If you have a bulging disc from a car accident in Georgia, you may be entitled to a settlement. Determining how much of a settlement you might receive depends on a lot of different factors. You could recover a few thousand dollars or as much as a few million.
Each auto accident and injury is unique. It’s important to understand the different variables that affect your settlement total. Learn more about this injury and your rights to compensation with the car accident attorneys at Scholle Law.
Symptoms of a Bulging Disc
A disc serves as a cushion between the vertebrae in your spine. Discs are made of tough cartilage on the outside with soft cartilage in the middle.
A bulging disc is not the same thing as a herniated or slipped disc. A herniated or slipped disc happens when the soft inner part protrudes or begins to fall out of the middle of the disc. With a bulging disc, only the tough outer layer is affected.
If a bulging disc hasn’t reached the stage of herniation, a person might feel very little or no pain at all. Because it is tough to identify, it is very important to receive a full medical examination right after a car accident.
Bulging discs do often create pressure points on nerves around them, which can give you the following symptoms:
- Difficulty walking or lifting things
- Pain in the feet, thighs, lower spine, or buttock
- Tingling or pain in the fingers, hands, arms, neck, or shoulders
A bulging disc can also put a lot of pressure on the tender sciatic nerve. If that happens, pain or tingling will affect one leg or the other, not both.
How Does a Bulging Disc Happen in a Car Accident?
The impact of a car accident can cause the vertebrae to become maladjusted. This puts pressure on the spine, compressing the soft inner part of the disc and potentially causing the contents to begin to bulge out.
If left untreated, bulging discs can make it more difficult to do everyday tasks and put you at a higher risk for herniated or slipped discs.
A thorough physical examination after your car accident will help you document all of your injuries. This will provide your lawyer with all the information they need to represent you.
Variables That Affect Settlement Totals for Bulging Discs From a Car Accident
Since every car accident and person is completely different, it’s difficult to give a settlement estimate without all of the information. How much you may recover for bulging discs depends on the following factors.
Current health conditions
The first variable looks at how much the bulging disc is affecting you physically. Does the disc currently press on any nerves?
How this is impacting your daily life and your employment are key factors that could increase or decrease the final settlement amount.
Whether surgery was recommended and whether you had surgery are also important factors in determining an appropriate settlement amount.
If an injury is exacerbated after a person fails to follow medical advice, the settlement amount will be affected.
On the other hand, if a physician says your bulging disc doesn’t require surgery that information would also be important.
Total medical expenses
The total amount of medical expenses you incur as a result of your bulging disc plays a significant role in determining an appropriate settlement amount. This includes everything from the initial examination, follow-up treatments, any physical therapy required, assistive devices you may need to purchase, as well as the cost of medications.
Time off work or lost wages
A bulging disc might cause such severe numbness or pain that you are unable to perform your normal job. If you must miss work due to doctor’s appointments or you lose wages because you are in physical pain and unable to work, these are considerations that will likely influence your case.
Pain and suffering
The amount you deserve for pain and suffering is slightly more difficult to calculate.
Some of the questions you will need to answer include, how much does the pain or numbness affect your quality of life? After your injury, are there any activities you can’t do as often, as well, or at all? What overall impact has the bulging disc had on your life?
Factors Which Can Lower Settlement Amounts
The following factors are known to contribute to decreased settlement amounts and dismissed claims.
Did you already have bulging discs before the auto accident in Georgia? If you can’t prove that the bulging disc was explicitly caused by the auto accident, it is less likely that you will be awarded money for it.
If you failed to follow through with suggested treatment, therapy, or surgery, you are jeopardizing your settlement. This factor is another excellent reason to get an exam right after your car accident.
Delaying diagnosis and treatment not only indicates that you did nothing to prevent the injury from getting worse but allows insurance companies and judges to question whether the accident is the sole cause of your injury.
The judge will also have to consider which driver was at fault. The state of Georgia has a comparative negligence law. This allows both parties to receive compensation even if they were both at fault.
Here is how it works. If it is decided that your actions contributed to 10% of the accident, you are eligible to receive 90% of your settlement. If you were half (50%) or more at fault, you will not be awarded any settlement.
Contact a Georgia Lawyer About Bulging Discs From a Car Accident
A bulging disc can be very painful and expensive. There’s a chance you’re owed compensation from the negligent driver who injured you, but you must be certain it is the appropriate amount to cover medical bills, lost wages, pain and suffering, and more.
You cannot effectively determine what you’re owed alone; you need experienced representation. Rest assured that the personal injury attorneys at Scholle Law are here to help maximize the value of your case.
Call us at (866) 592-1296 or contact us online today for a free, no-obligation consultation.