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Radiculopathy After an Accident

A Cook County Back Injury Lawyer Can Handle Radiculopathy Claims after an Accident

Spine injuries are common after auto accidents. Radiculopathy is one type of spinal injury that doctors describe as “an injury to a spinal nerve root that is accompanied by radiating pain from the injured spinal area and extends throughout an entire nerve.” Pain can extend from the spine to anywhere in the victim’s body, even the end of the arms and legs. When an accident causes such injuries, a Cook County back injury lawyer can help.

The most common cause of radiculopathy after a vehicle accident begins with a herniated or bulging disc that is meant to insulate vertebrae from each other. The damaged disc puts pressure on the spinal cord and sends pain along the entire nerve path. If the injury is cervical (to the neck) or thoracic (chest and upper back), affected areas include the neck, head, shoulders and arms. If the injury occurs in the lower spine (lumbar), the pain can travel along the sciatic nerve to the buttocks and down the legs. Depending on the affected areas, radiculopathy can produce aches, numbness, and affect mobility and function, resulting in partial or full paralysis.

Accidents That Can Cause Radiculopathy

Vehicle Collisions: Even in low-impact wrecks, the force of a rear-end collision causes the body to lurch forward, snapping the head violently back. Though safety restraints can mitigate the injury to some extent, there are instances when airbags can exacerbate the damage by violently pushing the victim’s head backwards.

A “T-bone” accident also can cause this injury by violently throwing the victim in away from the impact, while the head snaps in opposition toward the vehicle that caused the wreck. And if not properly adjusted or too loose, seat belts can contribute to lower lumbar radiculopathy in a rear end, T-bone or if the vehicle hits a fixed object from any direction.

Rollover Car Crashes: These accidents place victims at an even higher risk of a variety of spinal cord or nerve trauma. The speed of the collision is also a factor in addition to the fact that rollovers cause victims to move in odd and many different directions suddenly. This type of accident tends to jostle the back in a number of different contortions that places unusual stress on even the most flexible spines.

Slip-and-fall Injuries: These can occur on someone else’s property or at work. If it occurs on another’s property, then a civil claim against the defendant is the typical method of recovering damages for medical bills, lost income, pain and suffering, or any disability that may accompany the injury. A Cook County back injury attorney can help obtain rightful compensation for victims.

However, if the slip-and-fall occurred at work, workers’ compensation is the primary source of compensation. In Illinois, it includes up to 80 percent of wages, medical bills and a negotiated settlement if you are disabled. Pain and suffering compensation is not available through workers’ comp, but there might be other civil options. Contact a Chicago injury lawyer to learn more.

There are four methods of treatment for spinal nerve injuries that can be combined, depending on the severity:

  • Pain medications such as muscle relaxants
  • Epidural or trigger point injections such as steroids
  • Physical therapy including massage, electronic stimulation, acupuncture and other homeopathic options
  • Surgery that could involve a spinal fusion, invasive repair of nerve damage or minimally invasive use of lasers

The most important priority after being injured in any accident is to get medical treatment. Then, if someone’s negligence caused the accident, seek an experienced injury lawyer to help with your claim against the defendant. Their insurance company likely will dispute your actions aggressively. So it’s important to have good medical records that codify your claim and serve as evidence in your quest for damages. Testimony from your doctor and the medical experts retained by your lawyer are also important to your compensation success.

The seasoned neck and spine injury lawyers with Buttafuoco and Associates offer a free evaluation of your injuries, the circumstances surrounding it and an opinion as to the strength of your injury claim. Contact us anytime by calling 1-800-NOW-HURT or using our online contact form.