Abels & Annes, P.C. regularly works with Chicago clients who have suffered back and/or neck injuries. Whether caused by a car accident, truck accident, bike accident, or lifting a heavy object at work, a back or neck injury can seriously disrupt a person's everyday life.
One of the most common injuries after an accident is back or neck pain. After an accident, back and neck pain can be sudden and severe, but some people do not feel pain until several hours after trauma. Most back and neck injuries are ligament or muscle injuries such as sprains or strains. This type of injury hopefully will resolve within a couple months with proper medical care. However, sometimes trauma can cause a herniated disc.
What is a herniated disc? The vertebrae in your spine are padded by small discs that act like shock absorbers. If the disc is damaged it could bulge or break open, and that is called a herniated disc. Sometimes it is also referred to as a ruptured or slipped disc.
A herniated disc is most common in the lumbar spine (lower back), but some happen in the cervical spine (neck) and more rarely in the thoracic spine (upper back). The herniated disc can press against your spinal nerves and cause severe pain and numbness in parts of the body where the nerve travels. Often herniated discs require surgical repair. A doctor can detect a herniated disc by asking questions about your symptoms, and they can then confirm it by taking an MRI or CT scan.
A big problem with a herniated, protruding or bulging disc is that the pain and limitations associated with the injury can last a lifetime. Even with proper treatment, a victim of a herniated disc may never fully recover and may be forced to adapt his or her lifestyle to accommodate new limitations. Many who suffer from herniated discs are prone to aggravations of the condition over time and as they engage in routine activities of daily life. Tasks once simple may no longer be possible, including lifting groceries, bending to tie shoes, or even picking up small children, if you have suffered a herniated disc.
While it is a serious and painful injury, a herniated disc is not the only problem that can emerge from an accident. Sprains and strains may sound minor but they can be very painful when they occur in the neck, upper back, or lower back. Sprains and strains may heal on their own but often they require significant medical and therapeutic treatment for the victim to obtain a recovery.
When an injury to the back or neck occurs, there is always a concern that the spinal column or spinal cord may be involved. The spinal column is made up of a series of vertebrae, or bones that surround the spinal cord. These bones not only provide support for the entire body to stand upright but they are also crucial to the protection of the spinal cord itself. When a vertebra breaks or fractures, there is a significant risk of damage to the spinal cord as well. This can lead to a loss of sensation, nerve damage, or even paralysis.
A common source of back and neck injuries is negligence by a hospital or physician. Whether seeking treatment for an injury or disease, the failure of a doctor to properly diagnose or to treat a medical condition may lead to a worsening of the injury or even permanent damage. When a doctor treats you for an injury, the doctor must follow a certain standard of care, and deviation from this standard may be negligence. If you underwent surgery performed by a doctor who did not follow the applicable standard of care, you may have been injured to a greater degree than you were before the surgery took place.
In some instances, victims who sustain a back or neck injury may require additional treatment in the future. The treatment may target a flare up of pain caused by the original accident or may be designed to treat a worsening condition. Regularly, people who are injured in accidents need surgeries later in life to repair or replace part of the back or neck in an effort to keep a patient functioning as much as possible. This means that some accident victims have future medical expenses that can be large and can leave them with the need for surgical treatment but without the means to pay for the procedures. A civil claim for your damages can seek compensation for future medical bills if they are reasonably expected to be incurred, providing advanced payment to an accident victim who will not have to worry about personally paying for their future expenses.
Injuries to the back and neck can be severe, permanent, and disabling. Despite this, defendants and insurance companies often try to downplay the severity of these injuries and the suffering experienced by victims by claiming the injuries are minor or were not caused in the accident at issue. This is not the position we take at Abels & Annes, P.C. where we represent only victims who have been hurt in accidents. We understand that a back or neck injury can be debilitating and we know that it can affect not only you but also your loved ones.
At Abels & Annes, P.C., we offer a free case consultation to all victims of accidents including those who have suffered a back and/or neck injury. We feel that you deserve to speak to a personal injury attorney and to learn about your legal options without any obligation on your part, and we feel so strongly about your rights that we make a lawyer available to you 24 hours a day, seven days a week at (312) 924-7575 or toll free at (855) LAW-CHICAGO (529-2442). If you prefer to meet with us in person but you are too injured to travel to our offices, we also offer free in-home and in-hospital consultations at your request. After an accident, you deserve to have your legal questions answered and we are standing by to do just that. Call us today and let us help you obtain a financial recovery you deserve.
If you have suffered a back or neck injury, request a Free Case Consultation or call (855) LAW-CHICAGO to speak with a lawyer now.