Being involved in a car accident can bring about injuries that are obvious, but sometimes the damage may not be immediately noticeable. Injuries that you may not feel right away can develop into detrimental health problems later, resulting in medical bills that an insurance company may cover if the other party was responsible for the accident. In more severe cases you might consider filing a lawsuit, which you must do within two years from the accident, according to section 2305.10 of Ohio's Revised Code, in order to receive fair compensation.
Certain types of injuries, even if your doctor gives you a thorough examination, may not show up immediately. For example, you could have an x-ray right after an accident, and you would likely not see a soft tissue injury such as a herniated disc.
Herniated disc cause and risk
Your spine has pads of tissue between each vertebra, which are the discs. A herniated disc occurs when the layer on the outside of the disc breaks and some of the soft material bulges out. While this in itself may not hurt, the effects on your spine can be detrimental. The damaged disc can put pressure on your spinal cord nerves which may result in weakness in your legs and even numbness. A bulging disc can cause similar issues as well.
Some herniated discs can heal themselves. However, be aware that some herniations are more severe, and your body may not be able to heal on its own. This could potentially require surgery and a long recovery time.
Protecting your rights
If you have been in an accident that was not your fault, even if you think your injuries are minor, many lawyers recommend that you do not tell the insurance company that you have no injuries right away. While you may not feel pain immediately, if you suffer a herniated disc that requires surgery, you may be facing large medical bills and months to a year of recovery time. Keep in mind that it is also important to prove that the accident caused the herniated disc and not age-related deterioration.