One of the most common complaints people have after a car accident is back pain. In many cases, the underlying cause of this pain is a herniated or “slipped” disc.
If you've been (or suspect you've been) injured in this way you're likely wondering how much your claim is worth. In this article, we'll explore this question in detail so you will have an idea what to expect and can maximize your settlement.
Let's get started…
According to the Mayo Clinic:
A herniated disc refers to a problem with one of the rubbery cushions (disks) between the individual bones (vertebrae) that stack up to make your spine .
The most common “problem” is the disc moves and impinges on spinal nerves causing pain.
The mechanics of a herniated disc are complicated, but generally speaking, the stress or impact of a car accident can cause one of the discs to become displaced. Additionally, an accident can cause soft tissue injuries to other parts of the body which can affect the health of your spine and lead to disc problems over time.
A herniated disc does not automatically spell the severe pain its name might conjure in your mind. Symptoms vary, but the most common ones (according to WebMD) are :
Treatment for disc issues can be as simple as a few exercises and rest or as serious as surgery on the spine.
As with any type of injury, a medical professional is needed to properly assess your condition. This is good from both the perspective of your claim, but more importantly for the benefit of your own health.
If you've sustained a disc injury in a car accident you'll need to show two primary things for a successful claim (a claim is possible without these, just harder).
Regardless of whether you plan to go through your own insurance carrier and let them subrogate or pursue damages from the other party (or their insurance company) the first step is always to get medical treatment.
This helps to establish your claim and it makes sure you are taken care of.
When it comes to car accident-related herniated disc claims, the at-fault party may be on the hook for quite a few damages. These can include:
The unfortunate truth is that disc problems can equal a lifetime of pain or disability (not always) and as such these type of claims often last for a long time and are fiercely contested.
Now that you understand some of the basics, let's get to the real question. How much is your herniated disc claim worth?
According to a recent survey, the average jury verdict involving a herniated disc claim was approximately $350,000. But before you rush to conclusions remember a few things.
This number represents not only car accidents but all other forms of herniated disc bodily injury claims. This number may not account for many claims whose outcome is confidential. It is also just an average that may have little or no bearing on your situation.
There is a wide spectrum when it comes to disc injury claims. Some factors that can affect the value of your claim are:
Let's take a look at a few examples. These examples may be another useful in helping your ballpark your claim and set appropriate expectations.
Figuring out the value of a herniated disc claim is tricky and there is really no perfect method to it. If you're facing this situation just be sure to keep a few things in mind.
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