Our injury lawyers have handled literally hundreds of neck injury cases in Maryland. Our law firm does not typically accept soft tissue neck injury cases unless the injury is very serious and life altering. But we do handle spinal cord neck injuries. We define spinal cord injuries as those neck injuries involving fracture or broken vertebrae or an injury to one of the spinal discs.Vertebrae Injuries
The spinal cord was built to withstand serious impact. The vertebrae rarely cleanly breaks in a car or truck accident and, when it does, you likely have a wrongful death case as opposed to a client with a spinal injury. More typically, our lawyers are dealing with a spinal cord injury that results in a fracture or dislocation of the vertebrae in the neck.
Typically, the injury puts pressure on the nerves that run along the spinal cord that send messages to the brain, causing myelopathy or damage to the nerve roots that send messages to the brain.
Approximately one-fourth of spinal cord injuries result from car, truck or motorcycle accidents. The most common spinal cord injury in motor vehicle accidents come from, in this order, (1) rear end accidents, (2) truck accidents, and (3) pedestrian accidents.What Is a Spinal Disc Case Worth By Settlement or Trial
Spinal cord injuries vary wildly in severity and jury verdicts vary accordingly. One study indicates that 16% of the verdicts in spinal disc injury lawsuits exceed $1 million and 7% exceed $2.5 million. But there are also a lot of spinal cord injury accident cases in between. The median jury verdict in a coccyx or sacrum fracture case is only $68,000. In cases with multiple vertebrae fractures, the median verdict is $207,129. The reality is that these figures, while interesting for lawyers, tell us little about individual spinal injury cases.Herniated Disc Injuries
Spinal discs are the cushions in between the vertebrae of the spinal column. These discs cushion the vertebrae. Undoubtedly, these discs degenerate over time. Spinal discs are filled with fluid and have an external shell. We explain disc injuries to the jury like this: discs are like jelly donuts. But when a disc is damaged, the donut may either bulge or break open. This is a herniated disc (also called a slipped or ruptured disc). So if a disc is damaged in a car accident, the fluid may leak which makes for a compromised cushion between the vertebrae. If the inner core of the disc spills out on a nerve root (nerves are running down the spine), it is going to cause pain - sometimes awful debilitating pain - that travels throughout the body.
The path of radiating pain 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 nerve root pain, leg pain if the herniation is in the lumbar (back), or arm pain from a cervical (neck) herniated disc.
A vertebrae injury is often easy to diagnose. Herniated discs are more difficult. This is because the disc is invisible on an x-ray. Naturally then, herniated discs are rarely diagnosed in the emergency room after an auto accident. Accordingly, patients almost invariably need a CT scan or magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) to confirm a herniated disc injury. A discography, myelography, or an electromyography are also used to diagnose herniated discs.What Is a Herniated Disc Case Worth by Settlement or at Trial?
Because our lawyers have successfully tried a number of spinal cord injury 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 from a car or truck accident. The answer is, even more so than with spinal cord injuries that involve a fracture or dislocation, the value of herniated disc injuries depends on the injury. Some herniated disc injuries do not cause a meaningful permanent injury. But many leave a patient in constant pain for the rest of their lives.CONTACT US
Our lawyers fight to get our clients who have suffered a serious spinal cord injury full compensation - either by settlement or a lawsuit . Our lawyers are based in Maryland but we handle serious spinal cord injury claims throughout the country. Call us to discuss your case at 800-553-8082 or get a free on-line consultation.More Information
- Spinal Fluid Leak After Surgery Claims
- Paraplegia Average Verdicts
- Herniated Disc Information Page: get our thoughts after handling hundreds of these cases
- Value of Cervical Herniated Disc Cases: settlement and trial values
- Cauda Equina Syndrome: common problem - a malpractice claim - after spinal surgery
- Contact a Spinal Cord Injury Lawyer at 800-553-8082 or click here for a free consultation anywhere in the United States
Of course, herniated discs are just one type of spinal injury. Here are a few sample verdicts that underscore just how much the value spinal injury cases may vary: