A herniated disc is one of the more potentially serious injuries you can suffer in a car accident or slip and fall. You can incur medical expenses and damages that reach hundreds of thousands of dollars. If someone else was responsible for your accident injuries, you might be entitled to significant financial compensation.
The Pensacola car accident attorneys at Stevenson Klotz Injury Lawyers can work to get every dollar that you deserve in a settlement for your herniated disc.
How Discs Work in Your Back
Your back has many bones that interlock together to form your spinal column. These bones allow for a range of motion. These bones are separated from and should not rub directly against each other.
Between each of your bones is a rubbery cushion called a disc. The discs provide the separation between the bones. Each disc is filled with a gel-like substance. This gel sits within a harder outer substance that cushions and protects it.
A herniated disc is a protrusion in the hard outer substance that allows the gel to protrude and move from its normal position. In some cases, the protrusion can press down on a nerve, causing the patient to experience symptoms. A herniated disc usually occurs in the lower back. The lower the herniated disc, the more serious the symptoms and pain.
Symptoms of a Herniated Disc
Symptoms of a herniated disc include the following:
- Sharp pain on one side of the body
- Numbness in the lower body
- Sharp pain in the legs, hips, and buttocks
- Pain when moving your neck
Treatment for a Herniated Disc
The treatment for a herniated disc depends on severity. The symptoms can worsen over time if the problem is not adequately addressed or treated. Some injuries may not cause significant pain, and the accident victim may not even realize that they suffered an injury. Some herniated discs may require extensive medical treatment and rehabilitation.
If rest and therapy cannot adequately heal a herniated disc, the patient will need surgery. There are four primary types of surgery for herniated discs:
- Laminectomy: The surgeon will make a small incision in the arch to relieve the pressure on the disc (they will remove the lamina if necessary)
- Discectomy: The surgeon removes the portion of the disc that is pressuring the nerve, or they may remove the disc entirely. This procedure used to be done more invasively, but surgeons are now performing a microdiscectomy through a less-invasive procedure.
- Artificial disc surgery: In this complex procedure, the surgeon will remove the degenerated disc and replace it with a synthetic disc made of plastic and metal. The patient will be under general anesthesia and will remain in the hospital for several days.
- Spinal fusion: In the most serious type of disc surgery, two or more discs are fused together permanently (since the disc between them is damaged). The doctor will use a bone graft from another part of your body or metal rods or screws.
Debunking an Average Settlement for a Herniated Disc
Instead of worrying about the average settlement, you should be concerned with maximizing the settlement value of your own case. Another plaintiff may have received a decent amount of money, but it may not be enough to compensate you for a serious injury.
A herniated disc claim may be worth more than you think. As we described above, a herniated disc is not a minor injury. It can mean years of treatments and procedures, and you may never be the same again. Cases for permanent injury often result in settlements of several hundred thousand dollars or more.
Factors that Influence a Settlement for a Herniated Disc
Your settlement value will depend on how you have been impacted by your herniated disc. Factors that can influence your settlement value include:
- How painful your herniated disc is
- The things in your life before your injury that you may have missed
- The extent of the medical treatment that you need
- How your herniated disc has impacted you mentally
- Whether you can work after your injury
In a herniated disc settlement, there are many subjective factors that apply. Your settlement is about the injury you have sustained. However, the insurance company wants to marginalize your harm to maximize its profits.
There is a wide range of impacts of a herniated disc. Any injury is consequential and painful, but some are more serious than others. Your attorney needs to tell your story and prove how the injury has affected you.
How to Get the Most Compensation for Your Herniated Disc
In addition, the amount of insurance coverage also affects how much you can get. If the other driver does not have enough insurance to cover your damages, you have two options:
- You can file a claim against your own uninsured motorist coverage and negotiate with your own insurance company.
- You can take your case to trial and get a judgment against the responsible driver for the uncovered balance (although it is hard to collect personal injury judgments).
You need an experienced personal injury lawyer to know the true value of your case. Herniated discs can cause extensive discomfort and can take away your quality of life for an extended period of time. If you settle your claim for too little, you are leaving money on the table.
Contact Our Pensacola Car Accident Attorneys About Your Herniated Disc Injury
When you have suffered a disc injury in an accident, it is in your best interest to hire a lawyer to protect your legal rights. At Stevenson Klotz Injury Lawyers, we are here to fight for you, and we are not afraid to go toe-to-toe with the insurance company. To schedule your free initial consultation, you can send us a message online or call us today at (850) 444-0000.
Personal Injury Claim FAQs
How do I win a personal injury case for a spinal injury?
You need to prove that someone else’s wrongful actions caused your injuries. Usually, you must prove negligence.
What if the insurance company will not pay me what I deserve?
You can file a lawsuit in court, and the jury can decide your damages. The insurance company does not want that.