Can a Truck Accident Cause a Bulging Disc?

Diagram of a Bulging DiscYes, a truck accident can cause a bulging disc. Bulging discs are a type of spinal injury where the jelly-like inner portion of the disc pushes and stretches the outer layer of the disc, but does not rupture it like a herniated disc. If it puts pressures on the spinal cord or a nerve root, it can cause symptoms like pain and discomfort.

While some bulging discs are related to age and degeneration of the disc, trauma can cause disc injuries too. The violent and sudden force from an accident puts tremendous pressure on the spine, including the soft discs between the vertebras. This may cause the soft inner part of the disc to push against the outer layer of the disc. If the disc applies pressure to a nerve root or the spinal cord, it can cause pain and discomfort.

How Can You Tell if You Have a Bulging Disc?

If you have a bulging disc in the upper part of your spine, you may have symptoms in your shoulder and arm. Bulging discs in the lower spine may affect the buttocks, thigh, and calf. You might have pain, numbness, tingling, or weakness in the affected areas.

You might feel shooting pain when you move in a certain way, cough, or sneeze. Some positions might be excruciatingly painful.

But in any case, you should see a doctor who can examine you and diagnose a bulging disc or other injuries you suffered in the truck accident.

When Should You Get Medical Attention for a Suspected Bulging Disc?

There are two reasons you should see a doctor after an accident:

1. Treat Injuries and Prevent Them From Worsening

Sometimes people do not have any symptoms at the scene of the accident, but injury symptoms show up days later. Even if you did not need emergency medical attention right after the accident, you should see your doctor for an examination.

Allowing an injury to linger without treatment may lead to its worsening over time. If your doctor identifies the injury and provides treatment or recovery instructions, you may find you can heal faster.

2. Connect Your Bulging Disc to the Truck Accident

The more days that pass between the wreck and your medical attention, the harder it will be to connect your bulging disc to the accident. That is, it will be more difficult to prove that the accident caused your injury and not something else.

What Are the Possible Complications of a Bulging Disc?

Depending on the location and severity of your bulging disc, you might require emergency surgery to prevent complications. The spinal cord splits into a system of nerve roots (cauda equina) below your waist. Compression of these nerve roots creates a medical emergency.

According to the Mayo Clinic, call 9-1-1 or go to the emergency room if you have any of these symptoms:

  • Any of your symptoms get worse – numbness, pain, or weakness, particularly if you cannot function as usual.
  • Loss of sensation that continues to get worse in the areas that would touch a saddle if you were riding a horse (saddle anesthesia).
  • Bladder or bowel dysfunction, either becoming incontinent or being unable to void.

What Compensation Can You Recover for a Bulging Disc From a Truck Accident?

As with any other type of personal injury claim, you can recover your economic and non-economic damages from a truck crash.

Your economic losses include such things as your medical expenses, lost wages, and decreased earning potential.

Your non-economic losses can include your pain and suffering, disfigurement, loss of enjoyment of life, mental anguish, and loss of consortium.

Work with a lawyer at our firm for help calculating the value of your claim, as some insurance companies may offer lowball settlements that fail to account for future damages or non-economic losses.

Does it Matter if You Were Partly at Fault for the Truck Accident?

You can still recover compensation for your injuries, but under Washington law your comparative negligence will reduce the amount you get in proportion to your percentage of fault.

For example, if you had damages of $50,000 and you were ten percent at fault for causing the accident, your recovery will be $45,000 after the ten percent reduction.

If you sustained injuries from a truck accident, please call Max Meyers Law at 426-242-5595. We will evaluate your claim for free and with no obligation.

Max Meyers
Max is a Kirkland personal injury attorney handling cases in Seattle, King County & surrounding in WA State.