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Herniated Disc from Car Accident Settlements

Posted by Siamak Vaziri | Jun 26, 2022 | 0 Comments

As car accident lawyers, one of the most common questions our clients ask us during consultations is: “ How much can I get for my car accident injuries?” The answer is not so simple, every case is very different and those differences affect how much compensation is received.

The settlement amount a person should receive for herniated disc injuries depends upon the severity of the victim's injuries and the time it takes them to recover. However, a herniated disc victim's average settlement range is $362,000, with a median range of $66,500.

Herniated disk from a car accident

Key Points - Table of Contents

What Exactly is a Herniated Disc or Ruptured Disc?

Discs act as cushions between the spinal vertebrae. They contain an outer layer of tough cartilage and a softer inner layer of cartilage in the center.

A herniated disc occurs when there is a crack in the outer hard layer. This causes some of the softer inner cartilage to protrude out of the disc.

Herniated discs are also known as ruptured discs or slipped discs even though the entire disc does not rupture. Only a small area that is cracked is affected.

A herniated disc could occur as a result of trauma to the back. For example, a herniated disc after a car accident occurs when the force of the collision causes one of the vertebrae to push into the spinal canal where it may compress or put pressure on the spinal cord.

A herniated or ruptured disc is likely to cause more pain because it typically protrudes farther and is more likely to irritate the nerve roots. The irritation can be from compression of the nerve or much more commonly, the herniation causes a painful inflammation of the nerve root.

Although a herniation could occur in any section of the spine, herniated discs in the lumbar (low back) and cervical (neck) spine are the most common.

Herniated Disc Injuries in Car Accidents

A herniated disc refers to a problem with one of the discs or rubbery cushions that sit between the vertebrae or bones that make up the spine. The spinal disc has a soft, jellylike center encased in a tougher exterior.

Sometimes, a herniated disc occurs when some of the soft center pushes out through a tear in the exterior. A herniated disc most often occurs in the lower back causing pain, numbness or weakness in an arm or leg.

During a car accident, a herniated disc occurs when the force of a collision causes one of the vertebrae to push into the spinal canal where it could compress or put pressure on the spinal cord. The spinal cord is a bundle of nerves that carries messages from the brain to different parts of the body.

Can You Get a Bulging Disc from a Car Accident?

A bulging disc in the neck or back after a car accident is one of the most common injuries in the aftermath of a crash. This often occurs when the trauma from the collision causes a disc in the person's spine to bulge or extend beyond its normal position.

A bulging disc can cause pain due to the bulge itself or because it compresses or puts pressure on the surrounding nerve roots.  The symptoms of a bulging disc after a car accident include:

  • Neck or back pain
  • Inability to move the neck or restricted range of motion
  • Inflammation
  • Pain in the arms, chest or shoulders
  • Weakness or numbness in arms and fingers
  • Pain when moving

Car accidents can lead to both bulging and herniated discs. While herniated disc refers to when the tough outer shell of the spinal disc is ruptured or cracked, with bulging discs, the discs themselves are intact, but may be protruding out of their normal spaces.

If left untreated after a car accident, a bulging disc could lead to a herniated disc. This is why it is important to get medical attention after a car accident so you can get an accurate injury diagnosis and an appropriate treatment plan.

Can You Get a Herniated Disc from a Car Accident?

A herniated disc is one of the most common and painful injuries that result from a car accident. This type of an injury occurs when the force or impact of the crash causes one of the bones of your spine (vertebrae) to push into your spinal canal where it could put pressure on the spinal cord.

When the hard outer layer of your spinal disc cracks or ruptures, the condition is known as a herniated or ruptured disc. When you do not get prompt treatment and care, this type of an injury could result in severe pain, disability and even paralysis if the spinal cord becomes severely damaged.

There are also times when despite getting immediate medical attention, individuals could be left with long-term chronic pain or disability as a result of a herniated disc from a car accident. A herniated disc could occur in any three parts of the spine after a car accident.

It could occur in in cervical spine (the neck), the lumbar spine (the lower back), or the thoracic spine (mid-back). A herniated disc after a car accident could cause victims to suffer pain in the neck, back, arm or leg as well as numbness, tingling or muscle weakness at the injury site. When herniation affects the nerve roots and causes weakness, surgery may be recommended.

Signs and Symptoms of a Herniated Disc

The signs and symptoms of a herniated disc may vary depending on the nature, extent and location of the injury. Here are some of the most common symptoms to look out for if you have hurt your back in a traumatic event such as a car accident or slip-and-fall accident:

Pain: Oftentimes, lower back pain is the first symptom of a herniated disc. This pain may occur over a few days. Pain is often described as sharp or burning. Individuals may experience pain while walking, pain that worsens after sitting or sleeping, pain on one side of the body or that shoots up and down the arms or legs.

Sciatica: This is a sharp, shooting pain that extends from the buttock down the back of one leg. It is often caused by pressure on the spinal nerve.

Numbness: You may feel numbness or tingling in the leg or foot if you have a lumbar herniated disc or in your shoulder or arm when you have a cervical herniated disc.

Weakness: You may feel weakness in the leg of foot for a lumbar herniated disc and in your arm and shoulder with a cervical herniated disc.

Loss of reflexes: Because of pressure on your nerves, you may notice limited or slower reflexes to various stimuli. For example, you may not be able to catch or hold objects like you were able to before your injury.

Loss of bladder control: This is a serious symptom of herniated discs that is caused by the suppression of the roots of your spinal nerves. This required immediate medical attention.

Symptoms of a Herniated Disc May Not Happen Overnight

The signs and symptoms of a herniated or ruptured disc often depend on the location of the disc and whether the disc is pressing against a nerve. Typically, herniated discs affected one side of the body.

Here are some of the most common symptoms:

Arm or leg pain: If the herniated or ruptured disc is located in the lower back, you may also feel pain in your thigh, calf and buttocks. In some cases, your foot might hurt as well. A herniated disc in your neck could manifest in the form of shoulder or arm pain. You may also experience shooting pain into or arm or leg particularly when you cough or sneeze.

Tingling or numbness: Herniated discs could also result in numbness or tingling in the part of the body where the affected nerves are located.

Weakness: Muscles that are served by these affected nerves might also become weaker. This might affect your ability to use those muscles.

It is also possible to have a herniated disc without any specific symptoms. In some cases, the symptoms may not surface until a few days after your accident.

This is why it is important that you get prompt medical attention after an accident so you can get the care you need.

What is the Average Settlement for Herniated Disc Injuries?

The amount of settlement you receive for herniated disc injuries could depend on the nature and extent of your injuries and how long it could take for you to recover from them. It is hard to put a number without knowing the specific facts and circumstances of your case and understanding the severity of your injuries.

What you need to know is that herniated disc injuries from car accidents have the potential to have permanent or long-term effects. In such cases, the at-fault party or driver can be held liable. For example, if a distracted driver caused your car accident, he or she can be held liable for your injuries, damages and losses.

Determining the Value of Your Herniated Disc Case

There are a number of things to consider if you've suffered herniated disc injuries in a Los Angeles car accident. In some cases, you may require surgery to correct the problem and it could cost you tens of thousands of dollars.

Even if you don't require surgery, you may require ongoing medical treatment, which could also prove costly. The nonsurgical options to treat herniated discs could also require several weeks or months of bed rest, which means you may not be able to work for long periods of time.

Many car accident victims with herniated disc issues may suffer shoulder pain, rotator cuff issues, cervical spine damage, disc herniation and decompression. After surgery to repair a herniated disc, you might experience stiffness and could become limited in your range of motion.

Recovery time could range between several weeks and several months. A herniated disc, without a doubt, could end up costing you quite a bit of money as medical bills begin to pile up.

You may be unable to work for the duration of your treatment and recovery, which could prove financially devastating.  It is important to keep all these factors in mind as you work with an experienced personal injury lawyer toward a fair lower back pain car accident settlement.

How Much is a Bulging Disc Worth in a Lawsuit?

Bulging discs occur when the soft part of the spinal disc protrudes and puts pressure on the nerve roots causing pain along one's back and could travel up and down the arms and legs. A bulging disc can become a serious condition that could hamper a person's ability to have a normal life.

Patients may require surgery or extended treatments and therapies. In some cases, it could leave individuals with lifelong pain.

The average settlement or award for a bulging disc in the United States is about $140,000. However, it could be less or more depending on the nature and severity of your injuries.

It can be challenging to put a number or exact value on your case.  There are a number of different factors that could influence the value of a bulging disc case.

In such cases, plaintiffs must be ready to present compelling evidence about their medical history and the ways in which their lives have changed after the accident.  A vast majority of personal injury cases get settled out of court. 

Here are some of the variables that could impact the value of your bulging disc claim:

  • Did you require surgery to correct the problem?
  • Do you have diagnostic evidence of your injury such as a scan or MRI?
  • What treatments did you receive and for how long?
  • What impact did the injury have on your life?
  • Did you suffer any permanent injuries, disabilities or disfigurement?
  • Was your ability to earn affected?

An experienced personal injury lawyer will be able to analyze all aspects of your case and help you determine what your bulging disc lawsuit may be worth.

How Much Should Your Back Injury Settlement Be?

If you have injured your back in a car accident, you may be entitled to receive compensation for your injuries, damages and losses. However, it is important to remember not to rush into a settlement without consulting your car accident lawyer. When you suffer injuries such as a herniated disc, it takes some amount of time for the injury to be diagnosed and treated.

When it comes to herniated discs, you may need ongoing treatment and therapy. If you agree to a settlement prematurely, you may not be able to seek or obtain further compensation.

This is why it is extremely important to not accept a quick settlement from the insurance company. Talk to your car accident attorney before you sign any papers or agree to a settlement. Your lawyer will help ensure that you receive fair and full compensation for all your losses.

Steps To Take If You Have Suffered A Herniated Disc from a Car Accident

If you have suffered a herniated disc after a car accident, here are some of the steps you can take to protect your rights:

Medical attention: Prompt medical care and treatment is crucial when it comes to herniated discs. It is important not only to get timely diagnosis and treatment, but also to make sure you have not suffered other spinal damage that could leave you with permanent injuries or disabilities.

Documentation: Make sure to save all documents including doctor's reports, bills, invoices and insurance documents that connect your car accident to your herniated disc injury. Collect all evidence from the accident scene including photos and videos of the accident site and your injuries, eyewitness statements, etc.

Legal representation: Contact an experienced personal injury lawyer who has successfully handled similar cases. A lawyer can also help you review your medical records and evaluate what your case might be worth, if your car accident was caused by someone else's negligence or wrongdoing.

Do not sign any waivers or settlements unless you have talked with an experienced lawyer who is looking out for your best interests. Also, do not post anything about your injury on social media or online. Doing so might jeopardize your chances of receiving maximum compensation for your losses.

Frequently Asked Herniated Disc Injury Value Questions

If you have suffered a herniated disc injury as the result of a traumatic event such as a car accident, you may have questions about what your injury claim may be worth.

What is the Value of a Herniated Disc Personal Injury Claim?

There can be a significant range for personal injury claims involving herniated discs, which is heavily dependent on the facts and circumstances of the case. While the median value of a herniated disc injury settlement may be between $70,000 and $90,000, settlements could be a little lower or much higher depending on the severity of the injuries, the treatment you require and the amount of wages lost.

For example, if you require back surgery and had to time off work for several months to recover, your herniated injury claim may be much more than in a situation where you recovered with a few weeks of physical therapy.

Can I Collect a Herniated Disc Injury Settlement if I Had a Pre-Existing Injury?

It is true that pre-existing spinal injuries could make a herniated disc injury claim complicated, but our injury lawyers have experience overcoming these types of challenges to help our clients secure maximum compensation for their losses. We can help establish that your injuries and pain are not being caused by the pre-existing condition, but by the trauma sustained in your accident that resulted in the herniated disc injury.

How the Vaziri Law Group Can Help You

At Vaziri Law Group Personal Injury Attorneys, we will assist you with gathering, compiling and presenting evidence in a compelling manner so you are poised to receive maximum compensation for your losses. We also help clients receive the medical treatment they need so they get on the road to recovery as soon as possible.

If you have been injured in a Los Angeles car accident, you may also wonder how much it might cost to retain a car accident lawyer to represent you. At Vaziri Law Group Personal Injury Attorneys, we work on a contingency fee basis, which means you don't pay any upfront fees of costs unless we win compensation for you. Call us at (310) 777-7540 to schedule your free consultation and comprehensive case evaluation.

About the Author

Siamak Vaziri

Attorney Siamak Vaziri’s mission is to help make his clients whole by obtaining maximum physical, emotional, and financial recovery. Mr. Vaziri’s clients' needs come first, evidenced by his 98% success rate, more than $1 Billion in client settlements and verdicts, as well as 100+ 5-star reviews. Mr. Vaziri invests every resource to nurture his client and partner relationships and does so with integrity and a relentless work ethic.


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