People who suffer from bulging or herniated discs as a result of an accident may be uncertain of what to expect in terms of compensation. However, understanding the difference between the two and drafting a successful claim for damages can help to ensure that the maximum settlement value is reached.
Herniated disc cases statistically tend to have higher settlement values than cases involving bulging discs. It is possible for bulging discs to cause nerve root impingement, which means that their severity has the potential to outweigh herniations where a referred pain pattern does not exist. For this reason, those with either type of injury should seek legal counsel from an experienced car accident lawyer who can help ensure they are justly compensated according to the physiological effects and financial costs incurred due to their injury.
What Exactly is a Herniated Disc?
A herniated disc is essentially a tear or rupture in the outer lining of a spinal disc. Generally, when these injuries occur, a fragment of the disc nucleus is pushed out of the annulus into the spinal canal; this can then lead to painful and uncomfortable symptoms. These symptoms can range from leg or arm pain, such as shooting pain in your leg or arm when you move into certain positions, sneeze, or cough – depending on which area of your spine has been affected. A herniated disc in the lower back could cause pain that radiates down your legs and calves, while a herniated disc in your neck may lead to shoulder and arm pain.
Common Causes of Herniated Discs
A herniated disc is a health condition that develops when the gel-like center of an intervertebral disc ruptures, forcing the outer disc to bulge outwards. It can occur anywhere between the neck and lower back, causing pain in varying intensities depending on its location. Herniated discs typically arise from everyday wear and tear that occurs over time, but certain types of accidents can increase the risk of developing this medical issue.
- Slip and fall accidents
- Sporting injuries
- Acts of violence
- Motor vehicle crashes
These are all common causes of herniated discs. When it comes to car accidents in particular. It is important for any individual who has been involved in an accident to be aware of this potential injury so as not to suffer preventable complications due to ignorance or lack of proper diagnosis/care.
Types of Injuries That Affect Your Car Accident Settlement
The types of injuries sustained in a car accident can significantly influence the settlement amount you may receive. One of the key elements in securing a favorable car accident settlement is establishing the culpability of the other party involved. The injuries you’ve sustained due to their negligence are integral to this effort. With over three decades of experience, Phillips Law Offices has advocated for thousands of individuals and their families facing similar circumstances. Our in-depth understanding of car accident-related injuries and the symptoms you’re dealing with enables us to effectively assess which settlement proposals merit serious consideration.
- Traumatic Brain and Head Injuries
- Spinal Injuries
- Pinched Nerves
The typical settlement amount for nerve damage resulting from a car accident largely hinges on the severity of your injuries and the extent to which they have affected your life, including your ability to move freely.
Examples of Herniated Discs Car Accident Settlements
While reviewing examples of herniated discs and car accident settlements can offer some insight into the potential value of your own case, it’s important to understand that they are not a conclusive benchmark.
January 2023, a California jury reached a verdict of $2,900,000 in favor of the plaintiff. The individual was heading south on the highway when a tractor-trailer operated by the defendant lost control and collided with the plaintiff’s car. The plaintiff experienced several herniated discs in the lumbar region, necessitating surgical intervention. Evidence was also presented indicating that additional surgeries would likely be needed in the future. The jury allocated $200,000 for previous medical costs, $1,300,000 for anticipated future medical expenses, and $1,400,000 for emotional distress and physical pain.
In December 2022, an Oregon jury awarded a 25-year-old woman $350,000 in damages. She was waiting at a red light when her vehicle was struck from behind. Her injuries consisted of a herniated lumbar disc that required surgical treatment, along with neck and back injuries that led to myofascitis and muscle spasms, as well as post-traumatic headaches. After receiving the maximum settlement allowed from the driver who was at fault, she sought additional Underinsured Motorist (UIM) damages. The jury’s award was broken down into $135,000 for economic damages, such as medical expenses and lost wages, and $215,000 for non-economic damages, like pain and suffering.
December 2022, a man from Middlesex, New Jersey, was awarded a $2.6 million verdict after experiencing a C5-C6 herniated disc. His pickup truck was struck by a wheel that had detached from another vehicle. Despite rejecting a pretrial settlement offer of $475,000, he ultimately received a much larger sum of $2.6 million from the jury’s decision.
In October 2020, a New York jury awarded a 53-year-old pedestrian $20,000 after he was hit at a crosswalk. The man sustained several herniated discs, a disc protrusion, and a fracture in his right foot. He underwent five months of chiropractic care and physical therapy. Although he claimed that his pain persisted even after the treatment, the jury was not convinced and awarded him a relatively modest sum.
These are a few examples of herniated discs in car accidents.
How Much Money Can You Expect From a Herniated Disc Settlement?
When recovering from a herniated disc, it is natural for one to want some insight into how much money they may be able to receive in the form of a settlement. Despite this, no legal practitioner or financial advisor can accurately predict the amount of the compensation awarded, if any at all.
That being said, there are certain factors that can influence the potential worth of a settlement related to a herniated disc case. These include the limited amount of coverage available in the defendant’s insurance policy; the exact nature and practicality of those circumstances leading up to and following the accident; and all relevant state and local laws pertaining to these matters. Different combinations of these elements can lead to varying settlement amounts. Therefore, it is strongly advised that parties involved in such cases consult attorneys who specialize in herniated disc litigation for more precise financial estimates based on your unique situation.
Statistics—Herniated Disc Recovery Amounts
When it comes to herniated disc injury claims, victims can expect to recover significant financial compensation. According to national statistics, the average verdict awarded per case is approximately $360,000. While this amount may seem high, it is skewed by unusually high settlements and court awards. A more accurate indicator of estimated recovery amounts is the median settlement of approximately $65,000. This figure is closer to the middle range of most settlements and offers a more realistic idea of what a claimant may be able to expect. It should also be noted that only one in twenty claimants recover over $1 million in their claim; most settle for less than $100,000.
What criteria will the insurance company consider after a herniated disc accident?
In the case of a herniated disc accident, there are certain factors that an insurance company will take into consideration in order to determine the value of your claim. First, they will examine the limits on their policy and compare it to the damages you have incurred. If the limits do not cover your entire injury, they may choose to reduce your settlement or deny it altogether.
In addition, insurance companies can use other pieces of information to try to devalue your claim or deny it entirely. Examples include looking into your medical history for similar back pain or neck problems that existed prior to the accident. They may also consider any pre-existing conditions you may have had and if those pre-existing conditions contributed to the accident causing increased damages. It is important for claimants to be aware that insurance providers may look into these areas when assessing their claim values and should be prepared accordingly.
Do Not Take on the Insurance Company Alone In Your Herniated Disc Accident Claim
When dealing with a herniated disc accident claim, it is important to understand that the insurance company does not have your best interests in mind. Instead, they are a business looking to make money and will attempt to offer you less in a settlement than you deserve or even deny your claim altogether. For this reason, it is advisable to seek out an experienced herniated disc injury lawyer before talking to an insurance adjuster. These attorneys are well-equipped to help prepare you for conversations with the adjusters and preserve your claim by speaking on your behalf. Furthermore, they can adequately advise you on what constitutes a fair settlement offer so you know if it is redemption enough for all your damages or not.
Additional factors that may impact your herniated disc claim
When filing a herniated disc claim, you must take extra precautions to ensure that your case is as strong as it can be. There are several errors that can cost claimants and ruin their chances of achieving a successful outcome. For instance, one of the most common mistakes is failing to obtain immediate professional medical attention after an accident or injury. By seeing a doctor soon after your incident, you can make sure that all pertinent information is documented correctly and that whatever injuries you’ve sustained are properly addressed. Furthermore, this type of evidence is essential in proving liability when it comes to claiming compensation.
If you have experienced a herniated disc accident, seek the necessary legal assistance.
Phillips Law Offices make it our mission to prove the validity of your case and its value to the insurance company. We do this by creating an undeniable complaint that shows the driver’s responsibility for causing the crash that has changed your life. We may not be able to give you a specific amount that your personal injury claim is worth. Still, we have a proven track record of successfully winning these types of cases and recovering fair and just compensation.
If you or a loved one has experienced such an injury, you can complete a free, no-risk case evaluation to get more information.