A herniated disc is a common injury resulting from an automobile collision. There are numerous factors that go into any settlement value involving a herniated disc, and every case is unique. Flora Templeton Stuart Accident Injury Lawyers has over 50 years of experience representing victims of automobile collisions with injuries such as herniated disc. If you or a loved one has been injured due to someone else’s negligence, contact Flora Templeton Stuart as soon as possible at 888-782-9090 to see how we can help.
What is a Herniated Disc and How Does this Happen from a Car Accident?
A herniated disc involves the rubbery cushions (discs) that sit between the individual bones (vertebra) that stack to make up your spine, according to the Mayo Clinic. Most herniated discs occur in the lower back, although they can also occur in the neck. A herniated disc can also irritate a nearby nerve, which can result in significant pain and even numbness or weakness in an extremity such as an arm or leg. Signs and symptoms depend on where the disk is situated and whether the disk is pressing on a nerve. Herniated disc commonly affect one side of the body.
Mayo Clinic also reports that Herniated Disc Symptoms can include:
Back, Arm or Leg pain: If the herniated disk is in your lower back, you’ll typically feel the most pain in your mid and lower back, buttocks, thigh and calf. Your pain may be exacerbated by the exertion of standing/walking for long periods. You might have pain in part of the foot, as well. If your herniated disk is in your neck, you’ll typically feel the most pain in your shoulder and arm. This pain might shoot into your arm or leg when you cough, sneeze or move into certain positions. Pain from disc hernation is often described as sharp, aching, or burning.
Numbness or Tingling: People who have a herniated disk often have radiating numbness or tingling in the body part served by the affected nerves. This is sometimes referred to as the “pins and needles” sensation, particularly in the fingers/toes.
Electronic Shock Pain: Pressure on a nerve can cause abnormal sensations, sometimes experienced as electronic shock-like pains. When the compression occurs in the cervical (neck) area, the shocks go down your arms and when the compression is in the lumbar (low back) then shocks may go down your legs.
Weakness: Muscles by the affected nerves tend to weaken. This may affect your gait, causing you to stumble or lose your balance more easily. This weakness can also affect your ability to lift or hold items.
Any traumatic event to the back can cause a herniated disc, and generally speaking the stress or impact of a car accident can cause a discs to become displaced.
Diagnosing a Herniated Disc
If you have been injured in an automobile accident, it is important to seek medical treatment as soon as possible. An experienced car accident lawyer can help you get to good medical professionals to evaluate and treat your injuries. Once evaluated, a treating physician may diagnose a herniated disc by physical examination alone, based on several test including testing of sensation, muscle strength and reflexes.
An MRI is commonly used to aid in making the diagnoses of a herniated disc. According to Spine-Health.com, an MRI (Magnetic resonance imaging) usually provides the most accurate assessment of the lumbar spine area, showing where a herniation has occurred and which nerves are affected. It can show where the herniated disc is and how it is impinging on the nerve root.
What Damages Can I collect in My Herniated Disc Injury Claim?
Our Kentucky car accident lawyers have decades of experience pursuing damages for our injured clients. If you or a loved one has been injured in an automobile collision, as the result of someone else’s negligence, you can pursue the following damages:
“Economic damages” can include all medical expenses stemming from emergency room visits, doctors visits, diagnostics, rehabilitation, etc. Economic damages can also include lost wages, whether past, present or future. These damages are called “economic damages” because they can have a direct dollar amount associated with the loss. There are many considerations to take into account when calculating economic damages such as future lost wages, and Flora Templeton Stuart Accident Injury Lawyers will fight to maximize those damage amounts.
“Noneconomic damages” can include pain and suffering, both mental and physical. The reality of injuries such as herniated disc are that they can last a lifetime and cause significant pain and suffering. Our experienced Accident Injury Attorneys at the Law Firm of Flora Templeton Stuart fight to maximize all noneconomic damages as well. The extend of recovery of noneconomic damages depends on the specific facts of your case.
What Factors Determine the Value of Your Herniated Disc Case?
There are many factors that determine the value or settlement of your herniated disc claim. Those include:
- The Amount of Insurance Available: Most states have mandatory minimum liability insurance requirements on vehicles. Kentucky has a minimum requirement of $25,000.00. Depending on your own automobile insurance policy, you may have additional insurance available to you if you have “underinsured” coverage. If you are hit by a commercial vehicle (vehicle owned/operated by a business) they typically have much larger insurance policies with much more insurance available to compensate you for your injuries.
- Amount Of Property Damage (Damage to Your Vehicle): One thing insurance adjusters often look at in evaluating your injury claim is the extent of damage to your vehicle. While even low speed impacts with minimum damage can cause significant injury, adjusters tend to place more value on claims where there is extensive property damage as opposed to little or no damage. It is important to photograph the damage to your vehicle following a collision.
- The Nature and Extent of Your Injuries: There are many considerations that go into the evaluation of your injuries. Severe injuries such as broken bones are valued higher then “soft tissue” injuries that involve muscles or tendons only. Good consistent medical treatment with physicians is critical in any injury claim. Injuries that can be visualized with diagnostic imaging, such as herniated disc, are generally much more valuable then claims where there is only a diagnosis of a “strain” or “sprain.” If a physician says your injury is permanent, that increases the value of your claim considerably. Another consideration that the insurance company looks at is whether or not you have had any pre-existing medical conditions or previous injuries to the body part at issue. If you previously had back surgery, treatment, or degeneration, that can effect the value of your claim. Often, adjusters may ask for prior treatment records or any prior imaging of your back if you sustained a herniated disc.
- The Amount of Your Medical Bills: The amount of your medical bills plays a big part in the insurance adjusters evaluation of settlement. In Kentucky, you have to have over $1,000.00 in medical bills to have a claim against a liability carrier. Typically, low medical bills are indicative of limited treatment, which may be a red flag to the adjuster on the extent of your injuries, as “injured people go get medical treatment for those injuries, if they’re hurt” (or at least that’s what the insurance adjuster may say).
- Liability – Whether or Not You Share in Any Fault for The Cause of the Collision: If you are determined to be any percentage at fault for the collision, your settlement is likely to be reduced by that amount of fault. In Kentucky, we have a “pure comparative” fault system, whereby your own negligence reduces your claim by your percentage of fault. In Tennessee, if you are found to be 51% or more at fault, your recovery is completely barred.
- Venue – Where the Collision Occurred: The city, county, or even state where the incident occurred can make a big difference in the evaluation of your settlement. Some states, cities, and counties can be much more conservative and award much less in jury verdicts than others. Adjusters will often look at average jury awards in the area of where the collision occurred, to determine the likely hood of you receiving a high or low jury award if your case proceeded through trial.
We are Here to Help You Recover From Your Herniated Disc Injury! Call the Experienced Attorneys at Flora Templeton Stuart Accident Injury Lawyers today!
If you or someone you love has sustained a herniated disc or any other injury in an automobile collision, contact the experienced injury lawyers at Flora Templeton Stuart Accident Injury Lawyers immediately to help you with your claim. When we receive a call from a client who has been injured, we get to work immediately to protect your case and fight for the damages and justice you deserve. Let our experience work for you. Call Flora Templeton Stuart Accident Injury Lawyers now at 888-782-9090.