Degenerative disc disease itself is caused by aging, but a cat accident can cause injuries related to degenerative disc disease. Car accidents can also aggravate existing cases of this condition. If you are injured in a car accident, your insurance claim can cover all back injuries related to that accident—whether you have degenerative disc disease or not.
What is degenerative disc disease?
Degenerative disc disease is a condition that develops a you age. It affects the “discs,” which are flat round structures that rest between the vertebrae of your spine. When you’re young, these discs are made mostly of water, but as you age, they dry out. They also become thinner.
This affects your back in numerous ways. The discs are responsible for serving as “shock absorbers” for your spine. Their chief function is to help protect the spine against injuries. Obviously, as the discs degenerate they become less able to do this, which has several effects:
- Any blow to the back or sudden pressure or turning of the back is more likely to cause injury (such as in a car accident).
- Any back injuries you do suffer are likely to be more severe.
- Even without a sudden injury, the thin walls of the discs can crack through normal wear. This can be painful and can develop into a bulging disc or herniated disc.
How does a car accident affect someone with degenerative disc disease?
Since degenerative disc disease develops slowly over time, the condition itself is not caused by car accidents, but it can make them more severe. For example, if you have a herniated disc related to your degenerative disc disease, a car accident can make it substantially more painful than it was before. This is often a condition that will continue long-term.
Can the insurance company deny my car accident claim because of degenerative disc disease?
Insurance companies will often try to fight claims involving a “pre-existing condition” like degenerative disc disease. They’ll claim that you already had the condition before the accident, so your back pain is not related to the accident and shouldn’t be covered. But they are wrong—this is flawed logic.
The reason it’s flawed is because you’re not claiming the car accident caused the underlying condition in the first place. Rather, you are making a claim for the increased pain or new conditions that started after the car accident. And this is your right. When an accident aggravates or worsens a pre-existing condition like degenerative disc disease, the accident claim DOES cover any treatment you need for these new developments.
It also covers other related costs. For example, if you needed to miss time from work because of your increased back pain, that would be covered.
Talk to an Atlanta Car Accident Lawyer for Free
Don’t expect insurance companies to pay out a degenerative disc disease claim related to an accident if they don’t have to. They know most people don’t get lawyers and so they think they can get away with depriving you of your settlement. You need a good car accident lawyer on your side. Let us help you. Call us at (404) 341-6555 or fill out the form to the right to get your free consultation today.