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Dealing With Degenerative Disc Disease From a Car Accident in New JerseyDid you know that back and neck injuries are the most common health problem in car crash victims?  Hospital bills, tests, x-rays, medications, and physical therapy can cost a fortune and leave you stressed about your health concerned with how you are going to pay for your recovery.  Car accidents, unfortunately, are very common in New Jersey with 278,413 in 2018 alone. Receiving excellent legal advice to navigate the complexities of getting you the settlement to which you are entitled is of the utmost importance as those bills start adding up.

What is Degenerative Disc Disease?

In spite of its name, degenerative disc disease is not a disease.  It is a natural occurrence that comes with aging.  The flexible discs of soft tissue between the vertebrae in your neck and back are what permit you to flex and bend your body.  Over time, those discs become worn and no longer give you as much protection as before.

In its beginning, disc degeneration may cause no pain or other symptoms such as tingling or numbness in the hands, legs, and feet.  But once the condition progresses, usually with age, pain can be debilitating,  radiating down the arms, shoulders, spine, or upper thighs and causing weakness in the legs and back. Sometimes the pain is so intense that a person cannot continue with their daily activities.  Muscle spasms in the neck or lower back are caused when the body attempts to stabilize the vertebrae and can occur without warning. Pain may increase when sitting, bending, lifting, standing, walking, or twisting.

How can a car accident affect degenerative disc pain?

Degenerative disc pain can start when a major or minor injury leads to sudden unexpected back pain, or it can present as minor back pain that worsens over time. The most significant risk is a herniated disc (also known as a bulging disc).  When the rubbery disc between the vertebrae of the cervical and spinal areas is torn or damaged, it can allow vertebrae to grind together causing discomfort.  It can also press on nerves which then causes pain, muscle weakness, tingling, and numbness.

Frequently, a sudden stop or hard collision can result in a herniated disc, especially when the victim had preexisting degenerative disc disease.  By age 40, 50% of patients are diagnosed with spinal arthritis or degenerative disc disease. The existence of this condition prior to the accident does not mean the accident victim does not have the right to a compensation claim for injury.  You may simply need an attorney to help strengthen your case.

Why do I need an attorney if the accident wasn’t my fault?

Car accident victims, according to an Insurance Research Council study, receive 3.5 times more in settlements with legal counsel than those without.  Of course, the settlement will depend on several factors such as the medical treatment required for your condition and the severity of the accident.  You must show that the accident contributed to your present condition, making it worse than before.  Medical records showing diagnostic procedures such as tests like an MRI, CT scan, and x-rays can be used to support your claim.

Some of the points considered in a settlement are:

Lost wages

-Diminished future earning capacity

Pain and suffering

-Loss of quality of life

Punitive damages

Wrongful death

-Past and future medical expenses

How can my Attorney Help me?

From the moment you contact us, we are gathering the information we need to obtain a fair settlement for you.  We will run a full investigation, talking to witness, getting video footage, consulting expert witnesses, and inspecting the vehicles.

There are a lot of documents that need to be filed after a car accident to the insurance company, the courts, and any other lawyers involved in the case. This includes applications for medical benefits through a car insurance policy. We are able to ensure that all of the required paperwork is properly managed.

It is a given that many insurance companies will contest the overall amount of damages and liability in car accident cases, so if this occurs, we are ready to take the claim to court and fight for you.  They are interested in their bottom line and keeping as much money as they can in their pocket. Our job is to do our best to get you a fair settlement for your damages and pain and suffering.

Contact a Mercer County Personal Injury Attorney Today

It is a myth that degenerative disc disease is a preexisting condition that cannot come from auto accidents. While most cases do arise naturally due to age, it is possible to acquire or worsen degenerative disc disease from accident-related injuries. More commonly, a car accident can exacerbate the symptoms of preexisting degenerative disc disease, causing problems you never experienced prior to the wreck.

If you are suffering from symptoms of degenerative disc disease or a herniated disc after a car accident in New Jersey, The Law Office of Cohen & Riechelson, we are here to help you please contact us online or through our Hamilton, NJ office at 609.528.2596.