About Herniated Disk Injuries
A herniated disc is one of the most common and serious back injuries people experience, and it often happens as a result of on-the-job activity. When a disc is herniated, it becomes pushed out of its normal position between the vertebrae in the spine.
Without the cushion of the disc in its proper position, spinal nerves become pinched, resulting in excruciating back pain, shooting pains down the arms or legs, and tingling and numbness. Left untreated, a herniated disc can result in a medical emergency called cauda equina syndrome, in which sufferers can experience numbness in the genitals, difficulty with bladder and bowel control, and progressive numbness or weakness in the legs.
A herniated disc can happen suddenly, such as in a fall, or it can occur over time after repeated activities, such as bending and lifting or putting recurring strain on the spine. Accidents sometimes put a disc in motion, but the disc doesn’t actually become fully herniated and produce symptoms for days or even weeks afterward. The actual date of your injury is sometimes difficult to determine when this happens. The adjuster will use this against you to say that you worked for a period of time after the injury, so the herniated disk is NOT related to your injury at all. This is a favorite argument of adjusters who work for insurance companies. When a disc is herniated as a result of work activity – whether it is sudden or over time – it is coverable under workers’ compensation insurance.
Herniated discs can happen as a result of many types of job duties – from the more obvious ones in construction and warehouse work to seemingly harmless tasks like filing papers or childcare. Following a physical examination and an MRI to diagnose a herniated disc, a doctor will recommend treatment which can include physical therapy, prescription medications, epidural steroid injections, and/or surgery.
Insurance companies and the adjusters who work for them typically delay medical treatment for herniated disk claims. This delay can result in further damage to your back that could become permanently disabling. Now is not the time to “wait and see” whether the insurance company is going to be fair with you. Assume that their primary concern is to save money on your claim by calling your condition a “soft tissue” injury. Ask yourself, “Is the adjuster medically trained to know what my diagnosis really is?”
At some time in your life, you may have suffered an injury to your back that you recovered from and that did not prevent you from performing your current job. Suddenly, you feel pain in the old area of injury that prevents you from working and you realize that you have reinjured your back. A reinjury may be fully compensated through workers’ compensation benefits. These are difficult claims and especially need the attention of a legal expert who will fight for your benefits.
At the law office of J. Franklin Burns, P.C., we have extensive experience investigating and proving that herniated disc injuries are the result of work accidents, job requirements or working conditions. We help our clients secure their workers’ comp benefits so that they can take the time they need to heal before herniated discs lead to permanent physical disabilities.
Contact us today for your free, no-obligation consultation at 404-303-7770 or email us to arrange your free consultation. Please do not hesitate to call. We understand that you have many questions that need answers. If you are unable to visit us in our office, we are happy to travel to meet you at your home or a place that is convenient for you.