Herniated Disc Personal Injury Cases
Our injury lawyers handle herniated disc accident cases in Maryland and around the country. Below are frequently asked question about herniated disc cases which provides an overview of these spinal injury cases when caused by a car accident or other trauma. We also provide at the bottom of this page example MRI reports and operative notes in herniated disc cases..
What is a herniated disc how does a car accident to cause a spinal disc injury?
Spinal discs are round cushions that lie in between the vertebrae of the spinal column. These discs basically act like shock absorbers between the vertebrae, cushioning them when we contort our bodies in everyday life. These discs have an external shell and a liquid substance in the middle. The metaphor we often use with juries in personal injury cases is that the discs are like jelly donuts. If a disc is injured as the result of trauma in an auto accident, the "jelly" may leak out of the disc. If the inner core of the disc extrudes back into the spinal canal it may impact a nerve root. The weak spot in a disc is directly under the nerve root and a herniated disc can put great pressure on the nerve, which can cause pain to radiate throughout the person's body.
Where the pain radiates in the body depends on where the disc herniation occurs. When a patient has a symptomatic herniated disc, the pain is not in the disc area; rather, the disc herniation is pinching a nerve in the spine that causes 'radicular' pain. This radicular pain is typically described as a pain that shoots through the body, usually to one area in particular, since each nerve in the spine is connected to a particular area of the body. This pain can be leg pain if the herniation is in the lumbar (back), or arm pain from a cervical (neck) herniated disc.
A herniated disc is rarely diagnosed in the emergency room after an auto accident. This is because the disc is invisible on an x-ray. Accordingly, a patient typically needs a CT scan or magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) test so that a physician can pick up a disc herniation. A discography, myelography, or an electromyography are also used to diagnose herniated discs. It is worth noting that the experts agree that these diagnostic tests cannot diagnose the injury victim's pain. There is no clear cut correlation between the degree of the herniation and the patient's pain symptoms because there are so many other variables involved.
What is a herniated disc case worth by settlement or at trial?
More Case Value Information
Because our lawyers have successfully tried a number of herniated disc cases and have received national exposure for our jury verdicts in these cases, we receive at least once a week this inquiry: what is the settlement or trial value of my herniated disc injury that was caused by an auto accident? You can find some information on this on the box on the right. The answer, naturally, is that it depends on the injury. Some herniated disc injuries leave a patient in constant pain for the rest of their lives. These patients try traction, steroid injections, therapy and surgery and still find themselves in pain that will last a lifetime. Assuming (1) no question as to responsibility for the auto accident, (2) no preexisting injury or pre-accident degenerative disease, and (3) reasonable insurance coverage for the at-fault driver, the settlement value of these types of herniated disc cases are almost invariably six figure and sometimes even seven figure cases.
The more complicated cases involve preexisting injuries. A favorite tactic of lawyers defending personal injury cases on behalf of the insurance companies involving herniated discs is pointing the finger at preexisting degenerative problems with a patient's spine such as spinal stenosis, osteoarthritis, and spondylolisthesis. Most of these are conditions that begin in many people in their early 30s. Therefore, it must be established that the patient's problems are not due to the degenerative condition, but to the trauma sustained in the accident.
All of this begs the question of what happens when a person has a preexisting herniated disc or some type of degenerative changes and was asymptomatic (without symptoms) before the accident. There are two Maryland jury instructions on point: the susceptibility instruction (Maryland Pattern Jury Instruction 10:3) and aggravation of preexisting condition instruction (Maryland Pattern Jury Instruction 10:4). If you have either one of these issues, you and your attorney must be able to clearly articulate the difference between your problems and treatment before the auto accident and your current condition. If there is no difference in your condition after the accident, your chances of a substantial recovery diminish dramatically. On the other hand, if there is a notable difference in your pain and/or way of life after the motor vehicle collision that would not have occurred in the absence of the accident, your chance of a quality settlement increases dramatically.
Talk to a Lawyer About Your Herniated Disc Injury Case
Our lawyers have handled literally hundreds of herniated disc injury cases. We know the science, we know the experts, and we know handle herniated disc injury case. We know how to try these cases to a jury and how to win them. Our law firm practices primarily in Maryland but, for the right case, we handle cases in other jurisdictions around the country. Call us today to discuss what we can do about your case at 800-553-8082. You can also get an almost instant on line consultation here.
Example MRI Reports and Operative Notes
- Sample Report of Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) Thoracic Spine
- Sample Report of Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) Cervical Spine, without contrast
- Sample Report of Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) Cervical Spine & Lumbar Spine
- Sample Operative Notes on Lumbar Spine
- Sample Operative Notes on Cervical Spine
- Anterior Cervical Fusion Surgery on Video
- Looking at the Value of Herniated Disc Cases: How Much Money Are Juries Giving in These Cases?
- Neck and Back Injuries
- C4/C5 and C5/C6 Herniated Disc Injury Cases (details on cervical herniated disc injury accident claims)
- Ruptured Disc Injuries (case value)
- Spondylosis and Car Accident Claims (how spondylosis cases play out for settlement and at trial)
- Bulging Disc v. Herniated Disc (what is the difference and what are the practical implications of the differences)
- Back Injuries (an overview of back injuries in car accidents and a look at what the scientific literature tells us about expected outcomes based on the type of accident)
- Spinal Injury Lawyer (an overview of spinal injury claims in Maryland)
- Personal Injury Claims More Generally
- Contact a Herniated Disc Injury Lawyer at 800-553-8082 or click here for a free consultation anywhere in the United States