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Herniated Disc As A Result Of A Rear-End Collision

J.H. worked in the operations department of a telecommunications equipment supply company near the city. He was happily married, and he and his wife led an active and healthy lifestyle together.

One morning, while traveling in heavy morning rush hour traffic on a major highway, J.H. was coming to a stop when he looked in his rearview mirror and saw a vehicle coming up behind him very quickly. He anticipated that the SUV was not going to stop fast enough to avoid colliding with his car, and he tensed up waiting for the impact. The SUV’s driver’s foot slipped off the brake pedal, and the vehicle rolled forward and struck the back of J.H.’s car.

Upon arriving on the scene, the police cited the SUV driver with “Failure to Use Due Care” regarding the operation of her vehicle. Immediately after the collision, J.H. felt soreness and pain in his neck and low back, so he drove himself to the nearest hospital following the conclusion of the scene of the wreck.

At the hospital, J.H. was diagnosed with a lumbar sprain as well as lumbosacral disc degeneration. The treating physician gave him a two-day work excuse and referred him to an orthopedist.

About two weeks following the wreck, J.H. attended an appointment with the orthopedist, complaining of severe right side pain that radiated through his lower back, buttocks, and the back of his right thigh. The orthopedist diagnosed him with lumbago and referred him to physical therapy.

Three days later, J.H. began physical therapy, where he was treated with electrical stimulation, hot and cold packs, and therapeutic exercise. After a month of physical therapy, he was released, but with instructions to return if his symptoms did not dissipate so that he could undergo an MRI to check for a herniated disc.

A week later, J.H. was still in pain, so he sought a second opinion from a spine specialist. He was experiencing back pain that radiated through his right buttock, right hip, and right posterior thigh. The spine physician diagnosed him with lumbago, lumbosacral spondylosis, and radiculopathy J.H. also underwent an MRI, which revealed a disc herniation at L5-S1 and smaller herniations at L4-5 and L3-4. To decrease his pain, the physician again referred him to physical therapy coupled with epidural injections.

After over two months of extensive physical therapy and epidural injections, J.H. was still in pain. He was experiencing stabbing, shooting pain in his back and down his right leg. The spine physician recommended that he be evaluated for surgery.

Ten days later, J.H. consulted with a spine surgeon, who recommended an anterior lumbar interbody fusion surgery after viewing his x-ray results. J.H. expressed that, because he could not live with the current pain that he was feeling for the remainder of his life, he would like to move forward with the recommended surgery.

Almost two months later, J.H. underwent surgery, which included the application of a prosthetic device, an autograft, vertebral corpectomy, and both posterior and anterior arthrodesis.

Two weeks after his surgery, J.H. returned to the spine physician for his post-operative follow-up. The surgical hardware was holding in position very well and his recovery was progressing as planned.

Three months after surgery, J.H. experienced pain when he bent over or leaned forward in his lower back. X-rays of his lumbar spine revealed post-surgical bone growth, and he continued to experience pain in his knees and calves. This pain contributed to physical limitations that prevented him from lifting objects with moderate weight and performing active hobbies, such as fly-fishing, and household responsibilities.

Four months after surgery and returning to physical therapy, J.H. reported a significant improvement in his low back and right leg pain.

We are happy to report that we were successful in recovering every penny of insurance available to our client, a total amount of $600,000.00.

Today, J.H. still experiences occasional mild pain in his lower back, but overall, he leads a happy and satisfying life. While he obviously regrets that this wreck ever happened and that he had to endure a spine surgery, he recognized that the final outcome could have been much worse but for the outstanding medical care he received, along with the zealous representation he received from Kaufman Law.