Bulging Disc From Car Accident

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If you have been in a car accident and are now suffering from a bulging disc, you may be feeling overwhelmed and uncertain about your future. You are not alone. Bulging discs are one of the most common injuries associated with car accidents.

If you suffer from a bulging disc after a car accident, first seek medical treatment. Then, contact an experienced personal injury lawyer with Chaikin, Sherman, Cammarata & Siegel, P.C.. to find out if you have the right to file an injury claim.

The Danger of a Blown Disc in a Car Accident

Car accidents are a leading cause of spinal cord injuries, so it is important to seek medical attention if you have suffered any back or neck injury in an automobile accident.

A burst disc can cause severe pain and numbness, and weakness throughout the body. You may also be unable to move or control some of your motor functions. A blowout can lead to permanent damage and even paralysis if left untreated.

Bulging Discs vs. Herniated Discs

There are several differences between bulging and herniated discs that can affect the injuries you sustain. The main difference is in how severe the injury is. A bulging disc injury occurs when an intervertebral disc bulges out, while a herniated disc occurs with a more severe extrusion of the disc.

Bulging discs are more common than herniated discs and can often heal on their own with time and rest. Herniated discs, while less common, can cause more severe pain and may require surgery to correct.

Bulging Discs

car accident causing bulging discs

When an auto accident happens, the force of impact causes your body to be thrown against various objects. Some of these objects can include your steering wheel, seat belt, or airbag. The abrupt movement can cause a bulging or herniated disc injury.

Your spinal column is made up of bones called vertebrae. Ligaments connect the vertebrae and provide flexibility in the spine. Your spinal discs are located between each vertebra, and they act as shock absorbers while you move your body, allowing you to bend or twist with ease. The disc is made up of a soft outer shell and a gel-like material inside.

When a bulging disc occurs, the outer shell may weaken, allowing the gel-like material to push through into the spinal canal. The pressure of this pushing determines whether it is a bulging disc or herniated disc that occurs.

Symptoms of Bulging Disc Injuries

Symptoms of a bulging disc injury can vary depending on the severity and location of the injury. However, the most common locations for bulging discs are in your neck (cervical spine) or lower back (lumbar spine). Some symptoms you may experience include:

  • Radiating pain that travels from its source to other areas such as the arms and legs.
  • Tingling, numbness, or weakness in your back, buttocks, legs, or feet.
  • Muscle spasms in one area of your body that are not related to exertion.
  • Pain when you bend over or twist side-to-side.

The severity of these symptoms can vary depending on what part of your spine is injured. For example, if the bulging disc is located in your neck, you may experience pain and stiffness in your shoulders and down your arm. You may also have a hard time turning your head.

If the bulging disc is located in your lower back, you may experience pain when standing or sitting for long periods, pain in your buttocks or thighs, and difficulty walking.

Causes of a Bulging Disc Injury in a Car Accident

When in a car crash, the spinal column can be subjected to tremendous forces very quickly. This force can cause your discs between vertebrae to rupture or bulge. In addition, the accident’s impact causes this bending and twisting of your spine that damages your intervertebral disks.

Wear and Tear On the Spine

As you age, the intervertebral discs in your spine get thinner. This is caused by degeneration of the disc, which can reduce its ability to absorb shock. Therefore, the older you are when a car crash occurs or any other type of injury happens, there is a higher chance that a bulging disc will occur due to the degeneration of your spine.

Injuries to the Spine

If you have an older injury to your spine, a recent automobile accident can cause that previous injury to become aggravated. The combination of the old and new injuries can result in a bulging disc.

Herniated Discs

A herniated disc can occur when whiplash affects the spine. Herniated discs are also referred to as slipped or ruptured discs. They can cause pain in the back, neck, and arms and can be extremely painful in most cases.

In other cases, car accident victims may not suffer any pain at all. This is why it is important to seek medical treatment immediately after an accident to ensure that you do not have any injuries.

A herniated disc is more likely to cause pain than a bulging disc. This is because it generally protrudes farther and is more likely to irritate nerve roots.

Causes of a Herniated Disc Injury in a Car Accident

Just like with a bulging disk, when you are in a car accident, the spinal column can be subjected to tremendous forces very quickly. This force can cause your discs between vertebrae to rupture or herniate. In addition, the accident’s impact causes this bending and twisting of your spine that damages your intervertebral disks.

Common Herniated Disc Symptoms

If you are suffering from a herniated disc, pain may appear sporadically or flare up when you engage in certain activities.

Common symptoms of a disc herniation include:

  • Walking, balance, and coordination problems
  • Loss of bladder and bowel control
  • Pain in the back, neck, and arms
  • Numbness and weakness in your shoulder down to your arms and fingers, or into your legs and feet  
  • Neck or back stiffness
car crash accident in DC

How are Bulging and Herniated Discs Diagnosed?

To determine if you have a bulging or herniated disc, your doctor will examine your spine and ask about any previous injuries you may have had. They will also perform a Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) scan of the affected area to locate where the damage is occurring in your spine.

Best Way to Treat a Herniated or Bulging Disc After a Car Accident?

If you are experiencing any of the symptoms listed above, it is important to seek medical attention. There is no one-size-fits-all answer for the best way to treat a herniated disc after a car accident, as each injury will vary in severity. Treatment may include:

Physical Therapy

In most cases, physical therapy will be the first line of treatment for a herniated disc injury. This may include exercises and stretches to help reduce inflammation and relieve pain.


If surgery is necessary, your doctor may recommend a discectomy or laminectomy. This is where the portion of the disc that is protruding or pressing on a nerve is removed.


In some cases, medications, including painkillers and steroids, may be prescribed to help relieve pain and inflammation.

Chiropractic Care

Chiropractic care may be used alone or in conjunction with other treatments. A chiropractor will use manipulation and adjustments to adjust the vertebrae and relieve pressure on nerves.

Follow Up Treatments

After the initial treatment of your herniated disc, you may require follow-up care. This could include pain management or long-term physical therapy.

Is a Disc Bulge a Permanent Injury?

A bulging disc can be a permanent injury. It can cause severe and chronic pain and can cause permanent nerve damage.

The recovery time for this type of back injury will vary depending on the severity. For some people, this may take weeks or months to recover from, and for others, it can take years to heal fully.

Can You File a Lawsuit for a Bulging Disc Caused by a Car Accident?

To determine whether you have a case, it is important to speak with an experienced car accident lawyer at Chaikin, Sherman, Cammarata & Siegel, P.C., who will review the facts of your situation and advise you on your best course of action. Our team frequently works with victims of car accident injuries. We will help you gather evidence to support your claim and negotiate with the other driver’s insurance company for fair compensation.

Who Determines Fault in an Accident?

Determining fault in an accident can be a complicated process. In some cases, the fault is decided by a judge or jury, while other times, it may be settled out of court. Your lawyer will investigate the accident and compile evidence to support your case.

Determining the Value of Your Car Accident Settlement

If you were involved in an accident that resulted in a herniated or bulging disc injury, many factors will determine how much your case is worth.


There are two types of damages: economic and non-economic.

Economic damages include medical bills, lost wages from time missed at work, and property damage. While, non-economic damages may include pain and suffering, loss of quality of life, or mental distress.

The Severity of Your injury

Generally speaking, the more severe your injury, the higher your settlement. However, the severity may depend on what treatment you require for recovery and how long that treatment takes. For example, a herniated disc that requires surgery will generally result in a higher settlement than one that does not.

To get an idea of what your case may be worth, you can speak with a personal injury lawyer. We will review the facts of your case and give you an estimate based on those facts.

Pre-Existing Conditions

If you have a pre-existing condition, this may affect how your case is valued. If it can be shown that your current injury would not have occurred if you did not already have a herniated disc, then it should be taken into consideration when determining compensation.

What Chaikin, Sherman, Cammarata & Siegel, P.C. Can Do For You

The Washington, D.C. car accident lawyers with Chaikin, Sherman, Cammarata & Siegel, P.C. have a proven track record of success helping clients obtain the maximum compensation possible for injuries they have suffered due to the negligence of others. Our firm has consistently demonstrated we have the expertise needed to help our clients see that justice is served. We have the resources needed to conduct thorough investigations of all the circumstances contributing to a motor vehicle accident, gathering the evidence to establish liability and negligence.

Chaikin, Sherman, Cammarata & Siegel, P.C. has achieved more than $500 million in verdicts and settlements, and our attorneys have more than a century of combined legal experience. Two of our partners are certified by the National Board of Trial Advocacy. Our firm has also earned the highest AV® Rating from Martindale-Hubbell®, one of the most respected attorney-ranking service organizations in the United States. Chaikin, Sherman, Cammarata & Siegel, P.C. attorneys work passionately on behalf of our clients to help them secure fair compensation – there is no type of case that is too complex for us to litigate.

We Get You Results

Our attorneys have experience evaluating cases just like yours to determine what they may be worth and work hard to get you fair compensation for your injuries.

Here are a few of our case results:

  • $6 million for a client who suffered a brain injury after being involved in a rear-end collision.
  • $4.8 million for a severely injured client after another vehicle struck his motorcycle.
  • $1.9 million for a client who suffered a permanent back injury due to a car accident.
  • $1.5 million for a client who had to undergo multiple surgeries after a negligent motorist cut off his motorcycle.
  • $1 million settlement obtained on behalf of our 19-year-old client who was a passenger in a car in which the driver lost control, causing a collision. As a result, our client suffered extensive brain damage with cognitive impairment. He was in a coma for an extended period of time. Although he has regained consciousness, he is unable to care for himself. The law firm asked the Court to appoint him a guardian to care for him. The law firm is helping to establish a special needs trust so that the proceeds from the settlement will be protected against any medical liens.
  • $1 million settlement on behalf of a client who suffered a brain injury when the driver of the car in which he was a passenger lost control of his vehicle.
car accident scene in DC

Contact an Accident Lawyer Today

If you are looking for the highest level representation available for your personal injury case, turn to Chaikin, Sherman, Cammarata & Siegel, P.C. Our firm has helped clients recover more than $500 million in compensation, and we have more than 100 years of combined experience. All of our partners are recognized by Washington, D.C. Super Lawyers®, and our firm includes three past presidents of the Trial Lawyers Association of Metropolitan Washington, D.C.

We work to help our clients obtain fair settlement offers to compensate them for the injuries they’ve suffered, but our attorneys are extremely well-equipped to go to trial if needed. Call (202) 659-8600  or contact us online to get the proven legal representation you deserve.

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