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Can A Car Accident Cause Degenerative Disc Disease?

If you have been injured in a motor vehicle accident in or near Yonkers, New York, the incident can have a significant impact on your life. In some cases, the accident can worsen underlying conditions, such as degenerative disc disease (DDD), which can make the aftermath of the collision even more overwhelming. If you have been involved in a New York car accident and want to know “Can a car accident cause degenerative disc disease?” or want to explore your legal options, you may want to contact Stufano Law by calling (914) 752-7746 today to review your case with a Yonkers, New York car accident attorney. 

What Is Degenerative Disc Disease?

Degenerative disc disease occurs when one or more of the discs between the spine’s vertebrae start to deteriorate, causing pain and various other issues. According to Johns Hopkins Medicine, this disease is often associated with aging. However, motor vehicle accidents can also exacerbate this condition. 

While the exact symptoms of this disease will depend on the location of the weakened disc, Cedars-Sinai indicates some of the more common systems of degenerative disc disease include the following:

  • Pain that ranges from disabling pain to nagging pain and affects the buttocks, thighs, lower back, or neck
  • Pain that gets worse while sitting since the lower back discs have more load on them while sitting than when standing
  • Feeling less pain while walking or running than while sitting for extended periods of time
  • Pain which gets worse while lifting, bending, or twisting
  • Feeling less pain when changing positions or lying down
  • Severe pain that comes and goes and can last for a few months before getting better
  • Pain that radiates to the arms and hands
  • Tingling in certain extremities
  • Weakness in certain parts of the body, such as the leg muscles

Can a Motor Vehicle Accident Cause Degenerative Disc Disease?

While a motor vehicle accident is not a direct cause of degenerative disc disease, it can aggravate the condition by causing trauma to the spine. This is because collisions can subject a person’s body to sudden and violent movements, which is why individuals with DDD can experience symptoms after a crash. In fact, even if you have never experienced previous back pain, a motor vehicle accident can worsen degenerative disc disease to the point where dormant elements of the disease begin to manifest suddenly.

While any type of motor vehicle accident can lead to significant back injuries, the crashes that result in these injuries most frequently include the following:

  • Rollover accidents
  • Trucking collisions
  • T-bone accidents
  • Rear-end crashes

What Legal Options Do You Have When You Have Degenerative Disc Disease That Was Worsened by a Motor Vehicle Accident?

Can a car accident cause degenerative disc disease? While motor vehicle crashes cannot cause this disease, individuals may still be able to receive compensation for their injuries if an automobile collision increases their symptoms or triggers symptoms of their pre-existing degenerative disc disease. Many insurance companies may try to claim that the degenerative disc disease should exclude accident victims from receiving compensation. However, while the condition may make one more susceptible to injury, this does not mean that the defendant is not still liable for those injuries. To understand what your legal remedies are and what pursuing them entails, contact Stufano Law today to speak with a Yonkers, New York car accident attorney about the facts of your case and get the answers you need. 

Recovering Compensation Following a Motor Vehicle Accident That Aggravated Your Degenerative Disc Disease

If an individual is suffering new or more severe symptoms from degenerative disc disease due to a motor vehicle accident, they may be able to pursue compensatory damages for their injuries. These damages are meant to restore the plaintiff to their position before the accident happened and resulted in the individual’s harm and losses. 

According to the American Bar Association, this compensation may include payment for:

  • Lost income and business opportunities
  • Diminished earning capacity
  • Medical bills, including past, current, and future expenses 
  • Pain and suffering 
  • Mental anguish
  • Other damages resulting from the accident

However, to obtain these damages, accident victims will need to provide detailed proof of their accident and the injuries involved. They will also need to show that the motor vehicle accident worsened their condition and that the harm they are experiencing resulted from it. 

How Long Will It Take To Settle a Degenerative Disc Disease Car Accident Settlement?

For any type of accident settlement, it is very challenging to give a precise time frame for how long a personal injury case will take to resolve. This is because there are numerous factors that can affect the case’s timeline, including what kind of injuries the individual has and whether the case goes to court or is settled prior to a trial.

The Injuries Involved

The severity of the injuries involved can impact the length of time it will take the case to resolve. In most instances, more severe injury cases can take longer to sort out, primarily because there will be more compensation on the line. 

Party Cooperation

In degenerative disc disease cases, it is not uncommon for insurance companies to claim that a person’s condition was not the result of the motor vehicle accident, but rather an existing condition they had already sustained. As a result, victims may need to obtain additional evidence to show that the accident did, in fact, cause their damages, which can delay the process.

The Litigation Process

If the parties cannot reach a fair settlement during negotiations, the case may have to go before a judge or jury. If this happens, the length of the case can be significantly extended. However, it may be necessary to go this route if the plaintiff wants to obtain the compensation they need to help with recovery. 

Contact a Yonkers, New York Personal Injury Attorney To Learn More About Degenerative Disc Disease Following a Car Accident

Can a car accident cause degenerative disc disease? No, but you still may be able to pursue compensation for the harm you suffered. That is why if you have suffered harm in a motor vehicle accident or the crash worsened your degenerative disc disease, you may want to contact Stufano Law today by calling (914) 752-7746 to schedule a free case evaluation and seek help determining what legal options you may have. 


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