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Columbia Personal Injury Lawyer > Blog > Car Accident > Can Car Accidents Cause Degenerative Disc Disease?

Can Car Accidents Cause Degenerative Disc Disease?

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Doctors may learn in medical school that back pain is never a life-threatening emergency, but severe, chronic back pain is seriously disruptive to your daily activities and negatively affects your quality of life.  One of the most common causes of chronic back pain is degenerative disc disease.  It can affect the uppermost vertebrae, causing chronic neck pain, but more commonly, it affects the lower part of the spine, resulting in chronic pain in the lower back, hips, and legs.  Managing the symptoms of degenerative disc disease is challenging enough, but from a legal standpoint, the “why” of degenerative disc disease is the more challenging question.  If your chronic back pain began or got worse after a car accident, and your doctor has diagnosed you with degenerative disc disease, contact a Columbia car accident lawyer.

The Challenges of Proving That Your Back Pain Is Due to Car Accident Injuries Instead of Normal Aging

Intervertebral discs are pieces of cartilage between the bones of the spine.  Degenerative disc disease occurs when the intervertebral discs lose fluid pressure and fluid volume, therefore reducing their effect of cushioning the spine.  Everyone experiences some disc degeneration as they age, but the amount of degeneration varies from one person to another.  Furthermore, the volume of your disc fluid as it appears in diagnostic images does not directly correlate to the severity of symptoms, if any, you experience.  Some people who have experienced a lot of disc degeneration do not have any chronic back pain, while others who have only mild degeneration experience frequent and severe backaches.  Furthermore, managing the symptoms of degenerative disc disease involves some trial and error; some can manage their symptoms with physical therapy, but some require steroid injections, and some even need surgery.

Traumatic injuries, such as one might suffer in a car accident, can worsen the symptoms of degenerative disc disease.  In order to recover damages in a personal injury lawsuit, you must prove that the accident is the direct result of your ill health, rather than a pre-existing medical condition.  A favorite argument of defendants in personal injury cases is that the plaintiff was already injured before the accident, so the accident is not the cause of the plaintiff’s symptoms, and therefore paying for treatment for these symptoms is not the defendant’s responsibility.  Your medical records and the testimony of doctors who have treated you can prove that the accident made your symptoms worse.  If necessary, expert witnesses can corroborate your doctors’ statements about the decisions they made regarding your care and about the treatment that you will need in the future.  You may be able to recover damages for future medical expenses, in addition to compensation for the cost of treatment you have already received.

Let Us Help You Today

The personal injury lawyers at the Stanley Law Group can help you get enough money to cover your accident-related medical bills if your back pain got worse after a car accident.  Contact The Stanley Law Group in Columbia, South Carolina or call (803)799-4700 for a free initial consultation.

Source:

cedars-sinai.org/health-library/diseases-and-conditions/d/degenerative-disc-disease.html

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