The most common lumbar spine injury is in the L5-S1 region. This is where the lumbar spine meets the tailbone.
*Types of Herniated Disc Injuries
*Nerve root compression
Nerve root compression is where the herniated disc has torn and is out of place, pressing upon a nerve root in the spinal column. It is extremely painful and can cause a condition known as radiculopathy. Radiculopathy is pain that shoots into the upper and lower extremities and carries with it associated numbness and weakness. The shooting pains are sharp in nature. They cause an injured party to have disturbed sleep patterns and restrict them from engaging in their activities of daily living. Lifting, bending and carrying are all limited as are the ability to do the laundry, do the dishes, iron clothes, go grocery shopping, conduct gardening or sleep for any period of time without interruption. This is because the sharp shooting pains that extend from the spinal column into the arms and legs are debilitating.
Spinal Stenosis is a narrowing of the spinal column. This narrowing pinches the nerves surrounding the spinal column and causes numbness, tingling and pain into the torso, legs and arms.
*Herniated disc treatment
Treating herniated discs requires intensive chiropractic care and physical therapy. Personal injury plaintiffs often treat with their physicians 3-4 times a week, if not more. Herniated discs are serious injuries and need to be approached and dealt with in that fashion. Whereas a bulging disc can resolve itself with a few weeks of chiropractic care, herniated discs are different. Because the disc itself has torn and the center has emptied, the shock absorber is no longer in place. This can cause the vertebrae to grind against one another, which can be extremely painful.
The first course of action for soft tissue injuries typically his chiropractic care. The chiropractor will perform adjustments on the cervical and lumbar spine in an effort to relieve pressure and reduce spasm. Chiropractors normally will treat their clients 3-4 times a week. The sessions take 20-40 minutes. Chiropractors also apply a TENS unit, hot packs, cold packs, electrostimulation as well as cervical and lumbar spine adjustments. Some patients respond well to chiropractic care and no further treatment is necessary. However, with herniated discs, physical therapy is normally required in that chiropractic care does not achieve the results that are needed.
Herniated discs are extremely painful and cause limitations throughout the body. Chiropractic care is good for neck and back issues but physical therapy is required for herniated discs. A physical therapist will engage patients in a rigorous course of rehabilitation focused on the region that is injured (the actual section of the spine where the herniated disc lies in) as well as the portions of the body that are experiencing pain and limitation (most often the arms, legs, fingers and feet). Stretching, lifting, bending and loosening the regions of the body that are stiff and sore is the goal of physical therapy. Patients are regularly taught exercise techniques that are designed to loosen up and the area that is affected to make them more limber. Because the herniated disc injury is one where the nerve root is compressed, it is important to identify the extremities that are affected and to treat those areas. Treating the source of the injury is also important since the muscles are in spasm. Reducing spasm is another goal of physical therapy. Combining massage therapy with brisk and pointed exercise loosens up the area, increases blood flow and helps return patients to the activities of daily living that they were unable to perform as a result of the herniated disc injury.
Some patients prefer to use acupuncture in an effort to rehabilitate from their injuries. The goal of acupuncture is to increase blood flow to the affected area. Acupuncture is an ancient Chinese therapy where needles are inserted into the tissues surrounding the affected region. The concept is that by inserting these needles into the tissues, blood flow is increased to the area, thereby reducing inflammation and promoting strength and wellness. Acupuncture is not for everyone. Some people are averse to needles and it actually could make their condition worse. However, before proceeding to higher levels of treatment, some plaintiffs do try acupuncture since it is much less invasive than the following measures.
Cortisone injections are useful, but not permanent, solutions. The purpose of a Cortisone injection is to provide the injured party with some measure of temporary relief. Cortisone injections are used to numb the pain that the plaintiff is feeling. The reason for this is that in most cases the plaintiff has been suffering for quite some time with their injuries and are in many ways desperate for any level of relief. Toward that end, the Cortisone injection does normally afford relief from pain for at least a few weeks. Some people report that Cortisone injections provide even longer lasting pain relief so it is definitely dependent upon the individual. However, this is a short-term solution and not a permanent solution. Keep that in mind.
*Epidural Steroid injections
Epidural steroid injections are the next step up from Cortisone injections. Again, there are some individuals that are averse to needles and epidural steroid injections therefore may not be for you. However, if you have no problem with needles, an epidural steroid injection will provide a level of relief. Epidural steroid injections are considered surgical procedures and are injections directly into the spine. These injections provide relief to plaintiffs similar to that of Cortisone injections. Some individuals report that only one epidural steroid injection is necessary. However, some individuals return for numerous treatments. It is again dependent upon the individual, but the purpose of an epidural is not that it will be required repeatedly. One, two or three epidural injections should be the most an individual requires. If a plaintiff continues to require more than 3 epidural injections, surgical intervention is probably necessary.
Plaintiffs who do not realize relief from the above treatments are counseled by their doctor to consider surgical intervention. Herniated disc can cause permanent injuries if left untreated. Even if treated and no improvement is realized, surgery should be performed so that the condition does not get worse. Of course, any spinal surgery is risky and will cause a plaintiff to feel nervous. Toward that end, having the surgery should only be undertaken after receiving at least two or three medical opinions. The most common surgical interventions are spinal fusion and laminectomy surgeries. These are very serious surgical procedures and should only be considered if all other therapies and treatments have not afforded relief.
Herniated disc injuries can have a permanent impact upon the life of an injured plaintiff if they are not properly treated. If you have been involved in a motor vehicle accident and are considering filing a claim, Molchan Law is the Torrance spinal cord injury attorney of choice. Molchan Law is widely regarded as the finest back injury lawyer in Torrance, and for good reason. They are highly experienced and will explain your rights and remedies from the outset of your case through the time of settlement or trial.
If you are looking for a spinal cord injury lawyer in Torrance to file a herniated disc claim after your motor vehicle accident, contact Molchan Law today to schedule your initial consultation. Be sure to bring your police accident report, policy of insurance that covered your vehicle on the date of your accident as well as all treating physician information and photographs of your vehicle and your injuries. Retaining the best personal injury lawyer in Torrance is the first step toward making a full recovery and receiving a maximum settlement in your case, so call Molchan Law today at 213-300-3956.