Car accidents often leave Maryland victims with back and neck injuries. Bulging and herniated discs are two potentially painful conditions that can cause ongoing discomfort and require surgery. As personal injury lawyers, we are sometimes asked how much is a settlement from a bulging disc after a car accident.
The eventual settlement amount depends on a range of factors. You must prove a third party caused the wreck that left you with a bulging disc to make a successful claim on their insurance policy. The limits of available insurance and the extent of your injuries are pertinent factors as well as the impact a bulging disc has on your life.
It’s difficult to say how much a settlement from a bulging disc after a car accident is worth. Baltimore personal injury lawyer Randolph Rice discusses how much compensation you are likely to receive from a bulging disc injury from a car crash or other accident in Maryland.
What is a Bulging Disc Injury?
Your spinal column contains 33 bones stacked on each other. There are 23 discs – 6 in the neck, 12 in the middle back and 5 in the lower back. The intervertebral discs prevent the bones from rubbing together. They comprise an outer ring, called the annulus with fibrous bands. The discs are filled with a gel-filled center called the nucleus.
The discs perform a vital role as the body’s shock absorbers. However, damage to discs can be long-lasting and extremely painful. The sharp impact associated with a car crash can cause disc issues. Rear-ender accidents often cause neck and spinal injuries. A car wreck may cause a disc to become deformed and to bulge out. Deterioration associated with aging can also cause discs to bulge downwards. Bulging discs can cause other degenerative issues such as lumbar stenosis, a narrowing of the spinal canal.
If a car wreck causes a disc to bulge, your eventual compensation will likely be linked to the seriousness of the condition. Often more than one disc is damaged by a jarring impact. A bulging disc can impinge on nerves and be very painful to a car accident victim. You may have high medical bills and miss time from your job. Our Baltimore lawyer for back pain after a car accident can help you navigate these issues.
Average Settlement Amount for a Bulging Disc Back Injury in Maryland
Jury verdicts in these cases typically settle for $100,000 to $200,000. Herniated disc cases usually attract higher verdicts. Settlement amounts depend on the strength of your case, the tenacity of your lawyers, and the willingness of the insurance companies to work with your legal team. Talk to our Baltimore car accident lawyers about a bulging disc after a car accident.
What Is the Difference Between a Bulging Disc and a Herniated Disc?
A bulging disc only involves the disc’s only outer layer of tough cartilage. It does not involve the leaking of the gel inside the disc.
A herniated disc is also called a slipped disc or a ruptured disc. The forces associated with a car accident push a fragment of the disc nucleus out of the annulus into the spinal canal via a tear or rupture in the annulus. The gel inside may leak out. The disc can press on spinal nerves causing extreme radiating pain in the patient. Herniated discs are more common in the lower spine (known as the lumbar spine).
During a car accident claim, insurance companies often claim a bulging disc is less serious than a herniated disc and, therefore, less worthy of compensation. Although herniated disks are often more painful, all cases are different.
The distinction is disingenuous. A bulging disc can protrude further into the sensitive nerves than a herniated disc, causing even more acute pain. Our personal injury lawyers will look at your individual circumstances and the level of pain and discomfort you experience rather than linking your diagnosis to a particular figure.
Although disc injuries are usually painful, you may notice few symptoms. This does not mean you escaped the long-term consequences of your car accident. If you are feeling low back pain or have a bulged or slipped disc after a crash, it is important to consult a Baltimore car wreck lawyer for legal guidance on the steps you should take next.
What Tests Are Used to Diagnose a Bulging Disc?
You should seek medical help if you were involved in a car accident. If you feel neck pain and suffer issues like whiplash, you may also have a bulging or a herniated disc. A doctor should ask you to lie flat on your back and test your reflexes. An MRI (Magnetic Resonance Imaging) test can highlight the location of disc damage. The doctor may also order CT scans. The American College of Radiology only recommends an MRI when symptoms have been present for at least six weeks. Talk to a neurosurgeon if symptoms persist for over four week.
When a car crash damages multiple discs, a medical professional may order a myelogram. This test uses contrast dye and X-rays or computed tomography (CT) to find issues in the spinal canal.
Will a Bulging Disc from a Maryland Car Accident Require Surgery?
Fortunately, most disc injuries heal without the need for invasive surgery. The symptoms and pain can usually be managed by conservative treatment, pain medications, and physical therapy. Typically, surgery is required in less than 10 percent of cases of disc damage.
You should talk to a specialist as soon as possible if you experience ongoing arm and leg weakness. A patient may undergo surgery if pain limits his or her quality of life, a loss of bladder or bowel control or difficulties standing up and walking are reported.
A patient may undergo a lumbar laminotomy to relieve leg pain and sciatica caused by a herniated disc or cervical spine surgery that often involves the fitting of a plate, and screws in the patient’s back.
If you undergo surgery, you are likely to take more time off work and experience higher medical costs and pain and suffering. Typically, this will elevate the settlement from a bulging disc after a car accident?
Talk to a Maryland Back Injury Lawyer About Your Bulging Disc
At the Law Offices of Randolph Rice, we are well aware of the pain and inconvenience associated with a bulging disc injury after a car wreck in Maryland. We help many car accident victims in the days, weeks, and months after their wreck. The spine is a very complex system of interrelated parts. You can suffer many complications during and after a spinal injury. Find out more about bulging disc injuries on our website or call us for a free consultation about your car accident injuries at 410-431-0911.