Image: A model of the human spine showing intervertebral discs. In this image, the spine is deliberately being pulled out of alignment to show how increased pressure can cause these discs to bulge.
Our client slammed into a driver who blew through a stop sign in front of her, leaving her without enough room to stop on a wet road. Her car was a total loss, and police who responded to the scene cited the other driver for his unsafe behavior on the road.
Her injuries included whiplash, facet pain, daily headaches, blurred vision, numbness in her hands and fingers, memory issues, and multi-level disc protrusions in the cervical spine.
Whiplash is a painful condition caused by the weight of the head whipping back and forth on the neck during an accident. This can cause delicate soft tissues in the neck such as muscle fibers, nerve fibers, ligaments, and tendons to become stretched or torn. It can also put pressure on the intervertebral joints and discs, causing long-lasting pain or impairment.
In our client’s case, she also suffered disc protrusions in the cervical spine. The fluid-filled discs between vertebrae absorb shock and hold the spine together while allowing it to bend. When these discs are damaged by trauma or degenerative disease, the fluid within them can bulge outwards, putting pressure on nearby nerves and soft tissue. A disc that is protruding may be in danger of herniating, a condition that can cause even more long-term pain and disability.
In addition to her treatment in the emergency room, she needed extensive follow-up care for her injuries. She needed multiple MRIs, a nerve conduction study, and bone density testing to diagnose her injuries. She needed injections and physical therapy. Her treatment caused her to miss work and opportunities for overtime pay. The ongoing pain from her injuries made it difficult for her to have the same quality of life that she had enjoyed before her accident, and her new impairments made it difficult to keep up with her demanding work schedule.
In addition to difficulties with the defendant’s insurance company, her own insurance company tried to deny her Personal Injury Protection benefits. While many people believe that their own insurance companies are obligated to pay for their care, the truth is that an insurance company may try to claim that their own customer’s treatment is excessive or too expensive. In cases like this, it helps to have an experienced personal injury attorney on your side.