WHAT IF I ALREADY HAD A BAD NECK OR BACK BEFORE THE ACCIDENT?
Can a person with a pre-existing back or neck problem receive compensation? The short answer is, yes. You can be compensated if your pre-existing condition was aggravated by a motor vehicle accident.
WHAT ARE PRE-EXISTING CONDITIONS?
The most common pre-existing condition that a person has is degenerative disc disease. The spine is made of bones that are stacked on top of each other. The bones are called vertebrae. Each bone is like a block. In between each bone is a “disc,” which is like a jelly donut. The donut acts as a shock absorber. A healthy disc is firm and keeps its shape.
As we age, discs (jelly donut) in our neck and back dry out. They lose firmness. They lose shape and begin to flatten or bulge. Sometimes the discs crack or break as they age, and the jelly in the donut comes out.
Many people with degenerative disc disease in the neck or back do not have symptoms. Others will experience pain.
Another kind of pre-existing condition is ongoing physical problems due to previous trauma from a variety of causes, such as motor vehicle accidents, falls and work accidents.
AGGRAVATION OF PRE-EXISTING CONDITIONS
Trauma to the neck or back from a car collision can injure and aggravate a degenerative disc. Whiplash injury can cause the disc to bulge more. Damage to a degenerative disc can cause it to get worse.
An aggravated disc can cause neck or back pain in a person who was not previously having pain. An aggravation can cause other symptoms such as pain, numbness, and tingling that radiates into an arm or leg.
An aggravated disc can worsen symptoms in a person who was already suffering from pain.
The critical question is how much worse did the accident make the problem? The answer depends on your symptoms and examination findings.
TREATMENT AFTER A CAR ACCIDENT
A person who experiences symptoms after a motor vehicle collision should be evaluated by a qualified medical professional. Even minor signs can turn into major problems. As an example, we have seen many cases where the initial symptom is a slight ache and the assessment by a doctor is a simple sprain. The doctor starts the patient on a course of therapy. Over time, the pain increases and the patient begins to experience other symptoms such as numbness and tingling in the arms or hands. The doctor further explores the problem and orders tests such as an MRI. The MRI shows a damaged disc that needs to be treated. The treatment for a damaged disc is much more involved and can range from injections to surgery.
CONTACT MCIS INJURY LAW
If you had a physical or emotional problem that was made worse by any kind of accident, contact MCIS Lawyers to see if you can receive compensation.