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Boating Accident Back Injury: Complications of Ruptured Disc


A Jones Act injury may turn out to be a ruptured disc, which could leave you sidelined for weeks or months, depending on its severity. To protect your rights, you should see a doctor to get a definitive diagnosis and then consult with Jones Act lawyers, who know the international maritime law, to explore your legal options.

If you have suffered a painful ruptured disc in a boating accident, you could end up developing cauda equina syndrome and suffering form worse health conditions. Such conditions may lead to the need for:  

  • frequent doctor visits;
  • prescription medication;
  • costly medical devices; and
  • more.

Jones Act lawyers, based in Louisiana, can assist you in pursuing a compensation claim for your back injury to help you financially get back on your feet.

Serious Complications of a Ruptured Disc

On occasions when cauda equina syndrome occurs from a ruptured disc, the following symptoms may be present: bowel and bladder problems and tingling or loss of sensation in the legs and lower pelvic area.

This syndrome could be caused when a ruptured disc breaks open, producing a fragment that is large enough to compress your cauda equina (bundle of nerve roots) in your spinal canal. This condition needs immediate medical attention and surgery is typically necessary to remove the fragment.

The cost of your surgery, doctor’s visits, physical therapy and other similar expenses may be recoverable through compensation claims for serious back injuries. You may be able to collect other damages in your claim but you should have your case evaluated by Jones Act lawyers first.

Signs and Symptoms of a Ruptured Disc

The signs and symptoms of a ruptured disc depend on the location of the injured disc and whether a nerve is compressed.

You may experience any of the following: 

  • lower back pain;
  • pain traveling down one leg that could start suddenly or gradually could be intermittent or constant, may worsen with sudden movements or prolonged sitting, and may be relieved by walking or changing positions;
  • pain in the front of your thigh;
  • pain or numbness in your shoulders, arms or chest;
  • tingling in only one leg that may begin behind the knee or in the buttock and extend to your foot, ankle or thigh;
  • weakness in both legs and bowel and bladder problems (a serious complication called cauda equine syndrome, requiring emergency medical treatment); and
  • severe muscle pain and spasms.

Diagnosing and Treating Your Ruptured Disc after a Boating Accident

To get a definitive diagnosis, your doctor may perform an examination and question you about your symptoms and how the accident occurred. If your symptoms point to a ruptured disc, a CT scan or MRI may be ordered to confirm the diagnosis or rule out other possible problems.

Symptoms may last for several weeks or months and treatment may involve any of the following. 

  • Rest – if you have severe pain, you will be advised to rest. Otherwise, you will be advised to stay active because resting too long can worsen your symptoms. Your doctor may suggest light activity such as walking.
  • Heat  therapy – your doctor may recommend you use a heating pad intermittently. A warm shower may also be helpful.
  • Cold therapy – an ice pack may also relieve pain.
  • Physical therapy – you may be prescribed exercises to strengthen your back muscles and prevent additional injury.
  • Medication – prescription or over-the-counter medication may be helpful in easing pain and swelling.

About 50 percent of people with a ruptured disc feel better within a month, and most see improvement within 6 months. In some cases, surgery may be necessary. It is important that you follow your doctor’s orders and meet all your medical appointments to not only monitor your injury but these actions could also become vital evidence in your claim that you may end up filing with Jones Act lawyers.

Contacting Jones Act Lawyers

Attorney Timothy Young in Louisiana understands that maritime laws provide you with certain protections your employer may not want you to know about. The maritime law firm in New Orleans, The Young Firm, can help you if you have suffered boating accident injuries, an offshore accident or other injuries that fall under maritime laws or the Jones Act.

Though we are based in Louisiana, we are ready and able to help injured victims throughout the U.S. Order our free Maritime Injury Law guide and/or our guide towhat to do when you are injured offshore to learn all about your rights as an injured worker.

When you are ready to get started with your Jones Act injury case, we urge you to contact us today for a FREE case evaluation – call toll-free at (866) 938-6113.

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