There are a few reasons why it is impossible to gauge the average settlement for spinal stenosis claims. First and foremost, there is no place dedicated to collecting and cataloging information regarding personal injury claims.
Even if there were, the details of most spinal stenosis settlements would occur in private. This is common among personal injury claims. In exchange for a monetary settlement, most defendants will require the details of the settlement to remain confidential.
Despite the lack of public availability for this information, you could have an attorney review your case and advise you on what your claim could be worth.
Factors that Affect Spinal Stenosis Claims
The value of a spinal stenosis claim will depend on a few variables. Understanding these variables is helpful in obtaining a reasonable understanding of what your settlement might be worth.
Remember, no attorney can guarantee a successful outcome for your claim. However, they could help you prepare for what to reasonably expect. Some of the factors that could determine the value of your claim include:
The Severity of Your Condition
The severity of your spinal stenosis is the single biggest factor in determining your claim’s value. The severity of these injuries will impact your medical bills, lost wages and benefits, and other damages related to your claim.
Time Missed at Work
Many people suffering from spinal stenosis, a debilitating disorder of the spinal cord, cannot work during their recovery. The more work you miss, the more wages you are likely to lose out on. This could increase the size of your settlement, as you have the right to pursue compensation for your lost wages and benefits.
The Extent of Your Medical Bills
The amount of your medical bills is also important to the valuation of your claim. However, these costs should be considered in the context of the severity of your condition. For example, a person with spinal stenosis so severe that it is inoperable could have lower medical bills than someone successfully treated for the condition.
The Statute of Limitations
Every lawsuit – including claims regarding spinal stenosis – faces a firm deadline. Filing these lawsuits after the deadline expires could make it impossible to recover compensation. This deadline, referred to as the statute of limitations, could render a claim worth nothing if a plaintiff waits too long to file a lawsuit.
Per Florida Statutes § 95.11(3)(a), the usual deadline for personal injury cases is four years. Exceptions exist depending on the cause of your injuries, among other factors.
Your Choice of Attorney
So much rides on the legal counsel you select. That is why it is vital to obtain a Fort Lauderdale spinal cord injury attorney who understands how to maximize your financial recovery. It could help your case to work with a Florida lawyer who has handled injury cases involving spinal stenosis or conditions similar to spinal stenosis.
Whether or not the defendant claims responsibility for your spinal stenosis is also an important factor. When liability isn’t in doubt, settlement offers are usually higher. Alternatively, you might not receive an offer at all.
These are only a few factors that could potentially impact the value of your injury settlement. While each of these factors could increase or decrease what your settlement might ultimately be worth, only your attorney can thoroughly review your case and show you what to expect.
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What Is Spinal Stenosis?
Before you can receive spinal stenosis compensation, you must have an official diagnosis from a medical professional stating that you have this condition.
According to the Cleveland Clinic, spinal stenosis is distinct from other back pain causes in that it involves the spaces between each of the vertebrae in your back. In a healthy person, these spaces are large enough to accommodate:
- The spinal cord
In someone with spinal stenosis, one or more of these spaces becomes so small that everything in between is compressed. This can cause:
- Pain, numbness, or tingling at the site
- Pain that radiates into your arm or leg
- Balance problems
- Weakness in the hands or feet
Spinal stenosis may occur in the lower back (lumbar canal stenosis), the abdomen (thoracic spinal stenosis), or the neck (cervical spinal stenosis). The symptoms you experience depend on what type of stenosis you have.
If you are experiencing spinal stenosis symptoms, it is a good idea to get medical help as fast as possible. An attorney can help you make a doctor’s appointment if necessary. The sooner you see a doctor, the easier it is to connect your condition with the initiating injury and the easier it may be to get a settlement.
Cervical Spinal Stenosis Workers’ Compensation
Per the Cleveland Clinic, your risk of developing spinal stenosis may increase after an injury. If that injury occurred while you were on the job, your employer’s workers’ compensation insurance may be legally responsible for paying your claim. Examples of compensable injuries include:
- Falls from ladders, scaffolding, or other heights
- Slip or trip and fall accidents involving slick spots, exposed wiring, or other hazards
- Motor vehicle accidents
In a workers’ compensation claim, you ask the workers’ compensation insurer for damages instead of your own or another liable party’s insurer. You can find more information about how to file a claim for workers’ comp at the website of Florida’s Chief Financial Officer. A workers’ compensation attorney can help you with your claim as well.
What’s the Average Settlement for a Back Injury?
As with any other type of personal injury, there is no way to declare an “average” settlement amount that injured workers receive for back pain. The amount you can get from workers’ compensation depends on:
- If your employer is legally required to provide workers’ compensation insurance
- If workers’ comp covers your specific position
- If you can prove your injury occurred while you were performing your regular job duties
- How serious the injury is and how much you had to spend to treat it
- The presence or absence of other injuries
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Cost of Treating Spinal Stenosis
Many settlements involving spinal stenosis are so substantial because of the cost of treating this condition. For many people, spinal stenosis could require ongoing treatment for months or even years.
According to Mayo Clinic, recovering from spinal stenosis could require any of the following expensive treatments:
- Surgery. Serious cases of spinal stenosis could require surgery. These costly procedures could dramatically increase the expenses related to this condition.
- Medication. People suffering from spinal stenosis could require several medications during their treatment. This could include the cost of pain relievers, anti-seizure drugs, or even antidepressants.
- Steroid injections. Swollen or irritated nerve roots could require steroid injections to calm those nerves. These injections could greatly reduce pain, although they will not address any underlying issues.
- Decompression treatments. There is a form of specialized treatment used with spinal stenosis patients known as a decompression procedure. This procedure uses implements similar to needles to remove ligaments in the back impinging nerves.
In addition, you may require extensive testing to provide you with an official diagnosis of spinal stenosis. Your doctor may order x-rays, magnetic resonance imaging (MRIs), and other critical tests. These costs can also be included in your settlement demand, as can certain travel expenses related to treatment.
Speak to Us About Your Case Today
Dealing with spinal stenosis is never easy. Even when the condition can be cured, the healing process can be long, costly, and painful. The good news is that the Law Offices of Anidjar & Levine can take much of the stress that comes with this injury off your shoulders. While you focus on your recovery, we take care of everything else – as long as you act within the parameters set by Florida Statutes § 95.11(3)(a).
No attorney can give you an accurate estimate of the average settlement for spinal stenosis or guarantee a specific outcome in your case. However, our attorneys can carefully review your case and advise you on what your settlement could be worth.
To learn more, call for your free consultation.
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