Vehicle accidents, even those that occur at low speeds, often result in injuries to the driver and passengers. Because of the kinetic energy, your body continues moving at the speed your car was traveling even after the impact. This violent motion can lead to serious injury, especially to your neck and spine.
Injuries frequently suffered following an accident are bulging or herniated disc injuries. It is not uncommon for a herniated disc injury to be treated with physical therapy or anti-inflammatory medication. However, more serious injuries may require expensive treatments or possibly surgery.
If you or a loved one suffer an injury like this, contact a herniated disc injury lawyer to guide you through the claims process and receive the compensation you deserve. You need time to focus on your recovery. A skilled attorney will handle the details for you and ensure you are fully compensated for your injuries.
What Is a Herniated Disc Injury?
Vertebrae are circular bones that stack up to form the spinal column. In between the vertebrae sit rubbery cushions called discs. These discs are what allow you to bend and twist your body. Each disc is filled with a jelly-like substance that is encased in a tough outer shell. Trauma can cause these outer shells to tear, allowing the gel to leak out of the disc. This is what is referred to as a herniated disc. Usually occurring in the lower back, this can cause pain, numbness, or weakness in the arms and legs.
How Is a Herniated Disc Diagnosed?
If you are experiencing symptoms of a herniated disc after a car accident, you should seek medical treatment as soon as possible. Not only will this protect you from further injury, but you will need the documentation from the doctor for your car accident injury claim.
A doctor will perform a physical exam and note your muscle strength, pain, reflexes, and sensation. This exam may be sufficient to diagnose a herniated disc, but your doctor may also order tests such as an x-ray, MRI, CT scan, or an EMG (electromyogram).
How Is a Herniated Disc Treated?
As mentioned above, some herniated disc injuries can be treated with minimal intervention. Rest, anti-inflammatories, and physical therapy are all options for relief from the symptoms of a mild herniated disc injury.
More severe injuries require more invasive treatments. In extreme cases, treatment may include:
- Spinal fusion surgery
- Discectomy surgery
- Steroid injections into the spine
These treatments can be ongoing and very expensive. That is why you need the expert guidance of a skilled car accident injury lawyer to navigate your case.
What Type of Compensation Can I Receive?
No two herniated disc injury cases are alike. There is a wide range of symptoms and severities to these injuries and the extent of yours will determine how much compensation you are entitled to. In addition to covering your medical bills, your settlement should pay for:
- Current lost wages
- Loss of future earning capacity
- Pain and suffering
- Loss of consortium
These amounts can be affected by your personal or professional life. If you are a caregiver to a child or an elderly parent and your injury prevents you from providing adequate care, your compensation should reflect that. Also if you have a job that requires a certain amount of physical labor that you will no longer be able to perform due to your injury, you should be compensated for that. Occupations applicable to this include:
- Professional athlete
- Manual laborer
- Construction worker
Additional compensation only applies if your responsibilities require you to perform movements that can agitate your injury and cause pain.
How Much of a Settlement Should I Expect?
There is no set amount for a herniated disc car accident injury settlement in California. Many of the factors listed above come into play. It is not uncommon for settlement amounts to vary as much as from $20,000 up to $1 million or more.
Responsibility for causing the accident plays a role in the amount of compensation you are awarded. California is a pure comparative fault state. This means that if you are found to be partially or wholly responsible for the car accident in which you were injured your compensation amount will decrease based on your percentage of fault. For example, if your case is awarded a $100,000 settlement and you are declared to be 20% at fault for your involvement in the accident, you are only eligible to receive $80,000.
How Can I Get the Full Compensation I Deserve?
Many factors in getting a fair settlement are out of your control. But the following are the best steps to follow to have the strongest case:
- Contact a car accident injury attorney
- Let your lawyer communicate with the insurance company
- Don’t sign anything without consulting your lawyer
- Don’t post anything about your accident on social media
- Be aware of your state’s statute of limitations to file an accident claim
- In California, the statute of limitations is 2 years from the date of your accident
Contact a California Car Accident Attorney Today
Why wait? If you’ve suffered a herniated disc car accident injury, contact the experts at Sally Morin today. The likelihood of receiving a full and fair settlement greatly increases when working with an attorney than when trying to take on the insurance company alone. Let Sally Morin go to bat for you and help you get the compensation you deserve. Contact us online for a free case evaluation or call us at 877-380-8852.