My Car Accident Story (Part II)
I was taken by ambulance from the accident scene, to Stony Brook University Hospital, which is a trauma center. I was complaining to the EMTs about my left arm, which felt like it was burning, as well as my left shoulder. Even though I was able to get out of my car and walk around on my own, I knew that I should get checked out even though waiting around in the Emergency Room is not my idea of a fun way to spend a day.
I recall receiving X-rays to my left shoulder and all parts of my left arm. Nothing was broken, and as such, nothing more could be done for me at the hospital. I knew, however, that the next day, I would feel much, much worse. When I woke up the next morning, the pain in my left shoulder was extremely intense. I made an appointment to see a shoulder specialist who performed an MRI. Luckily, there was no damage to my rotator cuff, however, since the pain was bad and I was feeling tightness, I was scheduled for physical therapy. In addition, I sought treatment from a local chiropractor and acupuncturist.
Prior to my accident, I had clients who had explained to me that their pain had traveled from one part of their body to the other a few days to a few weeks after the accident. Although I understood this as a lawyer, it was much different when it happened to me. About a week after my accident, I started having excruciating pain in my lower back. I knew I needed to get to a spine specialist to find out what was going on.
I decided to go to a spinal specialist team in Commack, NY. They come highly recommended and I loved the fact that they had a number of specialists such as orthopedists, neurologists, surgeons and pain management providers all under one roof. I found that getting the treatment I needed was becoming a second full-time job, so I was relieved when I found this facility.
I was sent for an MRI of my lumbar spine and it was revealed that I did have a bulge which impressed upon my spinal cord. As one excellent chiropractor I know has explained, if you put your finger on your eyelid and press ever so slightly, you know that your eye immediately experiences discomfort. It's the same with a bulge pressing or encroaching on your thecal sac or neural foramina. The discomfort absolutely is there and it can affect all aspects of your life. Insurance claim representatives will commonly poo-poo injuries like this, calling them "soft-tissue". I can tell you that soft tissue injuries can be worse to deal with and treat than a fracture, which can heal easily most of the time and you go on your way. I was eventually diagnosed with nerve damage from the bulge, which went all the way down to my big toe, which has numbness and tingling. I still have these symptoms more than six years after the accident and it may never go away. The pain in my lower back is also ever-present. I underwent three epidural steroid injections under twilight anesthesia in order to try to alleviate the burning pain in my lower back. Although the steroids helped temporarily, the burning pain is still ever-present.
How did my injuries affect my life? For months after the accident, it hurt to walk, grocery shop, do housework, lift anything over five pounds and sleep. Sleeping is still extremely uncomfortable. I have a tough time sitting for prolonged periods of time, so driving and flying long distances is a challenge, and I usually end up at the acupuncturist or chiropractor to alleviate the pain after getting home.
My case did eventually resolve. Although I had "soft-tissue" injuries, I treated for about two years and underwent a battery of tests and treatments, just short of undergoing surgery on my lumbar spine.
As you can plainly see, I can relate to every aspect of your claim.
I'm not afraid of confronting insurance companies with "soft-tissue" injuries, as long as they are well-documented and treated accordingly. If other lawyers have turned you away saying they won't help you, feel free to give me a call for a phone or FaceTime conversation. Call (631) 828-5552 to schedule your free consultation today or fill out our contact form.