Several factors affect a personal injury settlement for a herniated disk. These include the severity of your injury, length of treatment, and if you are temporarily or permanently disabled. There are no predetermined values in herniated disk settlements.
Understanding Herniated Disk Injuries
It might be helpful to understand hernia disk injuries and how this injury could cause you chronic pain for months or even years. There are small rubbery disks between the individual vertebrae of your spine. These spinal disks have soft, gel-like centers covered by a tough exterior. A spinal disk can rupture anywhere along your spine. You can also have more than one herniated disk.
A herniated disk occurs when this soft interior pushes out through the outer layer; it can pinch or rub on nearby nerves. This causes pain, numbness, or weakness in the buttocks, leg, foot, neck, shoulder, or arm. A herniated disk is also known as a bulging or ruptured disk.
Common Causes of Herniated Disks
Untreated Herniated Disks Can Lead to Serious Health Conditions
In addition to the excruciating pain of a pinched nerve, an untreated herniated disk could lead to permanent paralysis. You could experience bowel or bladder dysfunction. Another complication is called saddle anesthesia, which causes numbness in your thighs, back of legs, and buttocks.
Factors That Influence a Herniated Disk Settlement
Insurance companies try to look for ways to deny or undervalue a herniated disk settlement. If you were previously treated for neck or back pain, the adjuster could argue that the disk might have been a preexisting condition. That is why you should have your own personal injury lawyer to counter these objections with medical records or a statement from your doctor.
Some factors could negatively affect your settlement amount like:
- You have a history of back or neck pain.
- You delayed getting medical attention for your herniated disk.
- You did not complete the recommended treatment from your healthcare provider.
- Your age (may contribute to a preexisting condition by normal “wear and tear”).
- You contributed in some way to the accident or injury.
There are factors that could positively affect your settlement amount:
- You cannot work in your previous job (for example, construction).
- You need surgery or have had surgery.
- Your healthcare provider recommends ongoing treatment or therapy.
- Your pain and suffering (depression, anxiety, insomnia, chronic pain management).
- Loss of consortium with your spouse.
- Lost wages because of the injury and recuperation.
- You need help with activities you used to be able to do (for example, childcare).
- You suffered other injuries in addition to the herniated disk.
A Herniated Disk Settlement Can Be Negotiated
Two kinds of damages are usually considered for a herniated disk settlement. The first kind is specific damages. This can include items like medical bills, wheelchair rental or purchase, lost pay, and other tangible expenses. The second kind is known as general damages. These damages are less tangible and can include pain and suffering, and mental anguish.
A personal injury lawyer can negotiate for recovery of both kinds of damages. If you are suffering from a herniated disk, the last thing you want to do is deal with an insurance adjuster. You could also unintentionally jeopardize a settlement offer if you:
- Wait too long to file a claim or a lawsuit.
- Post comments about your injury on social media.
- Discuss your part in the accident.
- Do not submit all bills and expenses as proof of monetary loss.
A Personal Injury Lawyer Will Stand Up to the Insurance Company
Insurance companies who represent the defendant (the person or party who is responsible for your injuries) prefer to settle for as little compensation as possible. They know that you may have many bills to pay. It may be tempting to accept whatever the insurance company offers just to put this ordeal behind you.
The personal injury lawyers at D. Miller & Associates, PLLC ask that you call for a free case evaluation before you talk to the insurance adjuster, or before you accept any payment. Since 2002, we have recovered compensation for injured and disabled clients. While our past success does not guarantee future outcomes, we will do our best to maximize your potential compensation.
To schedule your free case evaluation, please call (713) 850-8600.