There is no average herniated disc settlement in Florida because every case, person, and injury is different. However, the following are some of the factors that will determine the amount of a settlement:
- A victim’s age
- A victim’s medical history
- A victim’s salary
- The nature and prognosis of the herniated disc
- Fault for the injury
- How much pain and suffering you endured
- Availability of evidence
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Bulging and herniated discs are typical of the aging process. Our discs tend to dehydrate, which stiffens the cartilage that separates our vertebrae. The older we are, the more susceptible vertebrae are to injury. If you suffer a herniated disc in an accident at an older age, you might receive less than a younger person would.
Prior spinal injuries can also affect an injury settlement. If you have a prior back injury, the insurance company might claim that you are attempting to blame your preexisting injury on the accident. If you are able to recover compensation even with a preexisting condition, you will likely only receive partial compensation. Instead of receiving compensation for the injury itself, you will likely receive compensation for the worsening of the injury.
To establish your medical history and health before and after the accident, it is important to collect evidence such as:
- Your medical records
- Testimony from your doctor or another medical expert
- Medical bills
- Receipts for prescription medicine, medical equipment, and so on
If you suffered other injuries in the same accident that caused your herniated disc, you could receive more than someone who suffered only the herniated disc.
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Most people do not consider this, but your salary affects what you might be entitled to. Consider the following injured parties:
- Party A makes $150,000 a year. Their herniated disc kept them out of work for two months.
- Party B makes $40,000 a year. They also needed to take two months off for their injury.
Party A could recover $25,000 in lost wages, while Party B would be entitled to $6,666.
You may also be able to collect compensation based on the estimated value of lost earning capacity or job opportunities. For example, if your injury prevents you from advancing in your career or seeking a raise, a lawyer can estimate the value of the wages and other benefits you would have earned but now cannot due to the herniated disc.
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Symptoms and Prognosis
The more disabling your symptoms, the more you might be entitled to. For example, if your herniated disc keeps you from working and makes sleeping difficult for six months, you will likely recover more than a person who suffers from a moderate disc herniation that resolves itself in a few weeks.
If the doctor determines that your herniated disc will continue to affect you for years, you will be entitled to more than someone who will only suffer symptoms for a few months.
The treatment you need also affects your settlement value. If you only require several days off work to rest and painkillers for a few weeks, you might only recover a few thousand dollars. If you require surgery and need to take two months off work, you might be entitled to tens of thousands of dollars.
How Fault Affects a Herniated Disc Settlement
If you contributed to your injury, you will only be able to recover a certain portion of your settlement.
Consider the following: you were involved in a rear-end accident. The driver who rear-ended you was 100 percent at fault for the accident. However, you did not receive medical treatment for four weeks. This delay in treatment worsened your herniated disc. The investigation found that you were 20 percent at fault for your injury. You would only be able to recover 80 percent of your settlement (e.g., $8,000 of $10,000).
Who is responsible for your disc injury? You need to know this information so you know who to sue and can fend off the liable party’s attempts to blame you for your own injuries.
An attorney can investigate your accident to figure out who you should file suit against. Some common liable parties include:
- Another driver, if you were hit by a driver who was speeding, disobeying the rules of the road, or drunk
- A property owner, if you slipped and fell on premises belonging to another person
- An employer or coworker, if you were injured at work due to someone else’s negligence
- A product manufacturer, if your injury occurred while you were using a faulty product (e.g., an unstable ladder or malfunctioning car brakes)
How Pain and Suffering Affect Settlement Value
Most people only consider the “economic damages” that come with a herniated disc injury. However, you are also entitled to compensation for your non-economic damages, which include things like:
- Pain and suffering
- Loss of enjoyment or quality of life
- Disfiguring marks or scars
- Loss of relationships with loved ones
- Public humiliation or loss of reputation
If your injury lasts longer, you will likely recover more compensation for pain and suffering, contact our personal injury lawyer today for free consultation.
Proving the existence of non-economic damages, which do not come with the type of paper trail that accompanies financial losses, can be complicated. A lawyer can go over your case to determine what your non-economic damages are worth.
Availability of Evidence May Change
Accidents leave evidence. For example, maybe your coworkers saw you fall, or someone’s dashcam caught your car accident on tape. After the injury, you may have spoken about the event to the doctor who treated you or the police officer who responded to the accident.
When filing a lawsuit, you want to collect as much evidence as possible to prove:
- The liable party behaved in a reckless or negligent manner
- The liable party’s negligence caused the accident
- The accident led to your injuries, which have been costly to you in terms of money, health, and general wellbeing
You may be absolutely certain that the liable party is 100 percent responsible for your injuries. However, if you cannot find enough proof to substantiate your story, you may not be able to get the settlement you need.
To protect your rights, it is a good idea to get in touch with a personal injury attorney in your area as quickly as possible. The sooner you start, the more likely it is that evidence such as witness statements, video footage, and so on will still be available for your use.
How the Law Offices of Anidjar & Levine Can Help
The Law Offices of Anidjar & Levine can help you determine what your herniated disc case might be worth. In addition to estimating value, we can also work with you to mitigate any factors that lower your settlement’s worth. We might discuss your case with medical or vocational experts to help establish how your herniated disc has and will continue to affect you.
For a free review of your herniated disc case, call the Law Offices of Anidjar & Levine today at 1-800-747-3733. Your review is confidential, and there is no obligation to pursue a claim with us.