A bulging or herniated disc can occur due to any spontaneous traumatic force. Incidents that frequently lead to an individual suffering a bulging or herniated disc include automobile accidents, slip and falls, construction accidents, work injuries, and mishaps while participating in sports. When it comes to personal injury cases, herniated disc injuries are common.
Bulging or Herniated Disc Injury Cases
When an individual sustains an injury due to the negligence of another person, a personal injury claim can be brought against the responsible person. The goal is to find those legally responsible for causing the injury and hold them accountable for any damages resulting from those injuries.
When personal injury damages are awarded to an injured plaintiff, these damages are meant to compensate for the losses he or she suffered and make the plaintiff ‘whole’ again.
To determine how much a settlement would be for a bulging disc, a dollar amount must be placed on all the consequences resulting from the accident. These consequences may include pain and suffering, physical limitations, medical bills and lost wages, etc.
Compensatory damages commonly sought in herniated disc personal injury cases:
- Medical treatment – reimbursement for medical treatment that the plaintiff has already received as well as compensation for future medical care related to the herniated or bulging disc sustained in the accident.
- Property loss – if the injury was sustained during an automobile accident, the plaintiff is usually entitled to reimbursement for repairing the vehicle or receiving fair market value for the vehicle that cannot be repaired. In addition, clothing or any other items damaged during the accident may also be reimbursed.
- Income – if the herniated or bulging disc has affected the plaintiff’s ability to work, he or she may be compensated for the income already lost. Additionally, if the herniated disc prevents the plaintiff from working in the future, he or she may receive compensation for ‘loss of earning capacity.’
- Pain and suffering – individuals who experience pain and discomfort due to the herniated or bulging disc they sustained during the accident can receive compensation for these hardships.
- Loss of enjoyment – if the injuries have affected the plaintiff’s ability to enjoy daily activities (exercise, hobbies, etc.), he or she may receive compensation for ‘loss of enjoyment.’
- Emotional distress – this is typically linked to very serious accidents. A plaintiff may receive compensation for the psychological impact the injury has caused. Issues may include anxiety, fear and loss of sleep.
- Loss of consortium – this refers to the impact that the injuries have had on the relationship between the plaintiff and his or her spouse. Texas law allows for loss of consortium damages between a parent and child as well.
- Punitive damages – if the court finds that a defendant’s conduct was extremely careless or deplorable, the plaintiff may be awarded punitive damages above and beyond any compensatory damages. Punitive damages are awarded as a means to punish the defendant.
When considering a workers comp settlement for bulging disc or thinking about a herniated disc settlement value, all of the factors listed above must be taken into consideration.
The majority of personal injury cases settle out of court. Usually, those who are personally involved in the dispute, the insurance companies and the attorneys representing each side are involved in negotiating a settlement amount.
A mediation or arbitration are other options frequently used to resolve cases: They are considered the ‘middle ground’ between an informal settlement and a lawsuit.
How Much is a Herniated Disc Worth?
The amount that a bulging or herniated disc claim is worth varies greatly. Nationwide, the average award for this type of injury is $350,000; however, what the case is worth rests solely on the extent of the injury sustained and the specific facts of the case.
Herniated Disc Lawsuit Settlements
The plaintiff, Elizabeth Eastman, sustained an L4/L5 disc herniation in a vehicle accident. On Dec. 4, 2015, a jury awarded her $200,000. She received $150,000 for her past pain and suffering, and $50,000 for future pain and suffering.
Due to a car accident that occurred on November 12, 2001, Tracey suffered a disc herniation at level C6/C7 as well as two broken teeth. Tracey underwent a spinal fusion in which rods were placed in her back. After a four-day, damages-only trial, Tracey Johnson was awarded $2,500,000 from a jury for the injuries she suffered. Her husband, Christopher, was awarded $500,000 on his per quod claim.
The defendant requested a new trial; however, the judge denied a new trial, but did remit Tracey’s jury award to $1,500,000 and her husband’s award to $250,000. Even after this reduction, the defendant appeals stating that the judge erred and should have granted a new trial due to the limitation on lawsuit thresholds set forth by the Automobile Insurance Cost Reduction Act (AIRCA). However, the defendant lost this appeal and on the plaintiff’s cross-appeal the original jury verdicts were reinstated.
The plaintiff, Rosanna Epstein, states that on September 9, 2006, she slipped on a wet floor and fell near the escalator at the Tropicana. Due to this incident, Epstein contends that she sustained a herniated disc at the C5/C6 level. She had also complained of shoulder pain and pain running down her arm. Although Epstein denied previous treatment for a shoulder injury and pain down her arm, during discovery, Tropicana found proof of previous treatments for both of these issues. Since Tropicana was on the verge of filing bankruptcy, on March 4, 2009, the plaintiff agreed to a settlement of $45,000. Tropicana filed bankruptcy in April of 2009.
If you or someone you care about has sustained a herniated or bulging disc, contact our office today to schedule a complimentary consultation. The experienced attorneys at The Cagle Law Firm can assist you as you move through the legal process seeking the compensation you deserve.