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  • Writer's pictureRobert Schuerger II

Average Settlement for Slipped Disc - TN Residents Want to Know

A typical herniated disc settlement after a car accident is generally in the hundred-thousand dollar range. However, herniated disc cases can vary significantly, so it's hard to say what a specific claim might bring. Here are a few things to consider:


  • Sometimes, herniated discs are pretty minor.

  • Others will lead to a permanent injury (disability).


Sometimes, disc herniation leads to a $20,000 compensation award, and some car accident cases go up to one million dollars.


After suffering a herniated disc, it's wise to contact personal injury lawyers in Nashville for assistance. Schuerger Shunnarah Trial Attorneys goes to war for Nash and will help clients learn about their rights and potential award amounts.


Why Do Herniated Disc Settlements Vary Significantly?

Why Do Herniated Disc Settlements Vary Significantly?


There's actually a huge range for an average settlement in a herniated disc injury case, and here are the three reasons for this:


  1. There are various herniated disc injuries, from debilitating to fairly minor.

  2. The victim might have been partially at fault for the car accident, which reduces the settlement amount for cervical and lumbar herniations.

  3. Details about the victim's professional and personal life might increase their legal damages for herniated discs.


It's often best to hire a reputable law firm and establish an attorney-client relationship to maximize settlement amounts. They can also provide information on an average settlement for back injury TN.


Every Herniated Disc Injury Is Different


A herniated disc is considered a spinal cord injury. The spine contains the vertebrae, which is a stack of bones. Between those vertebrae, you have spinal discs, which are soft and circular. They allow the vertebrae to flex and move.


Inside the discs, there is the nucleus, which is a soft part inside a hard exterior, which is called an annulus. Typically, a herniated disc happens when the annulus is torn, and the nucleus pushes through it.


Since the spinal cord contains a network of nerves, the presence of that nucleus often creates serious issues. Depending on the location for the herniated disc, it might pinch or impinge a nerve.


Potential Issues with a Herniated Disc Injury

Victims might suffer from these conditions when a disc is pinched or impinged happens:


  • Weakness or inability to move a leg or arm

  • Arm or leg tingling or numbness

  • Chronic pain


Sometimes, the symptoms are constant, and they can get worse when the victim switches positions, sneezes, coughs, or bends over. It might be challenging to hold a job, and the person might require medication to deal with the pain of a disc herniation.


However, herniated discs might not lead to serious complications. In fact, some victims don't experience any symptoms. They might not even realize they have a bulging or herniated disc after the car crash.


What the Settlement Does

The herniated disc settlement is designed to compensate the victim for their losses. Therefore, the extent of the medical condition determines the car accident case's value.


If there aren't any medical bills or complications, less is awarded for herniated discs. However, if it's a debilitating injury, the amount of the settlement must reflect that.


Shared Fault Rules (Comparative Negligence) Might Decrease the Car Accident Settlement


Tennessee uses the modified comparative negligence system. This means that a person could be 50 percent liable for the car accident and still get damages from the at-fault party for their herniated disc.


A jury verdict determines what percentage of fault each person has. The victim's award will then be reduced by that amount.


Example of Modified Comparative Negligence

For example, James is in a car accident and suffers a herniated disc. The case goes to trial, and he's awarded $100,000. However, the jury also thinks he was 25 percent at fault, so he only recovered a total of $75,000. If the jury claimed James was 51 percent at fault, he would have recovered no compensation at all.


Shared Fault Influences Settlements

Though shared fault rules only apply in a personal injury trial, they could influence herniated disc settlement negotiations. If it appears the victim was at fault at any percentage, the insurance company of the at-fault driver will try to reduce the settlement offer. This makes it harder to recover full compensation for the injuries. Schuerger Shunnarah Trial Attorneys also has information on the average settlement for traumatic brain injury TN.


Professional and Personal Lives Can Raise the Settlement for a Herniated Disc


Along with medical expenses, the settlement should compensate the victim for their:


  • Pain and suffering

  • Lost earning capacity

  • Lost wages


Likewise, the victim's loved ones can get compensated for the loss of consortium if their lives were changed because of the herniated disc.


Therefore, the details about the victim's personal and professional life influence the settlement amount. Ultimately, the settlement amount for disc herniations should cover wages lost while recovering from the injury, so the person's salary might alter the compensation award.


Profession and Background

If the herniated disc makes it hard to work, then the victim's background and profession might influence the value of the settlement. People are entitled to compensation for all reductions in their capability to earn a living after the incident. This could increase the settlement if the victim were a:


  • Professional athlete

  • Mechanic

  • Manual laborer

  • Construction worker


Might Not Change the Settlement Amount

Still, the person's profession and background might not increase the case value if the job doesn't require movement that might trigger a bulging disc. Likewise, victims deserve compensation for pain and suffering, which includes loss of enjoyment of life.


Examples of Severe Herniated Disc Injuries


The severity of the herniated disc gets determined by any medical complications it causes. This depends primarily on the radiculopathy or nerve damage that the bulge caused in the spinal cord.

These are the symptoms of a severe herniated disc:


  • Muscle weakness in one limb (including being unable to move it)

  • Numbness in a leg or arm

  • Lack of feeling in the feet and hands

  • Tingling in the extremity of a limb

  • Pain in a leg or arm

  • Pain in the shoulders, neck, or back


In some cases, disc herniation will only impact one single side of the victim's body.


Where It Happens Matters

Ultimately, where in the spinal cord the herniation is found will determine where a person feels the symptoms. A lower back herniated disc will generally cause leg issues, while a neck herniated disc might lead to arm problems.


Serious injuries like these will generally require long-term medical care. Surgery might also be needed.


Common Medical Treatments

Here are common medical treatments to consider:


  • Steroid injections within the cervical spine

  • Physical therapy

  • Prescription pain relievers

  • Discectomy surgery


The victim's insurance coverage will typically pay for these things, but it's still possible to spend a lot out of pocket. It's wise to work with a lawyer to file a herniated disc injury claim. They will use the medical bills to indicate how much was paid, and the medical records will show that those treatment options were necessary.


Types of Car Accidents Leading to Herniated Discs


Truck accidents, rear-end car accidents, or "T-bone" crashes often cause trauma that leads to herniated discs. However, being involved in any motor vehicle accident could cause disc herniations.


Differences Between Bulging Discs and Herniated Discs

Differences Between Bulging Discs and Herniated Discs


There are medical differences between a bulging disc and a disc herniation:


  • A herniated disc happens when the rubbery, hard outside of the victim's spinal disc (annulus) ruptures and allows the nucleus (inside) to seep out.

  • A bulging disc happens when the annulus expands and flattens outward but doesn't rupture.


Both bulging and herniated discs can impact the nerves in the spinal cord, which could cause nerve damage, leading to debilitating back and neck pain. This is often called a spinal cord injury.


Many times, the severe pain will go away in time. However, it could be a permanent injury that the victim must deal with for life.


Types of Compensation Available in Herniated Disc Injury Cases


If a victim suffers a herniated or bulging disc in an auto accident, they deserve compensation, which includes things like:


  • Lost wages

  • Medical expenses (what has already accrued and future medical expenses that will likely be necessary, including physical therapy)

  • Physical pain

  • Reduced earning capacity

  • Pain and suffering damages (mental and emotional suffering)

  • Property damage to the vehicle

  • Loss of consortium


How Insurance Adjusters Work

The injury settlement must reflect the amount needed to cover all of those losses. However, insurance company adjusters work for the at-fault driver, so they will likely make low settlements that will drastically undercompensate the victim. In fact, they might claim that the lumbar disc herniation injury was a pre-existing condition.


Consider Legal Advice from a Reputable Law Firm

Therefore, it's often wise to get legal advice from a reputable lawyer for a herniated disc case. They will inform the victim of the potential payout, what it will take to negotiate or go to court, and more. Likewise, if the parties cannot agree on an appropriate settlement amount, the lawyer will file a claim for the victim.


Why Hire a Herniated Disc Injury Lawyer


It's upsetting to be in a car accident and learn of a herniated disc injury. Many victims find themselves in need of medical treatment for a long time or even permanently. They may not be able to do the things they used to enjoy because of the disc herniation and deserve to be fully compensated for their losses.


Ultimately, it's wise to speak with a personal injury attorney from Schuerger Shunnarah Trial Attorneys to determine if the victim has a herniated disc case. Please call to speak with a representative and set up a free consultation today!

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