Most car accident injuries are readily apparent. A cut that is bleeding, for example, can be quickly identified and treated by paramedics. The same holds true for broken bones and damage to muscles and tendons, in many cases. Some injuries, however, are more difficult to immediately spot, as their symptoms may not appear until days after the wreck. Whiplash may be the most common of these injuries, but the list certainly doesn’t end there.
Another injury that may not present symptoms or be diagnosed until much later is a herniated disk. A “disk” is a jelly-like cushion between two vertebrae. These disks become herniated when the outer, thicker layer tears, thereby causing the cushioning jelly to seep out. This can result in pressure to nearby nerves, as well as numbness and pain in the arms and legs. It can also cause muscle weakness.
Although a herniated disk can be diagnosed relatively easily, treating it can a little more involved. Some individuals are able to receive cortisone injections to suppress inflammation, while others require surgery. An operation can be expensive and leave an individual unable to work for a period of time. It can also prevent a person from carrying out normal day-to-day activities for a long time.
Taken together, these medical expenses and lost wages can quickly add up. For many car accident victims, these damages can be overwhelming and difficult, if not impossible, to overcome. Fortunately, these victims may be able to recover compensation for their losses if the accident in question was caused by a negligent driver. Certain legal elements must be shown before liability can be imposed, meaning that car accident victims need to be prepared to make persuasive and legally sound arguments to a judge or jury.