Car Accident Disc Injuries

Bulging Disc

In the days and hours after a serious car accident, it can be very difficult to understand what injuries you may have sustained. Frequently however back injuries arise anytime between 0 to 48 hours after a car accident. To further complicate matters, many times spine injuries fall into the category of soft tissue damage and will not show up on an emergency room x-ray.

If pain persists after a few days, it is important to have a medical evaluation to determine whether or not there was any injury to the spinal column or the discs within the vertebrae. Common injuries include

What Are Vertebral Discs?

The vertebrae are the bones which form the basis of the spine. In between each vertebrae are sex of fluid known as vertebral discs. These discs protect the bones of the spine as well as the very sensitive spinal cord which controls motor function and pain throughout the body. Each disc is comprised of an inner layer of soft gel-like fluid, and a more durable outer layer. The outer layer is known as the annulus fibrosis and the inner layer is known as the nucleus pulposus.

After an automobile crash or any traumatic event, the discs can rupture and leak. This condition can cause a piece of the disc to impact the spinal column. Anytime that the outer layer of a desk is damaged, the disc is said to be herniated.

While there are varying degrees of disc herniation, any sort of damage to a disc which impacts the spinal column is very serious and can cause significant pain and suffering.

Degenerative Disc Disease and Car Accidents

Degenerative disc disease is the naturally occurring aging and deterioration of vertebral discs. This condition can have varying degrees of pain and severity, and can be widely found in most adults both male and female.

Degenerative conditions of the disc may be worse given the occupational and recreational background of each car accident victim. For example, if you grew up farming, or playing football it is very likely that you already have some degenerative changes in your discs.

It is important to understand that you can still receive significant compensation for the aggravation of your existing degenerative disc disease. Many times insurance adjusters and defense attorneys will try to convince you that the condition of your spine prior to at accident should make your recovery less. This is false.

Illinois law allows for victims of negligence to recover for any increase in pain or worsening of an underlying condition. This is because negligence law affirms that the party who is at fault has to take the victim as they are, and not simply as a reasonably situated person.

How Do I Treat

Generally, accident victims will want to have disc or back injuries diagnosed by medical imaging. Medical imaging can be a magnetic resonance imaging scan, otherwise known as an mri, an x-ray, or another type of scan either with the assistance of contrast or without.

Since an x-ray will only show damages to the actual bone in the spine, mris, particularly those using contrast, are the best way to identify the existence of any soft tissue injury including disc herniations.

MRIs will sometimes be administered in the emergency room directly after it accident, but most of the time mri’s will be scheduled at a post emergency room follow up with a specialist or with your family doctor.

Medical Imaging is Very Expensive

It is a well-known problem with the American healthcare industry that many medical treatments and diagnostic tests, such as mris, are very expensive. Even though the best way to fully understand the nature and extent of your spinal injury is to undergo an mri, insurance companies will try every possible angle to dissuade an accident victim from receiving this type of care, or will fight having to pay for such diagnostics. Due to the fact that MRIs and other scans are viewed as too expensive by insurance companies, it is vital to contact a local car accident attorney once you realize that MRIS are necessary.

The only way to know whether or not your accident related disc injury will require surgical treatment is to consult with both your primary care physician and then a orthopedic specialist after receiving a referral.

Many times disc injuries will heal or stop causing pain within 6 months. In those occasions where your pain and discomfort is lingering after a few months your doctor and medical staff will undergo a course of care to evaluate the necessity of surgery. The process it’s simple, but it can take some time to complete and is again very expensive.


Doctors who handle trauma to the spine are aware of the hurdles that accident victims face and will usually take conservative measures first. Surgical intervention is usually only necessary when there are severe fractures or severe neurological injuries to the spinal column. It is vital to give any medical provider with whom you have contact a detailed and accurate medical history about your spinal condition. Furthermore, alerting your attorney of when you see the doctor is a good idea to ensure that all of your paid and suffering and medical expenses will be calculated in your settlement or a trial.


As the victim of a car accident, you and your family are in the best position of anyone to determine your symptoms and level of pain. It is vital to understand that the symptoms of disc injury are not always immediately apparent after the initial collision. Due to the large amounts of adrenaline in your body you may not even experience soreness for days or weeks following the accident.

Because back injuries can be difficult to diagnose on symptomology alone, Consulting with your medical provider as well as with an experienced personal injury lawyer will make sure that you are adequately aware of all of your symptoms.

Koester Law, PLLC Has Recovered for Car Accident Victims in Illinois Who have Suffered Back and Disc Injuries

The top-ranked personal injury and accident lawyers at Koester Law, PLLC want to get to work on your car accident or vehicle wreck case as soon as possible. A Champaign-Urbana car accident lawyer can aggressively fight for the full compensation you deserve.  Furthermore, as with all of our personal injury cases, there is no fee until we make a monetary recovery for you. Call for your free case evaluation today at 217-600-2335 today.

Our legal professionals and attorneys are ready to help any victim of vehicle-related negligence from:

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